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Red River overcomes injury, downs Central in Cushman Classic

Nine plays into the football game Friday, explosive Grand Forks Red River running back George Nyanforh limped off the field with what proved to be a game-ending injury for the sophomore.

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Red River tailback Connor Arel breaks away from the Central defensive Friday night during the Cushman Classic. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

Nine plays into the football game Friday, explosive Grand Forks Red River running back George Nyanforh limped off the field with what proved to be a game-ending injury for the sophomore.

"We thought we might be in a bind not having our big playmaker,'' Roughriders football coach Vyrn Muir said. "We needed other guys to be playmakers. And they stepped in. That was huge.''

With Connor Arel, filling in for Nyanforh at tailback, and fullback Nathan Schumacher leading the ground game and Parker Monette passing for 197 yards, Red River handed Grand Forks Central High School a 34-10 setback in the annual Cushman Classic.

"George has been really important to us,'' Arel said. "But I was confident going in for him. Everybody was doing his job. We executed the whole game. The holes were there for us; our offensive line was unbelievable.''

Arel had a game-high 87 yards rushing and a touchdown and Schumacher added 39 yards and two TDs. Red River rushed for 200 yards.

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On the first play after Nyanforh limped off the field, Arel burst up the middle and went untouched for a 42-yard TD and a 7-0 lead. "That hole was huge,'' Arel said.

A muffed snap on a punt wound up giving Red River a first down on the Central 9-yard line two possessions later and Monette ran in a 7-yard touchdown two plays into the second quarter.

Red River built its lead to 27-0 in the second quarter on a Schumacher 18-yard TD run and a Monette-to-Bryce Enerson rollout touchdown pass covering 29 yards.

"We were assignment sharp,'' Muir said. "We've had blocking errors in our previous games. But the guys knew who to block today. Our execution was the best it's been all season.''

Central pulled within 27-7 at halftime on a 26-yard scoring pass from Jaxton Lorenz to Everett Peterson.

"They took it to us in the first half on both sides of the ball,'' Central coach Bill Lorenz said. "They whipped us up front. They were very physical in the trenches. How many times do you a lineman (Red River tackle Peyton Lotysz) get named the player of the game. And it was well deserved.''

All the scoring in the second was on a Schumacher 13-yard pass from Monette and a 45-yard field goal by Central's Sylver Osodo.

Red River finished with almost a two-to-one advantage in offensive yards (400-208). Central rushed for only 37 yards, with Jaxton Lorenz leading the offense on 9-of-15 passing for 120 yards.

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"We haven't stopped the run very well this year,'' Muir said. "We knew (Central) had been getting yards. Our guys up front played well. Dawson Brandvold was a playmaker, getting in their backfield for tackles.''

Said Brandvold: "We were tenacious, aggressive on every play.''

The outcome left both teams with 2-2 records.

GF RED RIVER 34, GF CENTRAL 10

RR 7 20 0 7 --34

GFC 0 7 0 3 --10

RR -- Connor Arel 42 run (Justin Erickson kick)

RR -- Parker Monette 7 run (Erickson kick)

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RR -- Nathan Schumacher 18 run (Erickson kick)

RR -- Bryce Enerson 29 pass from Monette (kick failed)

GFC -- Everett Peterson 26 pass from Jaxton Lorenz (Sylver Osodo kick)

RR -- Schumacher 13 pass from Monette (Erickson kick)

GFC -- Osodo 45 field goal

Individual leaders

RUSHING -- RR: Connor Arel 9-87, Nathan Schumacher 5-39, Tanner Bernardson 5-34; GFC: Austin Braun 21-53, Will Eagleson 5-2, Tyler Herbeck 1-2

PASSING -- RR: Parker Monette 14-25-0, 197 yards; Justin Wasvick 1-1-0, 3 yards; GFC: Jaxton Lorenz 9-15-2, 120 yards; Ty Lorenz 5-7-0, 51 yards

RECEIVING -- RR: Brady Dvorak 4-90, Bryce Enerson 3-42, Brett Klefstad 2-29, Schumacher 1-13, Cole Benson 1-12, Brady Lewandowski 1-8, Trent Herberg 1-3; GFC: Everett Peterson 2-48, Maxx Danks 3-44, Caden Dahl 3-38, Braun 2-25, Jack Anderson 1-7, Eagleson 2-6, Trystan Tatum 1-3

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