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Josh Robertson 'runs hard,' helps Blue Jays get a win Friday

The Jamestown High School football team hosted Grand Forks Central on Sept. 9.

Josh Robertson
The Blue Jays' Josh Robertson (34) attempts to shed Grand Forks Central's Christian Litzinger (81) during the second quarter of the Blue Jays game against the Knights on Friday, Sept. 9, at Charlotte and Gordon Hansen Stadium.
Max O'Neill / The Jamestown Sun
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JAMESTOWN — You don't want to get in Jamestown High School junior running back Josh Robertson's way when he's moving.

Jackson Walters knows from experience.

"He runs hard," Walters, a senior wide receiver for the JHS football team, said with a laugh. "When he's going downhill — it's hard to stop him."

As of Friday night, Walters is no longer the only one who has experience trying to stop Robertson.

Jamestown improved to 3-0 in the Class A standings, defeating Grand Forks Central 42-28. With the loss, Grand Forks Central dropped down to 1-3. The Jays will be at Hansen Stadium again next week, taking on Watford City. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

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In the second quarter of Friday night's tilt, the Jays had a bit of a scare when starting running back Aden Braun went down with a high ankle sprain.

"We had Robbie sitting there ready to go," JHS head coach Bill Nelson said. "Robbie's a tough kid. Talk about some big runs, tucking it away."

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Robertson, a junior running back, has been on the sidelines for the Blue Jays up until this season. He didn't see much action the first two weeks due to Braun being healthy but Nelson had no problem fielding the junior.

"I told Robertson last winter, 'you always run strong, but we need you to run more physical'," Nelson said. "I got him some film and he's starting to run through people. He's a strong young man, he'll drag you along."

With about four minutes remaining in the first half, senior quarterback Payton Hochhalter found Walters on a 25 yard reception then gave the ball to Robertson on the next play to pick up the Jays' second touchdown of the day. The 5-play offensive drive covered 65 yards.

In his three quarters played, Robertson put up 101 yards on the ground unofficially.

While it was a win, Nelson wasn't thrilled with how his team started out game No. 3.

The Jays kicked off the scoring in the first quarter with a 25 punt return from Nate Walz. The seven points was all the Blue Jays could muster through almost two quarters of play.

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"I'll tell you what, he read his holes and the line woke up and we finished out that second half," Nelson said. "When we take care of business up front, we're a pretty good football team."

Central came into the tilt with the goal of focusing on the quarterback Hochhalter. Hochhalter was a dual threat in the Jays' two previous matchups. In week one of the season, Hochhalter put up 66 yards on the ground while against Turtle Mountain the senior slung 241 yards through the air.

The Knights kept Hochhalter to 100 yards through the air in the opening half.

The suppression of the Jays' offense led to three-straight scores by the Knights.

A botched coverage on Jayden Haake by the Blue Jays allowed the senior to haul in a 50-yard screen pass to set up first and goal for the Knights. The Jays came up with a series of stops but Lamont fired and found Leo Strandell to put six up on the board. It was a five play touchdown drive that covered 64 yards.

The Knights' two-point conversion failed to make it a 7-6 Blue Jay ball game.

The Blue Jays held onto their one-point lead for all of four minutes.

Lamont faked the screen out the right, rolled out to his left and found Henke on a 39-touchdown pass. Ross Wilber's PAT gave the Knights a six-point advantage.

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Sara Sletto
The Blue Jays' Sara Sletto attempts an extra point in the second quarter against Grand Forks Central on Friday, Sept. 9, 2022 at Charlotte and Gordon Hansen Stadium.
Max O'Neill / The Jamestown Sun

Central went up two scores with 4:47 remaining in the first half. Lamont fired a 31-yard bullet that found Strandell.

A new half told a new story and unfortunately for Central it wasn't a story they wanted to hear.

A 17-yard touchdown reception from senior quarterback Payton Hochhalter to Tyson Jorissen kicked off the second half. On the next drive, the Knights gifted the Jays a safety to help the home team regain the lead 22-20.

With momentum swinging their way, the Blue Jays didn't let up on the gas.

Hochhalter aired out a 50-yard pass to Walters. Walters hauled it in to make it a three-score game. Walters was the Jays' leading receiver.

Hochhalter was 15-of-22 for 300 yards through the air unofficially. Noah Meissner, Andrew Walz and Preston Galls all came up with interceptions.

"Hats off to Grand Forks," Walters said. "They got us in the running back screen and we were trying to stop it but we didn't have a stop for it until the second half. They played really well. Next week, we're going to bring our best game and hopefully get another one."

Jamestown 42, Grand Forks Central 28

GFC 6 14 0 8 — 28

JHS 7 6 23 7 — 42

Scoring

First quarter

JHS: 25-yard punt return by Nate Walz (Sara Sletto kick good), 4:06.

GFC: 5-yard pass by Dylan Lamont to Leo Strandell (conversion failed), 0:50.

Second quarter

GFC: 39-yard pass by Lamont to Henke (Ross Wilber kick good) 9:50

GFC: 31-yard pass by Lamont to Strandell (kick good), 4:47

JHS: 5-yard run by Josh Robertson (kick failed), 2:19.

Third quarter

JHS: 17-yard pass by Hochhalter to Tyson Jorissen (kicked good), 8:13.

JHS: Safety, 6:30

JHS: 50-yard pass by Hochhalter to Preston Gall (kick good), 5:38.
Fourth quarter

JHS: 30-yard pass by Hochhalter to Jackson Walters (kick good), 1:17.

Fourth quarter

GFC: Hochhalter intercepted by Zac Kuznia (Lamont to Strandell conversion good), 9:00

JHS : 35-yard pass by Hochhalter to Walters (kick good), 5:20

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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