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Ty's Take: Packers fall to Bismarck in opener

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sports Fargo,North Dakota 58102
West Fargo Pioneer
Ty's Take: Packers fall to Bismarck in opener
Fargo North Dakota 101 5th Street North 58102

The West Fargo football season began Saturday much like last year's ended.

The only positive spin on the night may be that there was a week to work out the kinks until the Packers' next game.


Bismarck produced back-to-back triple touchdown quarters to run away with an eventual 54-13 home victory over West Fargo. The loss likely did not lessen the sting of losing to the Demons in last year's North Dakota Class AAA State Semifinals.

The Demons were devastating Saturday, producing more than 300 yards of total offense, while holding the Packers to just 16 yards rushing and 85 passing.

Bismarck opened scoring a few minutes into the game after recovering a fumble on West Fargo's 6-yard line, and running it in for the touchdown two plays later.

But the Packers responded after wide receiver Chaz Gunderson hauled in a 75-yard pass from Tucker Bucholz and ran it in for the score. Alan Repak's kick tied it 7-all.

It was the closest West Fargo would get to staging a comeback.

The Demons responded with three straight touchdowns before the Packers got back on the board in the second quarter. Shane Siverson made a highlight-reel play by returning a kick 99 yards for the touchdown, bringing the Packers within 15 points.

But they never could get an offensive push mustered as Bismarck's defense continued to stifle.

In the end, junior Bucholz completed just two of 12 passes for 85 yards, but threw two picks. Siverson wound up with 173 yards off five kick returns, and West Fargo's leading rusher was Alex Spacek with 45 yards on eight carries.

Caleb Matilla led the Packers on defense with 10 tackles, and Kaleb Jeske made the lone sack. Both Issa Zeele and Shelby Schulz recovered fumbles.

Next up for West Fargo is their first home game of the season. The Packers host Bismarck Century at 7 p.m. Friday. The Patriots (1-0) are coming off an opening win in which they topped Fargo South 31-20.

Quick hits

• Boys tennis: West Fargo had a very busy week, playing six doubles in four days. The Packers finished 3-3, and picked up wins over Fargo South, Williston and Jamestown. Now, West Fargo (1-2 EDC, 3-4 overall) prepares for another busy week. They were scheduled to host Grand Forks Red River (2-0, 2-0) on Tuesday, but results were not in by press time. The Packers play again at 4 p.m. Thursday at Valley City (0-2, 0-3).

• Girls swimming and diving: The Packers opened their season Saturday during the Spartan Invitational, and if it was any indication of things to come, the EDC should be on guard. West Fargo came away with a first-place finish after accruing 465 points to edge host North by 18. Freshman Danica Dutt swam away with individual first-place finishes in the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly, and swam a leg with the winning 200-medley relay team. West Fargo's next meet is Sept. 1 at 5:30 p.m., hosting Grand Forks Central/Red River.

• Volleyball: West Fargo kicked off its regular season with a flurry of activity, as it traveled to a two-day East/West Crossover in Bismarck. When all was said and done, the Packers walked away with a 2-4 record. Their lone wins came Saturday against Williston 25-9, 18-25, 15-12, and Bismarck 22-25, 25-17, 15-6. West Fargo was scheduled to face North (6-1) on Tuesday, but results were not in by press time. The Packers host Fargo Shanley (5-1) at 7 p.m. Thursday.