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Keeping hope alive: Beach, Mott-Regent battle for their 9-man playoff lives in a Region 4 game on Friday

Press Photo by Royal McGregor Beach senior quarterback Marshall Nunberg, middle, rushes through Hettinger-Scranton defenders on Aug. 31 in Beach.1 / 2
Press Photo by Royal McGregor Mott-Regent senior Tyler Zentner carries the ball against Richardton-Taylor-Hebron on Aug. 27 in Richardton.2 / 2

Make no ifs, ands or buts about it.

The 9-man playoff chances for Beach and Mott-Regent will be decided at 7 p.m. Friday in Mott.

Each team is 2-3 overall and 2-3 in Region 4. A win will keep their playoff hopes alive. A loss will nearly diminish any chance either has of making the postseason.

"The winner of the game on Friday still has a chance for playoffs and the loser could need some sort of Newton's Law, mathematical algorithm to even be alive for the playoffs," Beach head coach Mike Zier said. "Friday, we just have to play better. Both teams are looking for a win and looking for answers. Who is going to step up and make plays and who is going to come out at the end? That's the thing right now we don't know."

Mott-Regent head coach Ron Benson added: "We are getting better. Overall as a team, we are better now than we were at the beginning of the year."

Though playoff hopes are on the line, Benson isn't worrying about the playoffs. He's just looking for his team to get better every week.

"I don't look at that, I don't think about that, we are just trying to play better football," he said. "It's not something we are dwelling on at all."

Throughout the first five games of the season, the Buccaneers have scored an average of 15.6 points per game, while allowing 28.4. The Wildfire are averaging 25.6 points and are giving up 36.4.

Beach and Mott-Regent are coming off lopsided losses to top-five teams. The Buccaneers lost 41-0 to No. 5-ranked Shiloh Christian and the Wildfire took a beating from No. 3-ranked Grant County-Flasher, 88-14. However, both coaches feel like their respected team has made strides during the season.

For the Beach, it has been about playing steady football.

"To be really honest, the boys have played really inconsistent," Zier said. "We played well at times, then the wheels fall off and we don't play well. We want to look to become more consistent on offense -- especially -- but in all three phases. The kids play hard and that's not the issue. We are just very inconsistent."

In Mott-Regent's case, it has been about putting the right player in the correct position.

"We are moving guys around and finding our best combination," Benson said. "We are looking for the right combination. We are moving some people around this week and we tried that last week, but moved people in the wrong spot."

Dickinson High volleyball prepares for invitational

After defeating Mandan on Tuesday, the Dickinson High volleyball team has the winning feeling back.

It was just in time, as the Midgets host the two-day Dickinson High Invitational beginning Friday at DHS gymnasium.

Before Tuesday's win, Dickinson had gone 22 days and four matches between wins.

"It has been awhile since we had a win," Dickinson head coach Jay Schobinger said. "To get one of those, it gives them a little confidence back. We have to go and see if we can a few more this weekend."

The Midgets are now preparing to face some of the top teams around North Dakota, Montana and South Dakota.

The invitational allows Dickinson to see different types of teams with different playing styles, which Schobinger said is beneficial.

"We want to get a lot of touches, adjust and adapt," Schobinger said. "Every time you step on the floor, it's going to be against somebody different. You have make adjustment to what your opponent is doing."

Binstock isn't worried about state rankings

Dickinson High junior Jackson Binstock sat at the top of the Class A boys individual cross country poll for one week.

This week, he is in the No. 2 spot after finishing runner-up at the Valley City Invitational last Saturday.

Binstock isn't really paying attention to the cross country polls. He has his mind set on improving his times for the state cross country meet on Oct. 26 in Valley City.

"It's going to change every week because we are all really close and it's just going to come down to the end of the season," Binstock said.

Fargo Davies' Brandon Scheel leads the Class A state polls after winning the Valley City Invitational. Binstock said the times for the top runners in the state are so close together, it's going to come down to the state meet.

"It pushes me to work harder," Binstock said. "Now that I got beat it is going to push me even harder to get past the other guys. You never know who is going to win and it's always a good race."