Jays hope history repeats itself

One year ago, Jamestown senior quarterback Jordan Lynch scampered 48 yards for a score to put the Blue Jays up by two touchdowns over Grand Forks Central with just over five minutes remaining in the game.

John M. Steiner / The Sun Jamestown defenders take down a Devils Lake rusher during the season-opener earlier this year at Ernie Gates Field. Jamestown will hit the road to play Grand Forks Central tonight.

One year ago, Jamestown senior quarterback Jordan Lynch scampered 48 yards for a score to put the Blue Jays up by two touchdowns over Grand Forks Central with just over five minutes remaining in the game.

The Knights cut into the lead in the final minute, but Jamestown was able to hang on to pick up its first victory of the season.

The win snapped a nine-game losing streak that dated back to 2009 and ultimately prevented the Blue Jays from finishing the year with that ignominious zero in the win column.

Last year's triumph is nothing Jamestown coach Bill Cahill has to remind his team of before the Blue Jays take the field tonight opposite Central, but with two wins under their belt, the Knights may be walking with a little swagger when they take the field.

"Central has won two games this year, so they're a better team than people anticipated," Cahill said. "They beat Fargo South -- maybe South isn't as strong as they have been, but it's still South -- and they beat North."


And playing at home this time will only provide more incentive for a team that has won two of its last three games.

"They've had some close games this year, but they've come out on top a couple times," Cahill said. "They've got to be playing with a little more confidence right now."

Central has struggled with consistency on both sides of the ball, but when things are going right for the Knights, they can do some damage.

"They're not a Bismarck and they're not a Century, but they're capable of being somewhat explosive," said Cahill, who is in his 14th year at the helm. "By us playing probably the two best teams in the state the last two weeks, have we learned any lessons from that? If we have learned them and we apply them, it could be a pretty good game."

The Knights, after being held to just 20 points combined in the first three weeks, have scored 55 points over the last three games, including a 27-point outing against South.

Central quarterback Chad Goering threw for two touchdowns and running back Tyler Haug ran for one as the Knights ended their season-opening skid at three losses.

Goering has thrown for 539 yards and five touchdowns this year, but he also has the ability to tuck the ball and run for big chunks of yardage. The 5-foot-9 senior has run for 295 yards this year and, in fact, led the Knights in rushing against the Bruins.

"They've got a pretty good quarterback," Cahill said. "He seems to throw the ball OK, but their running back getting to the outside is the biggest concern for us. He's a fast little kid."


Tyler Haug, at 5-foot-10, 190 pounds, has rushed for a team-leading 484 yards on the ground and has also caught three passes for 34 yards. It was his 15-yard TD run last week in the third quarter that almost sparked a come-from-behind victory against Devils Lake. The Firebirds, however, were able to hang on to win 14-7.

The Knights have been porous defensively this season, allowing over 1,000 yards through the air and another 1,300 yards on the ground. Both stats bode well for the Blue Jays, who have been shut out the last three weeks.

Jamestown (0-6, 0-4 West) has shuffled up its offense some since the season-opener against Devils Lake, mostly due to injuries, but the biggest shift has been at quarterback.

Junior Matt Grounds will be making his second straight start under center, while Brady Anderson -- the starting QB for the first five weeks -- will line up on the outside at receiver.

The change has given the Blue Jays another target on the outside, and the two have already found some chemistry.

Two weeks ago, Grounds came into the game late and connected with Anderson for a 32-yard strike, and last week, the camaraderie continued.

Grounds hit Anderson four times for 43 yards, including a 24-yard pass on the final play that nearly got into the end zone for the Blue Jays' first score in over 160 minutes.

"It gives us another receiver out there that can make some plays," said Cahill. "Matt throws a pretty good ball. He's been working hard this year and deserves a chance to show that he could do something. I thought he threw some pretty good balls.


"The key to it is Brady. Brady is a good enough athlete that we want to give him and Willy (Marler) the ball."

Marler leads the team with 12 receptions for 180 yards, but Anderson, in just two games at wide receiver, already has five catches for 75 yards.

"We're going to do the stuff that we had some success with against Bismarck and against Century," Cahill said. "Hopefully, being able to do it against two Bismarck schools, translates into being able to do it a little more effectively against someone who is a little more at our level."

The Blue Jays have been experimenting with the shotgun offense this season, and at times have made it effective. But it's still a work in progress.

"We're getting better with it," said Cahill. "That's been out of necessity because our line has lost some guys, and we've had to put some other guys in. We feel it gives us a better opportunity to do something out of shotgun rather than going under center."

Jamestown will return home once more before ending the regular season on the road against Minot. Williston will make the long haul to Ernie Gates Field next week, and if the Blue Jays can pick up a little momentum with a road victory tonight, the home crowd will likely have a little more energy when the Coyotes arrive in Jamestown.

Jamestown Season statistics



Rushing 161-507 227-1,815

Yds./carry 3.1 8.0

Passing (comp-att-int) 34-110-13 50-89-1

Passing yards 496 829

Total offense 1,003 2,644

Turnovers 22 3

JHS individual statistics

Rushing: Anthony Cook 66-253, Brett Mayher 22-97, Tanner Olson 25-73, Matt Grounds 17-54, Tony Smith 4-21, Brady Anderson 24-7, Caleb Ellingson 2-2, Terry Bruns 1-0.


Passing: Anderson 25 for 79, 365 yards, TD, 8 INTs; Grounds 9 for 31, 131 yards, 5 INTs.

Receiving: Willy Marler 12-180, Nathan Ellingson 6-112, Olson 6-87, Anderson 5-75, Andrew Craig 1-22, Smith 4-20, Tony Smith 1-8.

Interceptions: Nate Purcell.

Sun sports writer David Griswold can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or by e-mail at . Follow him at

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