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Packers crush Williston in homecoming game

Running back Shelby Schulz of West Fargo carries for a gain as two Williston defenders try to stop him during Friday's game at West Fargo. Dave Wallis / Forum Communications Co.

The West Fargo Packers celebrated their homecoming on Friday night in style, running over the Williston Coyotes by a score of 53-0.

The Packers, a team whose coach said the passing game is their greatest weapon, has won their second consecutive game primarily utilizing their ground game, as senior running back Preston Lehmann had 14 carries for 126 yards and two touchdowns, including a nine-yard touchdown run in the first half in which he barreled over two Coyote defenders.

"If you can't run in the EDC you're not going to do well," head coach Jay Gibson said. "We were extremely superior on the line, and Preston is playing great. He is really running hard. The (Coyote) defense didn't want to touch him."

Senior Shelby Schulz also got in on the rushing attack, getting 35 of his 48 yards on a touchdown run in the second half.

Despite the emphasis on running the ball, the Packers' passing attack still proved to be dangerous. Senior quarterback Nick Roehrich got 42 of his 58 passing yards on a long touchdown pass to senior Jaime Heinen.

The defense was also key in the game. They did not allow a single first down in the game, and also managed some defensive points when senior linebacker Caleb Mattila intercepted a pass from Coyotes' quarterback and ran it back 63 yards for a touchdown.

Even the Packers special teams got in on the fun when senior Chaz Gunderson had a 49-yard punt return for a touchdown.

The Packers also did not commit a single turnover in the game.

"It was a wonderful game," Gibson said, "and a really fun one to coach."

The win brings the Packers back to .500 on the season, as well as skyrockets their scoring differential to plus-44.

The team (2-2 overall, 1-0 in the conference) will host the Roughriders of Grand Forks-Red River on Friday night.

After two big wins, Gibson believes that they have to be at their best against the big, high-scoring Roughriders, who are currently undefeated, ranked first in the conference and have only given up seven points so far this season.

"Defensively, we're going to have their work cut out for us," Gibson said. "They are offensively solid, really big and really talented."

Kickoff for Friday night's game is set for 7 p.m.