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West Fargo Packer football team starts season 0-2

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A rough start to the season continued for the Packer football team last week as it lost its home opener to Bismarck Century.

It's no secret what's keeping the team out of the win column. After seven turnovers in their season opener to Mandan, West Fargo surrendered the ball three more times against the Patriots, again losing the turnover battle.

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"Things are going to go the same way they've been going if you're minus in the turnover column. If we're going to give the other team more opportunities to score, then you're not going to beat teams that are as good as you," said West Fargo coach Jay Gibson. "That's the only thing that's bugging me right now is that we're giving the ball away and not able to take it (back)."

The previous week the Packers lost for the first time since at least 1991 to Mandan, a team that was just beaten 35-0 by Grand Forks Red River. Week two was different, however. The Packers played a close game against a good Bismarck Century team that won 21-13.

"Our main goal for the game was to improve from the week before, and we obviously did," said senior running back Jacob Kiefer, who had 66 yards on the ground for the Packers.

Senior quarterback Bryce Jorgenson had a career-high 236 passing yards, going 20-for-32 with two touchdown passes. He spread the ball around well, with six players getting at least two receptions each. Jorgenson also matched his interception total from last week with two against Bismarck Century.

It's the first 0-2 start for the Packers since 2001 when the team started 0-4 and ended up 2-7.

"We're disappointed, and right now we're just fighting for a win. Everyone wants to win now. People are going to be practicing harder," said Kiefer. "People are angry that we haven't won."

West Fargo will get its shot at victory number one on the road against a 1-1 Dickinson team that lost 7-0 last week to Custer County, Mont.

Gibson said he wants to win the turnover battle and would like to see his team improve its pass rush and react to passes quicker on defense. He also said he's waiting for some of his players to get that big play the Packers have been so adept at in recent years.

The Packers face Dickinson tomorrow before hosting Minot next week for homecoming. Fargo South awaits West Fargo in both teams' conference openers the week after that.

"I think we played way better (against Century)," said Gibson. "If we can see that kind of improvement each week we'll start getting some breaks that will fall our way too, and I think we'll be okay."

Double EDC shut outs

The Packer boys soccer team is six games into its season, and it still hasn't lost a game to in-state competition.

The team's lone loss came Saturday in a 2-1 loss to Moorhead. The Packers, 3-1-2 overall, 2-0-1 EDC, were in first place in the conference at press time earlier this week and host undefeated Fargo South today.

West Fargo shut out Grand Forks Red River and Fargo North by a combined score of 7-0 last week before falling to Moorhead.

Junior Austin Dillard leads the Packers so far this season with four goals, while senior Daniel Hoy has three goals and two assists.

Bixby leads again

Eighth-grader Ashley Bixby turned in a pair of top 10 performances last week to pace the Packer girls golf team to a pair of fourth place finishes.

The Packers took fourth at the Grand Forks Invite and again took fourth at the Fargo South Invite on Sept. 2.

Bixby's solid golfing has keep the Packers stay in the top half of the EDC. It was her third top 10 finish of the season. Bixby is ranked 12th in the EDC with a 92.2 average this year.

Boys tennis

A rough season continued for the West Fargo boys tennis team last week with the Packers losing to Valley City, 5-4, and to Fargo North, 8-1.

Freshman Blake Nelson remains undefeated at No. 4 singles for the Packers with a 5-0 record.

West Fargo hosts 11-time defending state champion Grand Forks Red River today. The Roughriders have won more than 100 consecutive matches. The Packers are 0-4 in the EDC this year.

Volleyball streak ends

The Packer volleyball team was shut out twice last week, against Fargo North and Moorhead.

The loss to the Spartans was West Fargo's first regular season conference loss since 2006. The Packers are 5-4 overall this season and play in the Marshall, Minn. Tournament tomorrow and Saturday.

Another streak ends

Sophomore Alissa Mears' unbeaten streak finally came to an end last Thursday at the West Fargo Invite when she finished in second place.

Mears went undefeated last year in winning her first state championship. The Packer girls easily won the West Fargo Invite thanks to Mears and Packer runners sweeping fifth through seventh place and taking ninth and 10th place as well.

The Packer boys took second with senior Jamison Gehrig leading the Packers in third place. Both teams run in the FM Metro Showcase today in Lindenwood Park.

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