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New roster delivers same result for Blue Jay football team Friday

The Jamestown High School football team faced Grand Forks Red River on Aug. 26.

jhs football 19 td run 082622.jpg
Jamestown's Tyson Jorissen makes a run for the endzone to score a touchdown against Grand Forks Red River on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022, at Charlotte and Gordon Hansen Stadium.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun
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JAMESTOWN — Bill Nelson has been saying it from the beginning:

"It's a new year and we're a new team."

Boy was he right.

""We had some guys do some good things tonight," Nelson, the head coach for the Jamestown High School football team, said. "Andrew Walz had a 60 yard kickoff return to start the game — that's those new guys stepping up.

While the 2022 Blue Jays are a new type of team, the squad got the result the 2021 Blue Jays became accustomed to.

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Jamestown took down Grand Forks Red River 28-12 in the team's season opener at Charlotte and Gordon Hansen Stadium. The win puts the defending Class A champs at 1-0 while the loss drops the Roughriders to 1-1 in the Class A standings.

Jamestown will be on the road at Turtle Mountain next week. The Class A, West Region game is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m.

"We did some good things, we've got some things to work on but we found a way to win," Nelson said.

Following the loss of 15 seniors, first half play on Friday was rather what Nelson expected out of his new team. There were some dropped passes, some 3 and outs and picks — all mistakes that result from a less experienced roster in high pressure situations.

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Katie Falk, a standout for the JHS softball team, committed to the University of Mary. Falk is also currently a coach at Jamestown's The Cage, coaching youth fastpitch pitchers.

"We made some plays and then we made some uncharacteristic errors but that's part of growing as a team," Nelson said. "It's game one.

"We did some good things but we have plenty of room to grow. The potential is there, we just have to be smarter and learn. We'll get better and that's the bottom line."

After a scoreless first quarter, both teams came to deliver in the second.

Red River signal caller, Pearce Parks, was intercepted by Walz. Walz jumped into the passing lane just outside the 50 yard line, to give his team the ball.

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After a incomplete pass to Jackson Walters, senior quarterback Payton Hochhalter completed a throw to Tyson Jorissen to pick up 14 to put the Jays just outside of Red River territory.

On the very next play, Hochhalter fired another bomb in Jorissen's direction. The senior wideout nabbed the 37-yard touchdown catch to give Jamestown its first points of the 2022 season.

Queue another change for the Blue Jays

Sara Sletto first girl to suit up for the Blue Jays varsity football roster in the last four seasons. Sletto, a standout and multi-year starter for the Blue Jay girls soccer team, was kind of a natural selection for a kicker.

"She's no longer a rookie," Nelson said with a chuckle. "She got her feet wet and she did a good job. She was pretty excited about that. She's talented, she's done well and we're glad to have her."

Sletto went 2-of-3 on PATs.

jhs football sletto field goal kick 082622.jpg
Jamestown's Sara Sletto (2) kicks a field goal for the extra point against Grand Forks Red River on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022, at Charlotte and Gordon Hansen Stadium.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

The Jays were up 7-0 when Red River's Carter Byron got caught chasing a high snap. Aden Braun chased Byron down to the Roughriders' 1-yard line bringing up 1st and goal.

On the give, Braun powered forward and wound up in the endzone to double the home team's lead.

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Red River wasn't going to go down as easily as they did in the Class A 2021 state quarterfinals when Jamestown defeated them 35-0 though.

Pearce Parks got his team rolling with a floater out to Carter Flom who picked up a 1st down. The sophomore quarterback kept firing, finding Carter Byron for a 23 yard pickup to land the Roughriders at the one. Parks landed in the endzone on the quarterback sneak but the point after was blocked.

Parks found the endzone again on a 3-yard run to make it 14-12 Jays. The Roughriders went for two but a stop from the Blue Jay defense kept them in front for the remainder of the half.

Unofficially, Grand Forks Red River garnered 232 total yards in the first half while holding Jamestown to less than 100 yards in the opening 24 minutes.

Quinn Nelson was the main offensive target, hauling in four receptions for 35 yards unofficially. Hudson Flom and Parks connected on three receptions while Brett Feller was the leader on the ground with a 25-yard rush.

"They are physical," Nelson said. "Coming in we knew that they were going to be physical up front and they were going to make some plays.

Jamestown's longest play from scrimmage was Andrew Walz's 60 kickoff return the opening play of the game. Jorissen's 37 yard pick up was the longest offensive play of the first half.

Hochhalter finished out a four play, 47-yard Blue Jay drive with an 18-yard pass to Braun to pick up touchdown No. 3 of the evening. A bad snap that resulted in a missed extra point kept the score at 20-12 Blue Jays with 9:42 remaining in the third frame.

The Roughriders could not catch or extinguish the Jays' scoring fire.

With time winding down, Hochhalter connected with Preston Gall on a nine-yard touchdown pass. Ryan Kallenbach took the PAT snap and ran it in to make it an eight-point pickup for the Blue Jays.

Unofficially, Hochhalter ended the night with three touchdown passes and 128 yards through the air. He was 12-for-25 and put up 77 yards on the ground.

Jorissen finished out game No. 1 as the leading receiver with four catches unofficially and Aden Braun picked up 45 yards on the ground.

The final scoring drive would be all she wrote for this new Blue Jay team.

"We'll get the film uploaded and get that taken care of — see where we need to get better," Nelson said. "We will get better — that's the bottom line."

jhs football 24 vs gfrr 15 sack 082622.jpg
A bad snap to Carter Byron (15), Red River's punter, ended up in a tackle by Jamestown's Aden Braun at the one yard line on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022, at Charlotte and Gordon Hansen Stadium.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

Jamestown 28, Red River 12

RR 0 12 0 0 -- 12

JHS 0 14 14 0 — 28

Scoring

First quarter

No scoring.

Second quarter

JHS: 37-yard pass by Hochhalter to Tyson Jorissen, (Sara Sletto kick good), 9:11.

JHS: 1-yard run by Aden Braun, (kick good), 7:28.

RR: 1-yard run by Pearce Parks, (kick blocked), 6:11

RR: 4-yard run by Parks (conversion failed), 0:57.

Third quarter

JHS: 18-yard pass by Hochhalter to Braun, (kick failed), 9:42.

JHS: 9-yard pass by Hochhalter to Preston Gall (conversion good), 3:12

Fourth quarter

No scoring.

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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