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Strong start leads Bruins over Packers

Packers' quarterback Nick Roehrich runs against the Bruins at South High on Friday in Fargo. The Packers ended up losing the game 35-20. Michael Vosburg / Forum Communications Co.

Before Friday night, the Packers had won three straight games and were undefeated in conference games. They had scored 121 points in those three games and given up only seven.

And then they matched up against the Fargo South Bruins.

The Bruins had two impressive scoring drives in the first quarter, and carried that momentum throughout the game in a 35-20 victory over the Packers.

"(The Bruins) knew what they wanted to do," Packers' coach Jay Gibson said. "They dominated us through the first three quarters"

South was able to overwhelm the Packers with a punishing one-two punch in the backfield. Senior Zach Reich ran the ball 22 times for 138 yards and three rushing touchdowns. Running back James Johanneson also managed to run for 98 yards on 15 carries.

"They really have two great running backs, and they block like crazy," Gibson said. "They really complement each other well. I'm impressed. They are a great team."

According to Gibson, the Bruins did not have many players playing both offense and defense, and so were not as tired as many of the Packers that play two ways.

"They are extremely physical," Gibson said. "We knew that going in. They just outplayed us."

Things got worse for the Packers when starting quarterback Nick Roehrich went down with a knee injury, possibly to his ACL. Roehrich will have tests this week, but expectations for a speedy recovery are not very high.

The Packers now move to 3-3 on the season and 2-1 in the Eastern Dakota Conference. They are currently ranked third, behind the Bruins and the Grand Forks-Red River Roughriders.

The Packers' defense is currently second in the conference, giving up 16.7 points per game. Only Red River's defense has allowed fewer points.

The team now moves on to face the Fargo North Spartans on Friday night at West Fargo High School.

"They lost their star running back for the year, but they have two nifty quarterbacks," Gibson said. "They run a lot of options and no-huddle offense. We really need to be aware and read everything."

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.