Jays lose Dallmann, prep for Firebirds
Jamestown High School's running game took a big hit last Friday night in Wahpeton.
Leading rusher Brandon Dallmann suffered an ankle injury in the second half of a 30-0 victory. Blue Jay head football coach Bill Nelson said the Jays' top rusher will be out 3-4 weeks, which could allow him to return for a late playoff game.
"I told him, 'You expect the worst but hope for the best,'" Nelson said. "He still has to be the 'Juice Man' but more of a cheerleader this time. The guys have been supportive but it's that next man up thing.
"We have guys willing and ready."
The victory over the Huskies gave Jamestown its first two-game winning streak of the year and improved the team to 4-3. Jamestown plays Devils Lake this Friday, Oct. 12, at Ernie Gates Field at 7 p.m.
Dallmann has rushed for 500 yards on 88 carries and five touchdowns this fall (5.68 yards per carry). He had a breakout game during Jamestown's 46-14 victory at Turtle Mountain, scrambling for 132 yards.
Fullback Aaron Mack has shared the carries out of the backfield this season with Dallmann, having rushed for 408 yards on 63 touches, which includes a 171-yard performance against the Huskies.
"That was the most complete football game Aaron's ever played," Nelson said. "Both sides of the ball he was lights out."
Chris Erickson has been named the starter at running back for tonight's game but only has 9 attempts for 49 yards in a backup role.
"Chris will take the reps from tailback and we have a couple other guys to help out too," Nelson said. "We feel real comfortable with the guys.
"We'll have a couple things up our sleeve, the team knows what's happening."
The Blue Jays have been without a kicker for a couple weeks after Chris Sayler also suffered an injury. Jamestown went for the 2-point conversion after every touchdown against Wahpeton.
"It was more based on field conditions," Nelson explained. "It was wet and muddy. We were clicking offensively and made 3 of 4 conversions."
Jared Kallenbach, who is also a receiver and defensive back, will be kicking and punting against Devils Lake. The senior has punted a dozen times but only kicked two extra points.
"Kallenbach has been doing a little more kicking," Nelson said. "It's something that I never knew he could kick. About a month ago he was messing around out there and the kids said he kicked a 40-yard field goal.
"He played soccer until he was 13, so he's not a toe-puncher like Chris Sayler is."
The Firebirds feature all-state running back Joey Hornstein, who Nelson calls one of the top two backs in the state.
"Joey is a tall, lanky kid that has good breakaway speed and he'll break tackles," Nelson said. "He's a very talented kid and you have to know where he's at."
Devils Lake played well against Bismarck St. Mary's, falling 17-15, but has escaped with victories over Wahpeton (21-14) and Grafton (16-8). The Firebirds' worst loss came against Valley City, where they lost 6-0 back on Sept. 21.
"They've struggled to pass the ball but they'll keep trying to throw it around," Nelson said.
Tonight's game is senior night for the Jays' 20 seniors.