Week One North Dakota Previews

The nine-man teams already have a game under their belts but now we’ll take a look at some of the more interesting games of the weekend in North Dakota high school football.


Fargo South (0-0) at Bismarck Century (0-0) Fargo South is coming off of an amazing run at the very top of Class AAA. They’ve made the trip to the Dakota Bowl seven straight seasons now. Head Coach Troy Mattern enters his second year at the Bruins helm. To say that South lost a lot of talent is like saying Tarvaris Jackson has some work to do on his mechanics. The big line will have to stabilize the Bruins as they try to stay atop the EDC. They take on the team many are picking in the WDA, the Century Patriots. Look for a low scoring game and South to surprise Century in a close one. THE PICK: South over Century

West Fargo (0-0) at Bismarck High (0-0) Many wondered why I left West Fargo out of my pre-season power rankings. They lost 20 of their 22 starters to graduation. They have a lot of holes to fill and they’ll need some time to acclimate to the new season. There’s no doubt in my mind that the Packers will be among the top teams in the EDC at the end of the year. However they start the season against one of the most talented squads in the state. Although they return few on offense the Demons defense expects to be stout with Dexter Werner, Reed Hendrickson, Kip Jangula and Brett Adam to name just a few. Watch for Devin Schirado to light things up on offense. THE PICK: Bismarck over West Fargo


Velva (0-0) at Bishop Ryan (0-0) Many question whether Velva can sustain their excellence atop Class A. Head Coach Larry Sandy will have his hands full as they reload to try to win their third straight title. Although the Aggies will struggle to find the kind of firepower that they had last season quarterback Ty Brunner should give them enough of a spark to get past Bishop Ryan. Last season the Lions lost a hard fought battle with Velva 13-0. They’ll try to crack the scoreboard with Sam Ebert running the show. THE PICK: Velva over Bishop Ryan


Fargo Shanley (0-0) @ Fargo Davies (0-0) This will be an interesting battle between teams on the opposite sides of tradition. Davies marches into a new stadium trying to get their first win as a varsity program against the stories AA state champs. The good news for Davies is that they return a full-load of talent and experience. All the starters for Coach Jason Thielges are back and ready to make a name for themselves. Shanley took it to Davies last season 50-20 with one of their best teams in school history. This season Tyler Rivard will have to have to set the pace on offense behind a talented core of linemen. Look for the Deacon defense to shine once again with seven starters returning. THE PICK: Fargo Shanley over Fargo Davies


LaMoure-Litchville-Marion (0-0) @Napolean/Gackle-Streeter (0-0) The new region system in 9-man football makes Region 1 the one to watch. Look for this to be an early season classic with my number 1 & 2 teams battling in their second contest. LaMoure-Litchville-Marion Loboes moved into new territory in 9-man football and Coach Joel Bickford has the depth and the athletes to make some noise in this region. Tyler Thielges spread the ball around at quarterback to give the Loboes an easy win on Tuesday. Napolean/Gackle-Streeter hopes to have an answer for the Loboes with a stout defense. The Imperials feature their own high-powered offense with Jonah Schwartzenberger airing it out. He threw for 224 yards and three touchdowns to open the season on Tuesday. Look for a lot of passing and scoring on Saturday night. THE PICK: LaMoure over Napolean

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