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Former JHS superstars take in a new era of Jamestown football

The Jamestown High School football team hosted Watford City for Homecoming on Sept. 16, 2022.

jhs football walz vs wc 15 091622.jpg
Jamestown's Andrew Walz (1) helps break up a pass intended for Levi Musser (15) 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
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JAMESTOWN — It's been 35 years since Mr. Basketball 1987 Bryan Flam has taken in a Jamestown High School football game.

The 2022 Blue Jays gave the Jamestown High School Class of 2022 Hall of Fame inductee and Class of 1987 JHS grad a good one to watch Friday night.

The Blue Jays moved to 4-0 in the Class A standings with a 47-0 Homecoming win over Watford City. The No. 1 team in Class A football will be at Wahpeton next Friday.

MORE BLUE JAY COVERAGE
The Jamestown High School cross-country and volleyball teams were in action on Sept. 24.

Flam along with other JHS hall of famers, Don Schmeichel and Morgan (Dale) Blaskowski were officially enshrined into their alma matters' hall of fame at the annual Homecoming pep rally Friday afternoon. The trio was introduced at halftime of the Homecoming game.

"I am digging the Friday night lights," Blaskowski said. "It's awesome."

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Flam's senior year at Jamestown High School the Blue Jay football team was under the direction of Bill Nold. Nold led the Jays' to its first winning season since 1977, in Flam's senior year.

"We always had some decent teams but there were some juggernauts in the State, mainly Fargo South," Flam said in reflection. "We had a number of kids who went on to play Division I football but we just couldn't get by those other teams."

While the Jays only won a total of 10 games when Schmeichel was in high school, Schmeichel said he has fond memories of heading out to Ernie Gates Field with a group of buddies to watch the boys in the blue and white.

"Probably my biggest memory was when Darin Erstad was coming through, his goal was always to kick the football into the James River," Schmeichel said.

"He was such a great kicker that one time they told him to stop doing that because they were going to run out of footballs."

Friday night signaled the first ever JHS Homecoming game to be held at Charlotte and Gordon Hansen Stadium. Prior to 2022 all Homecoming games had been held at Jamestown's Ernie Gates Field.

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Don Schmeichel, from left, Bryan Flam and Morgan (Dale) Blaskowski were this year's inductees into the Jamestown High School Hall of Fame.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

"Our teams could have done better but it was always fun," Blaskowski said. "We showed up, we dressed up, we cheered — I had a blast at those games whether they won or lost."

The trio said they have enjoyed the last few days back in the Buffalo City for the Homecoming festivities. While Blaskowski still lives in Jamestown, Flam and Schmeichel have not been back "home" since before the mid-2010s.

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What a way to be welcomed home.

JHS head football head coach Bill Nelson has been on his team's case about starting the game with a punch and his team took 122 seconds to respond Friday.

On 3rd and 7, senior quarterback Payton Hochhalter flipped out a 15-yard pass to Jackson Walters. Two plays later, Hochhalter found Walters in the back of the endzone to paint six on the board.

After a muffed punt by the Jays, Colton Mewes recovered a Watford City fumble on the very next play. The fumble recovery moved the Jays to the Wolves' 35-yardline.

Hochhalter went deep to Tyson Jorissen for a 25-yard pick up then Robertson finished off the 3-play, 35 yard scoring drive with a 5-yard run.

Two minutes later, a blocked Watford City punt was returned by Tuyikeze Faustin for the third Blue Jay touchdown scored in less than seven minutes of play.

Watford City was still throwing punches.

Hochhalter let fly a 25-yard pass on bubble screen to Andrew Walz which was followed by a rush from Josh Robertson and another 15-yard pick up from Preston Gall. Three rushing attempts inside the 10-yardline proved unfruitful allowing the Wolves to take over on downs.

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Watford City began to develop some defensive rhythm in the second quarter, keeping the Jays scoreless through the second frame.

"We had a good start right out of the gates and then we hit that lull," Nelson said. "We can't have that lull. We addressed that at halftime.

"We put a lot of time up in the weightroom and I take it a little personal when we get knocked around and we don't finish off things the way we are capable off. Hopefully a light went on tonight."

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

A trio of touchdown scores capped off the third quarter, the first being a 9-yard touchdown pass from Hochhalter to Walters, followed by a 13-yard reception for Jorissen and concluded with a 1-yard run by Robertson.

"We're a good football team and we played like we were supposed to play in that second half," Nelson said. "We've got to control that line of scrimmage and we did in that second half."

There was a lack of man and fire-power on the Wolves' bench as there were only 28 guys in total on the Watford City sideline. The Jays fielded their second stringers with about a minute left on the clock in the third.

The second stringers produced some good stuff but it was Robertson who wrapped up the scoring, strutting into the endzone from 13-yards out.

"Collectively we were solid across the board," Nelson said. "We took small steps in the right direction."

Based on the team's performance Friday night and what the hall of famers know of the current program, the trio agreed that it probably won't be 30 years until some of the 2022 Blue Jays get a call notifying them of their own HoF induction.

"As far as I can tell, there's some great athletes out there," Flam said. "The head coach seems good and it's a program in the right direction."

Jamestown 47, Watford City 0

WC 0 0 0 0 — 0

JHS 19 0 21 7 — 47

Scoring

First quarter

JHS: 20 yard pass by Payton Hochhalter to Jackson Walters (Sara Sletto kick failed), 9:58.

JHS: 5-yard run by Josh Robertson (Sletto kick good), 7:41.

JHS: Blocked punt return by Tuyikeze Faustin (kick failed), 5:37

Second quarter

No scoring.

Third quarter

JHS: 9-yard pass by Hochhalter to Walters (kick failed).

JHS: 13-yard pass by Hochhalter to Jorissen (two-point conversion good), 7:16

JHS: 1-yard run by Robertson (kick good), 2:58.

Fourth quarter

JHS: 13-yard run by Robertson (kick good), 8:24.

Records: Watford City 0-5, Jamestown 4-0

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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