Hi-Liners roll over Wolves
By Neal A. Shipman
In spite of losing to the Valley City Hi-Liners by a lopsided score of 26-6 on Friday night, Justin Johnsrud, Watford City Wolves’ head coach wasn’t all that disappointed with the way his team played.
“I was pleased with our effort on Friday against Valley City, the No. 2 team in Class AA football,” stated Johnsrud. “Although the score was lopsided, we felt our kids did a great job of competing.”
According to Johnsrud, the Hi-Liners have been averaging 45 points per game and the Wolves held them to almost that average by eliminating their big run plays and forcing them to drive the ball down the field.
“We forced them to work for most of their points Friday,” stated Johnsrud. “Coaches Logan Suter and Marshall Krebs did a good job of getting our defense in the right spots and our kids executed well. We forced Valley City to earn that win.”
After a scoreless first quarter, Valley City scored twice before the Wolves would score their only touchdown of the game on a 27-yard pass play from Jamison Flynn to Seth Indergard.
Valley City then took the wind out of Watford City’s sails as they intercepted a pass with 30 seconds remaining in the first half. And on their first possession connected for a 46-yard touchdown to hold an 18-6 halftime lead.
Neither team would score in the third quarter, while Valley City would tack on their final score midway through the fourth quarter to take the 26-6 win.
“Offensively, we had a great effort, but we struggled against the strength and speed of Valley City,” stated Johnsrud. “We were just not able to sustain blocks long enough on a consistent basis to move the ball effectively down the field.”
Valley City dominated the game offensively with 377 total yards, while holding the Wolves to 114 yards.
Dennis Connor led the Wolves in rushing as he gained 30 yards on 11 carries, while Brandon Sandvik rushed for 18 yards on nine carries.
Jamison Flynn completed one of four passes for 27 yards, while Seth Indergard had one reception for 27 yards for the Wolves.
Defensive point leaders were Jarek Hogue, Jaydn Ewing, Heath Chaffin, Kason Hartel, and Derrike Hayden.
“We played a good game against a very strong opponent,” stated Johnsrud. “The coaches were very impressed with the improvement from last week’s game. The kids did what we asked them to do which is give maximum effort on every play and get better every day. Our young team got better Friday night and I hope it carries over into the remaining games.”
This Thursday, the Wolves will be traveling to Bismarck to take on the No. 5-rated St. Mary’s Saints on Thursday at 7 p.m.
“It will be another tough test for us,” says Johnsrud. “But I am confident the kids will give the same effort we saw Friday night.”
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Valley City 0 18 0 8 26
Watford City 0 6 0 0 6