Pats too much for JaysThis time, it was turnovers. The Jamestown High School football team forced Bismarck Century to turn the ball over on downs three times in the first half, but two interceptions and two fumbles from the Blue Jay offense led the Patriots to a big halftime lead and a 35-8 West Region victory Friday night at Ernie Gates Field.
By: By Chris Aarhus, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
This time, it was turnovers.
The Jamestown High School football team forced Bismarck Century to turn the ball over on downs three times in the first half, but two interceptions and two fumbles from the Blue Jay offense led the Patriots to a big halftime lead and a 35-8 West Region victory Friday night at Ernie Gates Field.
“That was really big,” Century coach Ron Wingenbach said. “We were down 7-0 in turnovers the last two games and that’s been an emphasis in practice. It’s a good sign to go up 4-0 in a half.”
Century (2-1 West, 3-2 overall) didn’t waste any time, as senior running back Dylan Leutz busted a 48-yard run on the second offensive play of the game and followed that with a 9-yard touchdown run. Leutz led the Patriots on the ground, rushing 10 times for 79 yards. Ben Kraft ran for 65 yards on 11 carries.
“They came out and scored quick and that got us down,” Jamestown tight end Marc Wagner said. “But I’m really proud of how we battled.”
After punts by each team, the Blue Jays turned it over on each of their next four possessions, the biggest one coming with 6 minutes, 36 seconds remaining in the second quarter. Deep in Blue Jay territory, Century senior Brennan Doan stepped in front of a pass from Jamestown quarterback Matt Grounds on a slant pattern and returned it 13 yards for a TD.
“We just couldn’t find our rhythm,” Wagner said. “There’s gonna be bad offensive nights; there’s gonna be good offensive nights. It’s gonna happen.”
After a Jamestown punt late in the first half, Century quarterback Jared Fischer hooked up with senior Drew Wiseman on a 77-yard screen pass down the left sideline that put the Patriots up 21-0 at halftime.
Wiseman was the star of the third quarter after he intercepted a Grounds pass intended for Wagner over the middle and ran it back 33 yards for a score to stake Century’s 28-0 lead. Kraft added a 2-yard score late in the game to finish it off.
Jamestown’s defense fared better than last week, allowing 386 yards including 230 on the ground.
However, the offense was stagnant most of the game. Grounds struggled, finishing 6-of-14 for 69 yards and three interceptions.
The Blue Jays rushed for 91 yards on 28 carries, led by Anthony Cook’s 19-carry, 73-yard effort. And despite the trouble on offense, Jamestown was never penalized, which has been its Achilles’ heel this season. Century was flagged seven times for 73 yards.
The Jays did put together a seven-play, 72-yard drive in the final minute of the fourth quarter that was capped by a 10-yard touchdown pass from Grounds to Tyler Ukestad, his first of the year.
“That was a big thing for us,” Wagner said. “We’re trying to get respect in this league. We need to show them we’ll fight till the clock is zero.”
Wingenbach seemed to get the message.
“That football team, they’re doing things right,” Wingenbach said of the Blue Jays. “They’re gonna be heard from. It’s just gonna take a little while.”
Next up for Jamestown is top-ranked and defending state champion Bismarck High, which hosts the Jays on Friday.
Bismarck Century 35, Jamestown 8
Century 7 21 28 35
Jamestown 0 0 0 8
BC — Dylan Leutz 9 run (Dominic Neameyer kick), 11:01.
BC — Brennan Doan 13 interception return (Neameyer kick), 6:36.
BC — Drew Wiseman 77 pass from Jared Fischer (Neameyer kick), 2:07.
BC — Drew Wiseman 33 interception return (Neameyer kick), 3:28.
BC — Ben Kraft 2 run (Neameyer kick), 4:29.
JHS — Tyler Ukestad 10 pass from Matt Grounds (Anthony Cook run), 0:07.
Rushing 230 91
Passing 156 59
Total 386 150
Rushing — BC, Leutz 10-79, Kraft 11-65, Brandon Miller 6-35, Hunter Babeck 5-28, Jared Fischer 3-11, Dillon Pierce 3-11. J, Anthony Cook 19-73, Taylor Orr 4-9, Eathan Gumke 3-6, Grounds 2-3.
Passing — BC, Fischer 7-13-0 156. J, Grounds 6-14-3 69.
Receiving — BC, Wiseman 3-91, Hunter Walsh 1-23, Matt Van Voorhis 1-17, Tyler Rudolph 1-14, Braxton Felch 1-11. J, Ben Walz 1-27, Sean Lindberg 1-14, Marc Wagner 1-11, Ukestad 1-10, Cook 1-4, C.J. Soulis 1-3.
Turnovers — BC 0, JC 5 (3 interceptions, 2 fumbles)
Penalties — BC 7-73, J 0-0.
Sun sports writer Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or by email at email@example.com