Red River looking ahead, not back at win over Bismarck

Bismarck's Lucas Miller is tackled by Red River's Bryce Enerson (11), Justin Erickson (33), Logan Huus (2) and Tanner Bernhardson in the first half Friday at Cushman Field. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

For two days, it was difficult for Bryce Enerson to put last Friday’s 44-35 win against Bismarck out of his mind.

After all, it was the first time Grand Forks Red River beat Bismarck High since 1991, snapping a nine-game losing streak to the team. And Bismarck is a perennial football power. The defending Class AAA state champion Demons have reached the semifinals of the state playoffs in 15 of the last 16 seasons.

“To beat a team of that caliber, it definitely was a big win,’’ said Enerson, who had eight receptions for 112 yards and two touchdowns in the victory. “It was fun, reflecting on the game, watching film, seeing lots of highlights.

“I don’t think a lot of people expected us to do it. I think we all thought we could win. But you have to move on. It was game two of however many we’ll play. We’re focused on the next game.’’

Red River coach Vyrn Muir said that, after reviewing the Bismarck game Monday with his players, “we’ve put that one to bed.’’


Muir puts the win in perspective. It was a non-region game, so it doesn’t boost Red River’s chances of gaining one of the East Region’s four playoff berths at the end of the season.

That drive starts Friday, when the 1-1 Roughriders play host to West Fargo Sheyenne (2-0) in the East Region season opener for both teams. Sheyenne also has beaten Bismarck (35-14).

Sheyenne’s option offense is led by sophomore quarterback Grant Warkenthien and running back Barika Kpeenu (144 yards rushing in two games). Wide receiver Tyler Terhark (11 catches-182 yards) is a North Dakota State University football commit.

“It’s always hard to play them because their offense is unique in our region,’’ Muir said.

Muir said he hopes the Bismarck win is something on which Red River can build. “It’s a momentum boost, a confidence builder,’’ Muir said. “From our program’s standpoint, it was big. It could be a signature win.’’

In other games involving Greater Grand Forks football teams Friday:

Fergus Falls (0-2) at EGF Senior High (1-1)

After giving up 47 points in a loss at Pequot Lakes last week, the Green Wave host a Fergus Falls team that hasn’t scored a point this season at 6 p.m.

“The big plays killed us,’’ Green Wave coach Ryan Kasowski said of the 47-34 loss to Pequot Lakes. “It wasn’t like they marched it up and down the field. It was missed tackles and missed assignments that led to big plays.


“They (Fergus Falls) run the same offense we run. We should have a good understanding of where we need to be.’’

GF Central (0-2) at Fargo Davies (1-1)

While Central is coming off a 33-8 loss to Williston, the Knights found a positive in holding the Coyotes to only 12 rushing yards on 21 carries.

That run defense will be challenged in Friday’s 7 p.m. game by the Davies wing-T offense.

“That offense presents problems to everybody because we don’t see it from anybody else,’’ Central coach Bill Lorenz said.

“Last week, we were very successful defending the run. Our defensive line played well. Maxx Danks had a really good game. Hopefully we can build off that.’’

Polk Co. West (2-0) at Ada-Borup West (1-1)

Polk County West is at Ada for a 7 p.m. game against a new Section 8A opponent.

“It was about the first week of preseason practices when they were moved to our section,’’ PCW coach Darrin Byklum said. “It brings the competitive level up in our section. They always seemed to be at or near the top of their section.

“They spread the field and throw a little more than most teams in our section.’’


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