Playoff rematch | Blue Jays square off with Minot in play-in gameIt couldn’t have been much closer the first time Jamestown and Minot met this season. More is on the line tonight at Duane Carlson Stadium when the evenly matched teams meet in the West Region play-in game, with the winner moving onto the Class AAA quarterfinals to play top-ranked Fargo South on Saturday.
By: David Selvig, The Jamestown Sun
The Jamestown Sun
It couldn’t have been much closer the first time Jamestown and Minot met this season.
More is on the line tonight at Duane Carlson Stadium when the evenly matched teams meet in the West Region play-in game, with the winner moving onto the Class AAA quarterfinals to play top-ranked Fargo South on Saturday.
Back on Sept. 20 at Ernie Gates Field the numbers looked like this:
r First downs: Jamestown 12, Minot 10.
r Rushing yards: Jamestown 213, Minot 192.
r Passing yards: Jamestown 78, Minot 81.
r Total offense: 291 Jamestown, Minot 278.
r Penalties: Jamestown 5, Minot 9.
Of course, the only number that really mattered was the final score: Minot 24-18, thanks mainly to a double-pass/trick play the Magicians turned into a game-winning touchdown with 90 seconds left. The Blue Jays led 18-16 prior to the play.
All of that, of course, matters little tonight.
“It’s one of those where they’re a better team than they were then, and so are we,” said coach Bill Cahill. “They know us, and we know them. It comes down to who executes better.”
Both teams can run the ball. In fact, that’s about all the Magicians can do. They’ve struggled throwing the ball all year and rank last in the West in passing. Minot (6-3 overall, 5-2 West Region) is unaccustomed to playing prior to the first weekend of the Class AAA playoffs. They ended in a three-way tie for second with Bismarck Century and Williston, but lost tiebreakers to both.
“They’re going to run (Spencer) Bickel and (Kalvin) Larson. We know that,” Cahill said. ‘The question is can we stop it? There aren’t many secrets this time of year.”
The Blue Jays are the more balanced of the two teams, running for 1,567 and throwing for 1,393. The throwing part of that is in question with quarterback Michael Bangs’ status for the game uncertain because of banged up ribs. If he can’t go, sophomore Jordan Lynch will run the offense.
“You hate to not have a player the caliber of Mike, but Jordan will be OK,” Cahill said. “We’ll still have to find a way to get the ball to (Jordan) Piatz.”
Defensively, the Blue Jays have come on of late. They’ve shut out Mandan and Dickinson in consecutive games.
“We’ve made some good strides. We’re playing better,” Cahill said.
It will be the fourth straight year the Blue Jays have been in the play-in game. They lost to Dickinson in 2005 and Williston in 2006, before beating the Midgets at home last season, with all three games decided by a touchdown or less.
This time of year, all any team wants is a chance, and the Blue Jays have one.
“You play all season just to get an opportunity. Right now, everybody’s even,” Cahill said. “It’s a fun time of year. But it’s also the time where you need to be playing your best if you want to have a chance to win.”
Jamestown High School 2008 Football Statistics
Record: 4-5 overall, 3-4 West Region.
Schedule: Aug. 30 vs. Grand Forks Central (W, 32-19); Sept. 5 at Wahpeton (L, 61-46); Sept. 12 at Bismarck, L, 35-6).; Sept. 19 vs. Minot (L, 24-18); Sept. 26 at Bismarck St. Mary’s (W, 36-19); Oct. 3 vs. Bismarck Century, (L, 20-6); Oct. 11 at Williston (L, 45-18).; Oct. 17 vs. Mandan (W, 38-0); Oct. 22 vs. Dickinson (21-0).
Rushing: Michael Bangs 126-496, Kyle Walden 68-407, Dakota Walker 73-294, Charles Regan 48-247, Jordan Lynch 15-113, Mike Heinrich 1-22, Andy Lillejord 2-9, John Kleese 3-0, Ryan Hendrickson 1-2, Jordan Piatz 1-(-1). Totals: 338-1,567. 4.6 yards per carry.
Passing: Michael Bangs 87-159 1,393 yards, 14 touchdowns, 13 interceptions; Jordan Lynch 5-8 104 yards, 1 touchdown. Totals: 92-167 1,497 yards, 15 touchdowns, 13 interceptions.
Receiving: Jordan Piatz 44-902, Brian Sinner 34-438, Ben Walker 4-30, Mike Heinrich 3-51, Kyle Walden 3-39, Jordan Lynch 2-30, Dakota Walker 1-7. Totals: 92-1,497 yards. 16.3 yards per reception.
Scoring: Jordan Piatz 76 points (12 touchdowns, 2 2-point conversions), Michael Bangs 58 points (8 touchdowns, 5 2-point conversions), Dakota Walker 22 points (3 touchdowns, 2 2-point conversions), Brian Sinner 18 points (3 touchdowns), Kyle Walden 14 points (2 touchdowns, 1 2-point conversion), Jordan Lynch 14 points (2 touchdowns, 1 2-point conversion), Shane Gallagher 6 points (1 touchdown), Ben Walker 6 points (1 touchdown), Tim Smith 5 points (5-for-5 on extra-point kicks), Mike Heinrich 2 points (1 2-point conversion).
Total offense: 3,060 yards. 340 yards per game.
Scoring offense: 221 points. 24.6 points per game.
Turnovers: 23 (13 interceptions, 10 fumbles lost).
Total defense: 2,863 yards. (326-1,666 rushing, 1,197 passing). 318.1 yards allowed per game.
Scoring defense: 223 points allowed. 24.8 points allowed per game.
Forced turnovers: 18 (6 interceptions, 12 fumble recoveries).
Interceptions: 6 (Jordan Piatz 4, John Schmitz 2).
Sacks: 11 (Andy Bjugstad 4, Charles Regan 2, Kyle Walden 1.5, Josh Wilkinson 1.5, Ryan Benson 1, John Schmitz 1).
Tackles for loss: 30 (Charles Regan 9, Shane Gallagher 6, Kyle Walden 4, Tyler Mielke 2, Brett Sinner 2, Ryan Benson 1, Andy Bjugstad 1, John Schmitz 1, Aaron Wilkinson 1, Team 3).
Sun sports writer Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org