Posted 11/04/14 (Tue)
By Neal A. Shipman
Justin Johnsrud knew that his Watford City football team would be in an uphill fight when the Wolves took on the Fargo Shanley Deacons in the quarterfinals of the Class AA football playoffs on Saturday.
The Deacons, who were the No. 1 team from the Class AA East Region, set the tone for the game early. After Watford City went three and out on its first possession, the Deacons scored on their first play from scrimmage.
The Wolves’ second possession didn’t fare much better. The Wolves were forced to punt after three plays, with the Deacons tacking on their second touchdown on their second play.
“The wind played a big factor in the first quarter,” stated Johnsrud, Wolves’ head coach. “We were unable to put a drive together into the wind, and it gave Shanley excellent field position the entire first quarter.”
Shanley would score three touchdowns in the first quarter en route to a 41-7 win over Watford City.
Watford City wasn’t able to sustain any offensive drives in the second and third quarters as Fargo Shanley would score once in each of the quarters to lead the Wolves, 34-0, going into the final eight minutes of play.
“Shanley is a very good team. Their speed was a determining factor in the game,” stated Johnsrud. “Our kids did what we asked them to do and played very good assignment football. We just seemed to be a step late on some of their big plays.”
Watford City finally got on the scoreboard with under four minutes in the game on a 65-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Keegan Thompson.
Shanley held the Wolves to 48 total yards of offense in the first half and 166 yards in the game, while the Deacons rushed for 350 yards.
“I was pleased with the players’ effort and attitude. They played with pride and represented our school and community very well,” stated Johnsrud. “We just got beat by a better football team.”
While Johnsrud was disappointed to see Watford City’s season come to an end, he was still pleased with how his team performed all season.
“We had a good year. Making the playoffs in Class AA football is no easy task” stated Johnsrud. “The players worked hard each and every day and should be proud of their accomplishments this season.”
The Wolves ended their season with a 6-4 record.
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Fargo Shanley 21 6 7 7 41
Watford City 0 0 0 7 7