FARGO -- West Fargo Sheyenne put itself in the drivers’ seat in the Eastern Dakota Conference with a 35-26 football victory over Fargo Davies on Wednesday at Brant-Quamme Field at Fargo South High School.
The Mustangs got help from their cross-town rival West Fargo as the Packers topped Fargo Shanley on Wednesday allowing 7-1, 6-1 EDC Sheyenne to jump to the front of the line. The Mustangs lone loss came at Shanley on Oct. 4. And they close the season against Fargo South next Friday.
“This is huge,” Sheyenne running back Zach Rodgers said. “After that Shanley loss, we were kind of down. Going into that Shanley game, we were underestimating teams and it showed us that any team can beat us. We’re not as good as we thought we were. So we came into this game ready to give them our best.”
The Mustangs offensive line and rushing attack overwhelmed the Eagles defense as they rushed for 278 yards and Sheyenne never punted. They converted 5-of-9 third down tries and 3-of-4 fourth downs as they found paydirt on five of their seven drives.
“Our line worked really hard,” said Rodgers who rushed for 147 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. “It’s easy to run when there’s holes a truck could drive through.”
Rodgers was everywhere for the Mustangs on both sides of the ball. He picked up chunks of yards behind his strong offensive line and was all over the field on defense. With 6:28 left to play in the game, he jumped on a fumbled handoff by Davies and ended an Eagles scoring threat. FD quarterback Reid Hartness found North Dakota State commit Ty Satter on a 40-yard pass one play prior and the Eagles were on the WFS 19.
Rodgers also started the scoring for the Mustangs in the first quarter. He ran through a gaping hole up the middle, spun off a defender and ran to paydirt for a 25-yard touchdown to push his team ahead 7-6.
“I had a huge hole to run through and then I just had one guy to beat,” Rodgers said. “I hit him and then I don’t know how I got out of his tackle. I started spinning and just ended up facing back towards the end zone and took off.”
The Eagles took the lead in the first as Satter intercepted a pass by WFS sophomore quarterback Grant Warkenthein near the 35-yard line and returned it back up the right sideline to the 1-yard line. Sam Moser pounded it in from 1-yard out.
Davies and Sheyenne traded touchdowns on four straight drives in the first half. The Eagles struck first and the Mustangs scored. Then Ethan Entze scored a 5-yard touchdown for Davies, and Sheynne answered right back with a 2-yard run out of the wildcat by North Dakota State commit Tyler Terhark.
But an interception by Sheyenne’s Matt Wegner led to a 16-yard touchdown pass from Warkenthein to Terhark and the Mustangs took a 21-12 lead into halftime.
Terhark beat his marker with a double move and laid out to catch the touchdown pass in the front left corner of the end zone. The Mustangs’ sophomore quarterback called the play himself in the huddle and trusted his receiver to go make a play.
“He said, ‘Hey, coach this will work,’” Terhark said. “And we trusted him. He threw a great ball there and it was perfectly thrown.
“That’s great confidence there. Being that young and being able to call the play and take leadership there is really insane.”
The Eagles came out of halftime aggressive, attempting and recovering an onside kick. They drove down and scored on a 2-yard run by Hartness and cut the Eagles lead to 21-18. The Eagles had to go for 2 every time as their kicker was at competing in the state soccer tournament in Mandan. The inability to kick severely hurt their ability to hang with the Mustangs in a back-and-forth game.
The Mustangs answered on the next drive with a 37-yard touchdown run by Barika Kpeenu and took control of the game 28-18. He took a handoff to the right out of shotgun, hit the corner on the right side and raced Ty Satter to the front corner of the end zone. A 39-yard Warkenthein run was called back for holding on the previous play.
Terhark’s third touchdown -- a four-yard run out of the wildcat formation with 10:49 to go all but put the game out of reach for the Mustangs at 35-18. The score came on play after Sheyenne forced a turnover on downs at the Davies 4. Abe Hestdalen batted a Hartness pass at the line of scrimmage and Moser caught it and tried to make a play but was pushed out of bounds for a loss of four.
Terhark had two rushes for six yards and two touchdowns to go along with three catches for 29 yards and a touchdown.
Hartness provided most of Davies’ offensive production, carrying the ball 32 times for 128 yards and completing 4-of-8 passes for 47 yards.