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NDSU Cruises to 58-0 Win Over Incarnate Word in Home Opener
Fargo -- No. 1-ranked North Dakota State rolled up 508 yards of total offense and cruised to a 58-0 win over Incarnate Word in the home opener Saturday, Sept. 13, at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome. Carson Wentz completed 14 of 18 passes for a career-high 237 yards and three touchdowns, and John Crockett ran 13 times for 82 yards and a pair of scores as the Bison (3-0) won their FCS-record 27th straight game. A crowd of 19,020 was on hand to see NDSU raise its national championship banner during pregame festivities for the third straight year.  It was the sixth largest crowd in Fargodome history. CJ Smith's 47-yard punt return set up an 11-yard TD strike from Wentz to tight end Jeff Illies on NDSU's third offensive play, and Wentz connected with wide receiver RJ Urzendowski on a 60-yard play to give the Bison a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. Crockett scored on a 36-yard scamper and running back King Frazier scored on a 29-yard passing play to make it 28-0 by halftime. Cornerback Tre Dempsey led the Bison defense with six tackles including four solo stops, Esley Thorton made five tackles and a career-high 2.0 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss.  Pierre Gee-Tucker had an interception and Shea DeJong returned an interception 69 yards for the final score of the game.  FULL STORY

Bobcats Mount Comeback,
Falter in Shootout
Bismarck – The Bismarck Bobcats rallied to force bonus hockey, but could not finish off the Minot Minotauros, falling 3-2 in a shootout to their in-state rivals in each team's preseason finale Saturday at the VFW Sports Center. Trailing 2-1 through two periods, the Cats were able to equalize with just 1:02 remaining in regulation as a centering pass from Alex Toscano deflected off Matt Perry and in, ending the third period in a 2-2 tie. Under NAHL rules, there is no overtime in the preseason, so the game progressed straight to the shootout. Minot capitalized in the shootout, getting goals from Lucas Debenedet, Quinn Fuchs and Alexander Kositsyn while the Cats only mustered a goal from rookie Johnny Witzke as the visiting Tauros claimed the game 3-2. With the shootout loss, the Bobcats ended the preseason with a 1-0-1 record. Debenedet got the scoring for Minot just over five minutes into the game, cashing in a 2-on-1 with Christian Mohs to give the visitors a quick 1-0 lead. Bobcats veteran Evan Giesler evened the score with 6:04 left in the opening frame, collecting a centering pass from Cullen Willox and blasting it under the crossbar past Tauros goalie Tanner Holmes.  FULL STORY

Bears Pull Away Late
to Get by UND
Grand Forks -- Missouri State pulled away in the second half to post a 38-0 victory over North Dakota in front of a record home crowd of 18,386 at Plaster Stadium. The Bears (2-1) led 14-0 at halftime and senior quarterback Kierra Harris threw three second-half touchdown passes to put the game away in what was the first meeting between the two teams on the gridiron. Both teams forced three turnovers in the contest, but the Bears were able to turn theirs into 21 points, while UND (1-2) could not get on the scoreboard following any of Missouri State’s three fumbles. “I was disappointed at halftime because I felt like we missed some opportunities to score and we gave up a score because of a poor decision on special teams and by not protecting the ball when we were backed up,” UND head coach Bubba Schweigert said. ”I felt like we were still in the game, but we just didn’t generate enough on the offensive side. “Defensively, we made plays to give us some opportunities, but we were not able to convert those into points. We never really had any momentum tonight.”  FULL STORY

Time Runs Out on Marauders in 42-34 Loss at Winona State
Bismarck – Playing without their starting quarterback and trailing by two touchdowns at intermission on the road, it would have been easy for the University of Mary football team to pack it in. Instead, the Marauders battled from behind all day against a high-powered Winona State University squad before simply running out of time in a 42-34 loss to the Warriors. Forced to play without injured quarterback Zach Roberson, the Marauders turned to redshirt freshman Ben Jolliffe. In his first collegiate start, the Bismarck, N.D., native threw three touchdown passes to keep U-Mary in striking distance of Winona State all afternoon. The Marauders, who overcame a 16 point fourth quarter deficit the previous week, slips to 1-1 overall and in the NSIC. The Warriors improve to 2-0. The Warriors scored on the first possession of the game when Theo Burkett ran in from 11 yards out on the Statue of Liberty play. The scamper capped a 6-play, 70-yard drive just 2:16 into the game. Ben Jolliffe wasted no time in striking back, connecting with his brother Nick Jolliffe, an All-Northern Sun wide receiver, from 18 yards out to even the game at 7-7.  FULL STORY
DSU Rallies for First Win Against Waldorf
Dickinson -- The Dickinson State football team’s fate rested on its own one-yard line. With less than three minutes left and up four points against Waldorf College, the Blue Hawks’ defense came through during their inaugural North Star Athletic Association game. DSU’s defense stopped opposing quarterback Christopher Smith for a turnover on downs and solidified the team’s first win of the season 27-23 on Saturday. “It’s just a big, big win in a lot of ways. One, to go on such a long road trip and come out of there with the win was huge and then it was just important for our team and program, that’s the big thing,” said Pete Stanton, who picked up his first career win as head coach for DSU. “On the road it’s hard enough to win games, but to go 600-plus miles and to get the win even when it didn’t look very good at times was big for us. I’m really proud of the guys.”  

By Jeff Baranick
-- As we move deeper into September on the North Dakota prep sports landscape, football and volleyball teams have all entered conference or regional play and cross-country squads from both the A & B ranks are competing against each other in some large invitational meets. Beginning on the gridiron, KDKT Sports Radio was on hand in Coal Country this past Friday for the Beulah Miners' homecoming game; the Miners hosted top-ranked and defending AA state champion Bismarck St. Mary's at  Riverside Park in the West Region opener for both teams. The visiting Saints scored early on a 48-yard TD toss from Sr QB Gus Smrekar to Sr wideout Byrne Curl, and they never looked back in cruising to a shutout win over the Miners, 31-0. In the decisive win, Smrekar was 7-of-14 passing for 188 yards and 2 TDs (as he also connected with Curl on a 55-yard 2nd-quarter scoring play), and St. Mary's running backs combined for 158 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns. Senior All-State tailback Jacob Heinert led all running backs with 89 ground yards on 19 rushing attempts. Additionally, Saints' Sr placekicker Jordan Smith booted four extra points and a 35-yard field goal to help his team improve to a 3-0 on the young season. Besides establishing the large lead on the scoreboard, St. Mary's also had a commanding advantage in total yards--346 to 179. For Beulah, the leading yard-producer was Sr RB Tanner Erickson who gained 67 rushing yards on 22 carries. The Saints' next outing is this upcoming Friday versus Turtle Mountain in Belcourt, while the Miners host Stanley-Powers Lake in another West Region contest. Elsewhere on the AA scene, Dickinson Trinity blanked Central Dakota 27-zip, Minot Bishop Ryan trounced Turtle Mountain 41-0, 2nd-ranked Fargo Shanley blasted Maple Valley-Enderlin 49-12, and #3 Wahpeton whitewashed Lisbon 58-0. Also, 4th-rated Watford City shut out Stanley-Powers Lake 21-0 and Grafton-St. Thomas upended 5th-ranked Valley City 20-14. In Class A play, #1 and two-time defending state champion Hazen crunched Central McLean 42-6; #2 Oakes breezed past Linton-HMB 50-26; 4th-rated Killdeer overwhelmed New Salem-Glen Ullin 51-6; #5 Rugby held off Harvey-Wells County 30-24; Heart River hammered Hettinger-Scranton 34-14; Carrington disposed of Kidder County 42-0; Des Lacs-Burlington downed Velva 27-12; and in a Region 4 matchup dubbed the "Mega Bowl", Southern McLean routed Garrison-Max 39-14. In 9-man action, top-ranked and defending state champion Cavalier destroyed Finley-Sharon-Hope-Page 76-0; #2 Shiloh Christian bombed Bowman County 50-8; 3rd-rated Towner-Granville-Upham prevailed over Kenmare-Bowbells-Burke Central 42-26; 4th-ranked LaMoure-Litchville-Marion dumped Napoleon-Gackle-Streeter 36-12; Grant County-Flasher pummeled Trenton-Trinity Christian 56-22; Mott-Regent mauled Center-Stanton 48-14; Richardton-Taylor-Hebron blitzed Beach 71-34; and Westhope-Newburg-Glenburn ransacked Divide County 36-6. In AAA games, #1 Fargo South survived Grand Forks Red River 33-28; 2nd-ranked Bismarck destroyed Dickinson 55-7; 3rd-rated Fargo Davies trimmed Devils Lake 41-25; #4 Minot eased past #5 Jamestown 27-17; Century outlasted Mandan 27-20; and West Fargo whipped West Fargo-Sheyenne 34-14. KDKT Sports Radio's next football broadcast is this upcoming Friday when the Hazen Bison host the New Salem-Glen Ullin Holsteins. Kickoff is slated for 7:00 pm CDT with pre-game commentary commencing at 6:30. On the volleyball court this past week, action was fast and furious, with a plethora of matches staged on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and some tournament play over the weekend. Regarding West River teams, Hazen fell to Minot Our Redeemer's 3-0 on Tuesday, but bounced back two nights later to sweep Glen Ullin-Hebron 3-zip. Other 3-0 winners last week included Beulah, Glenburn, Grant County, New England, and Dickinson Trinity over Hettinger-Scranton, Underwood, Turtle Lake-Mercer-McClusky, Killdeer, and Bowman County, respectively. Teams earning 3-1 victories were Garrison-Max over Wilton-Wing, New Salem-Almont over Kidder County, and Heart River at the expense of Richardton-Taylor. Additionally, Grant County, Wilton-Wing, Minot Ryan, Shiloh Christian, Center-Stanton, and New England prevailed over Washburn, Flasher, Bottineau, Garrison, Richardton-Taylor, and Mott-Regent, respectively. Two area tournaments were staged over the weekend--the Center-Stanton & Watford City Invitationals. The Heart River Cougars captured the top-tier Gold Division title of the Center-Stanton tourney with a 2-0 victory (25-21 & 25-23) over Enderlin. Meanwhile, in Watford City, the upper-level Gold Division titlist was the host Wolves--2-0 winners over Burke County (25-16 & 26-24). Finally, on the cross-country landscape, Mandan hosted its annual Kiwanis Invitational meet at the city's municipal golf course on Saturday afternoon with a host of West River teams from both the Class A & Class B ranks participating. In the 12-team boys' division, team champion was Bismarck High with six runners among the top 11 finishers. The victorious Demons tallied a meet-low 31 points--72 markers better than Class B New Town. Individual winner was Bismarck's Sam Clausnitzer who traversed the 5K course in 15:39.07. Runner-up was New Town Eagle distance ace Ryan Wheeling who clocked 15:53.55. The girls' team champion (among 11 varsity squads) was Century with 52 total points--52 markers better than the runner-up Bismarck High. Claiming the girls' individual crown was last year's state champion, Jordan Jacob of the Century Patriots. She finished the 4K race in 14:10.15.  Finishing behind Jacob in the individual standings was Patriot teammate Kelby Anderson; she turned in a time of 14:18.37.

Filed by Veteran KDKT Sportscaster Jeff Baranick

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