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Jays look to showcase playmakers against Squirrels

Jamestown wide receiver Jeremy Williams runs for a first down against Fargo Shanley on Aug. 24 in the Jays' home opener at Ernie Gates Field. John M. Steiner / The Sun

The fourth-ranked Jamestown High School football team finally had a chance to showcase its offensive weapons during a road game against Watford City on Aug. 31.

Blue Jay quarterback Tommy Falk linked up with wide receiver Jeremy Williams for the duos' third touchdown of the year off a 47-yard strike. It didn't stop there as Falk found tight end Marcus Hochhalter twice for 48 total yards, Jacob Hilgemann twice for 32 and Max Anderson once for 20.

Running backs Chris Sayler, Aaron Mack and Chris Erickson also combined for 93 yards and two touchdowns on the ground during the 47-6 victory over the Wolves.

"We played real well and they're pretty young," Jamestown coach Bill Nelson said of Watford City. "We got rolling offensively, defensively and everything continued to be in our favor."

Jamestown (1-1) will need all of its weapons, and maybe a little bit more, against third-ranked, heavy-passing and quick-scoring Central Cass (2-0) Friday night at Ernie Gates Field. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m.

"They've done really well the first two weeks," Nelson said of the Squirrels. "But I think we pose some problems of what we can and will do.

"They're very heavy on the passing side and they'll want to go up top. That's very evident on film."

Central Cass and Jamestown aren't very similar scheme-wise, but both teams have brought back most of their offensive weapons at quarterback, running back and wide receiver.

The Squirrels are led by Jonah Lietz under center, who's the school's all-time passing yards leader. Braeden Knutson is returning in the back field, and Jaylen Albrecht and Jacob Halvorson will be at receiver.

"They have a quarterback that's a pretty talented kid, he's thrown for a lot of yards and he'll chuck it up," Nelson said of Lietz. "He's going to drop back out of the shotgun. We know what their run-pass ratio is but could that change against us? Yeah it might.

"But I'd like to say we have a pretty good 11 on our side and it'll be a good test."

Williams, a sophomore, has been a difference maker at cornerback where he's tallied seven tackles and one pick-six interception. Jared Kallenbach also returned at defensive back against the Wolves where he recorded a pair of tackles. Jamestown has three pick-six interceptions, as well.

Hochhalter is the team leader with nine tackles, while Aaron Mack, Lawson Frey also have seven.

"They've played really well," Nelson said of the defense. "Every week is a different challenge, though, because they're a heavy zone offense, with long receivers. It'll be a good test."

Through two games, Jamestown has held opponents to 76 rushing yards per game and 161.5 through the air.

On defense, the Squirrels will show a five-man defensive front, which Falk and the Jamestown offense have yet to see this season. Central Cass defeated Wahpeton 50-8 in Week 1 and defeated formerly third-ranked Devils Lake 39-19 last Friday.

"We have to take care of the ball and not give up any big plays," Nelson said. "They've thrived on big plays. Against Wahpeton, Central Cass was forcing turnovers, scoring quick and things just snowballed fast."

Mitchell Johnson

Hometown: Enumclaw, WA; College: Central Washington University

(360) 918-1853