Bruins beat Jays: South ends Jamestown’s season in ‘AAA’ quarterfinals Fargo
FARGO—As good as tailback James Johannesson has been this season, Fargo South looked to its passing game to make the difference on Friday night.
A penalty halted a key drive for Jamestown in the second quarter, and South responded with an 81-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Zach Kellen to receiver Ty Brooks. That play put South up two scores en route to a 41-16 triumph in Class AAA opening-round action at South athletic field.
The Bruins (7-3) host Minot (9-1) in the state semifinals next Friday night.
“We’re playing our best football,” said South coach Troy Mattern, whose team piled up 458 yards of total offense. “This was a big step forward.”
South took full advantage of Jamestown’s defense, which piled players into the box in an effort to stop Johannesson. It seemed to work early on, but that just opened up South’s passing game.
Kellen ran for a 2-yard score in the first quarter and then found Gunnar Nyborg, who caught a jump ball along the sideline and raced 32 yards to pay dirt for a 13-3 lead in the second quarter. Kellen finished 6-of-13 for 165 yards.
The Blue Jays looked like they were about to respond. On third-and-3 from South’s 42-yard line, quarterback Ross Monson rolled right and connected with Logan Anderson at the 4-yard line. But the play was called back, as Monson stepped over the line of scrimmage as he threw the ball.
“It was a momentum thing. There could have been a change with that, but he was over the line,” Jamestown coach Tim Fletcher said. “Nothing you can do about it. Ross is a great kid and makes plays for us. He just kind of lost track where he was running there.”
On the first play following a punt, Kellen heaved the ball down the left sideline to Brooks, who reached over a defender to bring the pass down and then scampered the rest of the way for the TD.
“That’s how long it was? I didn’t know it was that long,” said Brooks of the yardage on the play. “My quarterback put it in a great spot.”
It was off and running from there, as Brooks followed with a 16-yard TD run on South’s ensuing drive. He finished with three catches for 109 yards and 3 carries for 24 yards.
“He broke his hand against Bismarck and we lost him for a few games,” Mattern said. “He takes some of the load of James, and tonight we were able to move the ball very well.”
Not to be outdone, Johannesson got his yards. He broke off a 37-yard gain on the first play of the second quarter to surpass 2,000 for the season. He finished with 13 carries for 194 yards including TD runs of 54 and 23.
“Give their running back a ton of credit; he’s a worthy opponent,” Fletcher said. “I give our kids credit to how we fought those last two quarters.”
Jamestown scored on a pair of 1-yard TD runs from Ben Hanson and Taylor Orr in the fourth quarter. In his last game, Orr finished with 15 carries for 101 yards and caught two passes for 53 yards.
For Jamestown, it was the final game for seven starters on offense and eight on defense. After winning five games in four years, the Blue Jays finished 6-4.
“Hopefully, this is a building point for us,” Fletcher said. “The senior class really set the tone for that building.”
Fargo South 41, Jamestown 16
Jamestown 3 0 0 13 — 16
Fargo South 7 27 7 0 — 41
J—Ben Hanson 37 field goal, 6:07.
FS—Zach Kellen 2 run (Josh Weiler kick), 2:34.
FS—Gunnar Nyborg 32 pass from Kellen (kick failed), 11;44.
FS—Ty Brooks 81 pass from Kellen (Weiler kick), 9:29.
FS—Brooks 16 run (Weiler kick), 5:25.
FS—James Johannesson 54 run (Weiler kick), 1:21.
F—Johannesson 23 run (Weiler kick), 3:13.
J—Hanson 1 run (Hanson kick), 5:59.
J—Taylor Orr 1 run (kick failed), 0:27.
TEAM STATISTICS JHS FS
Rushing 136 293
Passing 140 165
Total 276 458
RUSHING: FS, Johannesson 13-194, Logan Macziewski 3-42, Chris Prisinzano 5-26, Brooks 3-24, Augustus Siaway 5-7, Kellen 1-2. J, Taylor Orr 15-101, Eathan Gumke 5-13, Ross Monson 4-13, Hanson 2-5, Scott Nelson 1-4.
PASSING: FS, Kellen 6-13-0 165. J, Monson 11-22-1 140.
RECEIVING: FS, Brooks 3-109, Nyborg 1-32, Johannesson 1-16, Dylan Raftevold 1-8. J, Orr 2-53, Marc Wagner 3-52, Hanson 2-20, Tyler Ukestad 1-10, Joey Gebhardt 2-3, Shaun Hogan 1-1.
Records: Jamestown 6-4, Fargo South 7-3.
Sun sports writer Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or firstname.lastname@example.org