Red River rolls

What a difference a week makes. Seven days removed from an offensive showing that included no points and three unsuccessful trips in the red zone, Grand Forks Red River bounced back in a big way. The Roughriders found the end zone five times, fou...

John M. Steiner / The Sun Quarterback Jordan Lynch (left) fakes the give to Kasey Gengler during Friday night's game at Ernie Gates Field.

What a difference a week makes.

Seven days removed from an offensive showing that included no points and three unsuccessful trips in the red zone, Grand Forks Red River bounced back in a big way.

The Roughriders found the end zone five times, four of which coming in a red zone situation, to defeat Jamestown 34-0 Friday night at Ernie Gates Field.

"I'm very happy with our execution," said Red River coach Vyrn Muir. "I just think our kids realize after last week that when you get down (to the red zone) you have to finish it."

Jamestown, on the other hand, didn't benefit from the one-week layoff, struggling both sides of the ball.


"We couldn't do anything offensively and we couldn't get our defense off the field, which is probably the biggest thing," said JHS coach Bill Cahill. "Red River is a good team, I'm not taking anything away from them, but I think it was more what we didn't do than what they did."

Roughriders' running back A.J. Johnstone found early success, rushing for 54 yards in the first two Red River possessions, but it was a 21-yard attack through the air that put the Roughriders in the driver's seat early.

Matt Hanson connected with receiver Trevor Berg along the right sideline for a touchdown nearing the end of the first quarter.

"Maybe there was a different mentality in practice this week because we had problems finishing some catches but today Trevor Berg made some real nice catches for touchdowns," Muir said. "I think it might have just been a little different attitude having that first week under you, but I'm just very happy."

Hanson found Berg along the same sideline in the third quarter -- this time for a 20-yard TD -- to put the game out of reach at 34-0. The senior signal caller, who is in his first year as a starter, completed 14 of 16 passes for 103 yards and two touchdowns.

"It wasn't really that we had bad coverage it was just a really nice throw and a really nice catch by them," Cahill said. "Sometimes you just can't do anything about that."

Jamestown looked to ignite its offense early with two straight passes to open the game but some miscommunication on both throws resulted in two incomplete passes and eventually led to a three-and-out.

"We wanted to give them something to think about," said Cahill. "But we put ourselves in a hole by going 3-and-out."


From there the Blue Jays were never able to get any offense going, totaling just 43 yards in the game and notching just one first down.

Johnstone led the Red River rushing attack with 101 yards, including a 10-yard TD scamper in the second quarter to help lift the Roughriders to a 14-0 lead.

Jordan Scott followed Johnstone in the end zone just over four minutes later to give Red River a 21-0 lead going into the half.

"It was deflating because we weren't expecting it," Cahill said. "At the same time, things are going to happen, no matter who the team is. Things are going to happen like this, but it is more about how you respond to it."

Time will tell how Jamestown responds to its 0-2 start to the year Friday when the Jays begin West Region play on the road against Mandan. The Roughriders, however, are rolling with back-to-back wins to open the year, so Red River will be looking to keep its momentum rolling Friday against Grand Forks Central.

"This is probably the best we've played in our first two games since I've been at Red River," Muir said. "I just can't say how happy I am about our performance."

Grand Forks Red River 34, Jamestown 0

G.F. Red River 7 14 13 0 -- 34


Jamestown 0 0 0 0 -- 0


First quarter

GFRR--Trevor Berg 21 pass from Matt Hanson (Evan Moser kick good), 1:02.

Second quarter

GFRR--A.J. Johnstone 10 run (Moser kick good), 4:21.

GFRR--Jordan Scott 8 run (Moser kick good), 0:14.

Third quarter


GFRR--Hanson 1 run (Moser kick good), 4:03.

GFRR--Berg 20 pass from Hanson (Moser kick no good), :30

Fourth quarter

No Scoring

Team Statistics


First Downs 12 1

Passing 15-17-112 1-9-11


Rushing 48-287 14-33

Individual Statistics

Grand Forks Red River

Rushing--A.J. Johnstone 21-101; Jesse Sturman 4-91; Adam Bernhardson 2-6; Dayton Marek 1-19; Jordan Scott 5-25; Logan Ferry 5-18; Jimmy Evers 3-16; Quinn Baumann 3-12; Conor Roche 1-0; Taylor Steen 2-(-2); Matt Hanson 1-1.

Passing--Hanson 14-16-103-0; Steen 1-1-9-0.

Receiving--Bernhardson 10-21; Trevor Berg 3-52; Marek 2-34; Evan Moser 1-5.


Rushing--Dustin Deery 7-12; Tanner Olson 3-10; Zach Neeva 3-(-3); Kasey Gengler 1-3; Jordan Lynch 3-10.


Passing--Jordan Lynch 1-7-11-1; Brady Anderson 0-2-0-0.

Receiving--Neeva 1-11.

Records: Grand Forks Red River 2-0; Jamestown 0-2.

Sun sports writer David Griswold can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or by email at

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