Determining Destiny: Jays head to Devils Lake in control
Jamestown High School put hosting a playoff football game near the top of its list this fall.
The second-ranked Blue Jays can meet that goal Saturday with a win over the fourth-ranked Firebirds in Devils Lake. A victory secures the Blue Jays the third seed for the upcoming Class 2A state playoffs, which will mean hosting an opening-round contest at Ernie Gates Field on Oct. 28.
"The dangling carrot is not a bad thing," Jamestown coach Bill Nelson said. "We're not there yet, but there's a lot of hungry individuals in this locker room."
A dominating, 35-8 victory over Wahpeton at home last Friday has the Blue Jays (5-2) cresting with two regular season games left to play. A suffocating defensive effort was supported with over 450 yards of offense, including 217 through the air.
Devils Lake is 2-2 over its last four contests and is allowing nearly 10 more points per game than the Blue Jays. The Firebirds (5-2) lost a six-overtime game to Wahpeton two weeks ago, 48-46.
"Devils Lake takes a few more chances on defense with blitzing," Nelson said. "It's a different front, so it's a little bit different alignment as far as some things we want to do.
"I think if we do our job we'll be able to move the ball against them, but then again if we don't get off the bus ready to play football anything can happen."
Jamestown senior running back Jared Harr rushed for 109 yards and two touchdowns against Wahpeton. He's scored nine times on the ground in seven games and is approaching 700 rushing yards (698).
Jamestown's run and pass blocking worked in harmony last weekend, allowing the team its best aerial assault of the season via sophomore quarterback Tommy Falk and six separate receivers.
"It's coming, but there's plenty of teachable moments every week," Nelson said. "As good as we played, there's a lot of things we can improve on and the kids know that."
Jamestown finishes the season facing the Spoilers (2-5) in Grafton on Oct. 21. Jamestown would host the conference's No. 6 team in first round of the playoffs with a win over Devils Lake.
"We're going to take care of what we can take care of, and that's going up and playing our brand of football in Devils Lake on Saturday," Nelson said. "We'll let everything else works itself out."