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Packers top No. 3 Roughriders

West Fargo quarterback Nicholas Roehrich takes aim against Grand Forks Red River last Friday night at Packer Field. David Samson / Forum Communications Co.

Coming into Friday's game against the Packers, the Grand Forks-Red River Roughriders were leading the Eastern Dakota Conference with a record of 4-0, averaging 32 points a game and had only given up seven points on the season. They were also the No. 3 seeded team in the state AAA rankings.

The Packers, on the other hand, were 2-2 overall and had just beaten up on a team that was shut out in its third consecutive game.

The Riders seemed like the team to beat, and the Packers did that and more, shutting them out while getting four scores of their own to win 27-0.

"Boy was I proud of our defense," head coach Jay Gibson said. "Our defensive line really took it to them."

The Packers defense continued to stifle their opponent, allowing 130 yards of total offense and just five first downs throughout the game against an offense whose starting quarterback was out with an injury.

"I know how hard it is to take a player who hasn't taken too many snaps this season and make him a starting quarterback in a week," Gibson said. "Whether they were ready for us or not, we were ready for them and we executed a really great game."

The Packers, a team that prides itself on the passing game, was forced to run the ball more often than expected due to windy conditions. However, they found success on the ground - all four touchdowns came from the running game - thanks to the stellar play of senior offensive linemen Adam Thomte, Drew Johnson, Zach Eider, Brody Mertz and Jonah Vane.

"We have four two-way players on our offensive line, which is something you usually don't want," Gibson said. "You want them to stay fresh for offense, but the players are just that good. They are really becoming a good offensive line."

Offensively, the Packers were led by running back Preston Lehmann, who carried the ball 20 times for 64 yards and two touchdowns. Senior Miles Scholl was not far behind, tallying 53 yards and a touchdown on eight carries.

The Packers move to 3-2 on the season and 2-0 in the conference, good enough for the second seed.

They have another tough test on Friday night, travelling to take on the high-scoring (221 points in five games) Bruins of Fargo South, who currently the No. 1 seed in the EDC.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.