Thunder punch ticket for title tilt
LANGDON, N.D.--A change in style didn't slow down the red-hot Ellendale-Edgeley-Kulm offense. The Thunder surpassed 40 points for the third straight playoff game here Saturday. They used big plays to roll past Langdon-Munich 50-20 in the semifina...
LANGDON, N.D.-A change in style didn't slow down the red-hot Ellendale-Edgeley-Kulm offense.
The Thunder surpassed 40 points for the third straight playoff game here Saturday. They used big plays to roll past Langdon-Munich 50-20 in the semifinals of the North Dakota Class A high school football playoffs.
Ellendale-Edgeley-Kulm (9-2) will play Des Lacs-Burlington in the state championship game at 9:10 a.m. Friday in the Fargodome.
The E-E-K offense totaled 11 touchdowns in its first two playoff wins; three of those covered 40 or more yards. On Saturday, four of the seven Thunder touchdowns were plays of 44 yards or longer.
"We're usually more of a grind-it-out team. We don't usually get a lot of big plays,'' E-E-K coach Jon Schiele said.
"We figured this game would play out like it did. As long as we stayed with (Langdon-Munich) in the first half, we felt our physical style would wear on them. We wanted to run straight at them and take their offense out of the game.''
E-E-K took just four offensive plays to build a 13-0 lead. Clayton Grueneich scored on a 53-yard run on the second play of the game. On the second Thunder possession, a 46-yard run by Cole Goehring set up a 12-yard scoring run by Grueneich.
Grueneich wound up with 257 rushing yards on just 16 carries, also scoring on 55-, 5- and 46-yard runs.
"Clayton just doesn't get caught in the open field,'' Schiele said. "He's so strong and has such good balance. And our line-the yards speak for themselves.''
The Thunder were so efficient on offense that they scored on seven of their first eight possessions. The one stop was when they lost a fumble on the L-M 2-yard line.
"Our guys are always good up front,'' Grueneich said. "We give up size. But the holes were always there.''
The Thunder also received a 1-yard scoring run by Jake Dewald and a 46-yard TD pass from Dewald to Nathan Peterson.
Langdon-Munich was led by Jacob Delvo. The junior quarterback was 17-of-30 passing for 208 yards, including 8- and 3-yard touchdown passes to Anfernee Economy. But he also was intercepted three times, with E-E-K converting all three of those possessions into touchdowns.
"They dared us to run the ball,'' L-M coach Josh Krivarchka said. "They had six guys in pass coverage. But they were physical up front and made plays. Our kids feed off of big plays. We weren't making them today.''
Langdon-Munich, which doesn't start any seniors, finished 9-2 after going 1-7 in 2015.
"The farther you get the more you want to achieve,'' Krivarchka said. "There's not a lot of satisfaction at the moment. But from where we were to where we went, the kids had a heckuva season.''
Ellendale-E-K 50, Langdon-Munich 20
EEK-Clayton Grueneich 53 run (Cole Goehring kick)
EEK-Grueneich 12 run (kick failed)
LM-Anfernee Economy 8 pass from Jacob Delvo (Chase Peebles run)
EEK-Jake Dewald 1 run (Goehring kick)
LM-Economy 3 pass from Delvo (pass failed)
EEK-Grueneich 55 run (Goehring kick)
LM-Connor Tetrault 13 run (pass failed)
EEK-Nathan Peterson 44 pass from Dewald (Grueneich run)
EEK-Grueneich 5 run (Goehring kick)
EEK-Grueneich 46 run (Brennan Dance pass from Dewald)
Rushing-EEK: Grueneich 16-257, Goehring 6-66, Peterson 6-36;. LM: Delvo 9-40, Peebles 16-38, Tetrault 9-34.
Passing-EEK: Dewald 4-5-0, 86 yards; LM: Delvo 17-30-3, 208 yards .
Receiving-EEK: Peterson 1-44, Luke Wertz 2-24, Hunter White 1-18. LM: Economy 9-73, Peebles 5-57, Tetrault 2-65, Braden Harder 1-13.