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Blue Jays 'getting better,' ready for a fight against Huskies

The Jamestown High School football team is scheduled take on Wahpeton on Friday.

jhs football gall n hochhalter 091622.jpg
Jamestown's Ethan Gall (59) escorts a Watford City defensive player away from Payton Hochhalter (3) during the Blue Jays homecoming game Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, at Charlotte and Gordon Hansen Stadium.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun
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JAMESTOWN — Friday will be a bit of a walk down memory lane for Jamestown High School head football coach Bill Nelson.

"This game, for me is a little special selfishly because Wahpeton is where I got my coaching start," Nelson said. "That stadium means a lot to me and it's fun to get to go back and coach there."

If all goes according to plan, Nelson will get his fifth win of the season at the stadium that made him into a JHS coaching mogul.

The Blue Jay football team is entering week No. 5 of the season at 4-0. Jamestown has outscored their opponents 173-52. Wahpeton is entering the contest split at 2-2.

The last time the two teams met was in 2018 up in Wahpeton. Overall the Jays are 15-7 against the Huskies and 2-0 since Nelson took over the head coaching position in 2015.


The Jamestown Country Club hosted the 2022 Class A State Golf Meet on Oct. 3-4.

"You don't see them but you do," Nelson said in an interview following the Blue Jays' win over Watford City. "In the world of film, it's not like it was in the old days when we had to pull VHS tapes. I've got all of Wahpeton's games just like they probably have all of our games.

"That's what you do — you start downloading film after you upload your film," he said. "We'll see what their strengths are and what their weaknesses are and we'll go from there."

After watching film from the Huskies previous five games, he came up with a few things the Jays will need to watch for on Friday.

"They throw a lot of different formations at you," Nelson said. "They run a lot of the same stuff but they come at it from a lot of different variations.

"They've got a really talented quarterback who is a really good athlete. They've got a good running back and they are big up front."

Jamestown's pair of QBs are no slouches either.

Payton Hochhalter was 12-for-19 through the air for 205 yards and three touchdowns last week. Hochhalter picked up another 44 yards on three carries. Backup Ryan Kallenbach entered the game in the fourth quarter and was 4-for-4 for 39 yards passing.

Halfway through the season, Hochhalter is 49-for-85 for a 57.65 completion rating. He has accumulated 879 passing yards and has tabulated 14 touchdowns through four games.


Nelson said that one of the things the Jays have been working on since week one, is being the instigators on offense and containing the other team's defense from the get-go.

The head coach said that his team did a much better job of this against Watford City but added that there was a lull in the second quarter that the Jays will need to rectify by the time Friday rolls around.

"Practicing hard equals playing hard," Nelson said. "We had a lot more energy on the sidelines and on the field (Friday) and we worked harder. Ironically all those things led to a much more successful second half."

Josh Robertson picked up 39 yards on 13 rushes. Robertson ended up in the endzone three times.

Andrew Walz was the team's leading receiver with three catches for 74 yards. Jackson Walters was the team's second-leading receiver with four receptions for 62 yards and two scores and a two-point conversion.

Colton Mewes was a powerhouse on defense, totaling 10 tackles — five solos and five assisted — against the Watford City offense. The senior recovered a Watford City fumble and made a sack.

Preston Gall had a trio of solo tackles, an interception and a block.

"We're pretty good but we can get better — plain and simple," Nelson said. "That's across the board — from me as the head coach to the coaching staff to the kids."


jhs football jorissen vs wc 5 091622.jpg
Jamestown's Tyson Jorissen (19) makes a catch away from Jason Hogue (5) of Watford City during the Blue Jays homecoming game Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, at Charlotte and Gordon Hansen Stadium.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

Katie Ringer is a sports reporter for the Jamestown Sun. Katie joined the Sun staff in the summer of 2019 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire with a degree in journalism. She can be reached by email at kringer@jamestownsun.com or by phone at 701-952-8460.
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