Wolves offense struggles in 8-6 loss
By Neal A. Shipman
Watford City’s offense had a hard time finding its rhythm on Friday night as the Wolves fell to Griggs County Central Dakota, 8-6, in Class AA West Region football action.
While the Wolves held a slim 196 to 190 advantage over the Titans in total yardage, Watford City was plagued with penalties that kept its offense from sustaining drives to the goal line.
“We struggled to have any offensive consistency Friday night,” stated Justin Johnsrud, Wolves’ head coach. “We had 11 penalties that amounted to 75 yards. It seemed like every time we found a rhythm a penalty would set us back and put us in a long yardage situation that we just could not overcome.”
In a very low scoring game, Griggs County led the Wolves, 8-0, after the first quarter of play. Neither team would again find the goal line until Watford City would score with 12 minutes remaining in the game.
“Griggs County scored on their first drive,” stated Johnsrud. “We made some adjustments and were able to play pretty good defense for the rest of the game and keep them out of the end zone.”
Watford City’s only score would come on a Brandon Sandvik 12-yard run. But the two-point conversion, which would have tied the game, failed for Watford City.
“The kids played hard,” stated Johnsrud. “I can’t fault their effort. Things just did not go our way and we did not play well enough to win.”
Sandvik led Watford City in rushing as he carried the ball 19 times for 59 yards, while Kason Hartel had 50 yards on two carries.
Watford City quarterback Jarek Hogue completed five of 11 passes for 71 yards with the Wolves’ big play in the air coming on a 55-yard completion to Seth Indergard.
Defensive point leaders for Watford City were Jarek Hogue, Jaydn Ewing and Kyle Cook.
This Friday, Watford City will host Valley City in a key West Region matchup at 7 p.m.
“The Highliners are the No. 2-rated team in Class AA football and are coming off an impressive, 44-14, win over Dickinson Trinity,” states Johnsrud. “They are a big physical football team that relies on a very strong running game, but they also have a quality quarterback that has the ability to hurt you through the air. We must clean up the penalties and mistakes and do a better job of controlling the ball if we want to be successful.”
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Griggs County 8 0 0 0 8
Watford City 0 0 0 0 6
Rushing: Brandon Sandvik, 16-59 yards; Kason Hartel, 2-50 yards; Kyle Cook, 7-32 yards; Jarek Hogue, 7-minus 16 yards.
Passing: Jarek Hogue, 5 of 11 for 71 yards with one interception; Jamison Flynn, 0 for 1 with one interception.
Receiving: Seth Indergard, 1-55 yards; Derrike Hayden, 3-24 yards; Brandon Sandvik, 1-minus 8 yards.