Posted 9/08/15 (Tue)
By Neal A. Shipman
Watford City got off to a rocky start, but the Wolves were able to grind out their first win of the season with a 32-19 victory over the Minot High JV on Thursday, Sept. 3.
“We had some mistakes, missed assignments, and penalties that really hurt us offensively in that first half,” stated Justin Johnsrud, Wolves’ head coach. “We were able to move the ball, but struggled to do it consistently. We did see some improvement in the passing game and were able to connect on a couple of nice completions.”
Watford City got on the scoreboard in the first quarter after Heath Chaffin recovered a Minot fumble on the Magi’s 34-yard line to give the Wolves a 7-0 lead.
Jarek Hogue then hooked up on a 25-yard pass completion to Jaydn Ewing in the early minutes of the second quarter to give the Wolves a 14-0 lead. The Magi would finally score their first touchdown with 2:22 left to give Watford City a 14-6 halftime advantage.
The Wolves would score twice in the third quarter to build their lead to 26-6 on big runs by Ewing. Ewing would scamper in from 25 yards out for Watford City’s first touchdown in the third quarter, and then four minutes later took a handoff 43 yards to the goal line.
“In the third quarter we saw a big improvement,” stated Johnsrud. “We played the type of football that we will need to play to be successful in the Region. We controlled the ball and the clock.”
Both of Watford City’s third quarter touchdowns came from their Jumbo Set, which according to Johnsrud, is pretty much smash-mouth football.
“We were able to break a couple of longer touchdown runs from that formation,” stated Johnsrud. “It was nice to see.”
Watford City would cap off their scoring with a fourth quarter touchdown on a six-yard run by Kyle Cook.
Minot would challenge late in the fourth quarter scoring two touchdowns. But the Wolves would hold on to take the 32-19 win.
“Our attitude and effort have been good all year in practice and games,” stated Johnsrud. “Every player is giving maximum effort, but we have hurt ourselves with the mental errors. I’m hoping with another week of practice and hard work we can be at our best for the first Region contest.”
Offensively, Watford City gained 295 total yards compared to 220 yards for Minot. Watford City ran 40 rushing plays for 215 yards, and completed three passing plays for 80 yards.
The next action for the Wolves will be at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 11, when Watford City hosts Stanley in their first regional game.
“I expect Stanley to be a tough test for our football team,” stated Johnsrud. “We need to play fundamentally-sound football. And if we can eliminate the miscues and shore up our assignments, I like our chances.”
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Minot JV 0 6 0 13 19
Watford City 7 7 12 6 32