Park River-Fordville-Lankin downs Carrington in Class 1A semifinal
CARRINGTON -- In the tale of the scale, Park River/Fordville-Lankin found itself in a rare size disadvantage Saturday. Carrington's starting offensive line averaged 245 pounds; the Aggies' four-man defensive front averaged slightly less at 238. P...
CARRINGTON - In the tale of the scale, Park River/Fordville-Lankin found itself in a rare size disadvantage Saturday.
Carrington’s starting offensive line averaged 245 pounds; the Aggies’ four-man defensive front averaged slightly less at 238.
Park River-Fordville-Lankin took that as a challenge.
“We talked about how big they were,’’ PR-F-L defensive tackle Spencer Rehovsky said. “I was fired up about going against (that size).’’
The Aggies handled Carrington’s size. In a matchup of unbeatens, Park River-Fordville-Lankin earned a second consecutive trip to the North Dakota Class A High School football championship game with a 28-9 semifinal win against Carrington.
Park River-Fordville-Lankin, 10-0, meets Killdeer in the 11 a.m. title game Friday in the Fargodome. It will be a rematch of last season’s state title game, won by the Aggies 26-18. Carrington closed at 9-1.
“We watched 10, 15 hours of game film on Carrington this week,’’ Rehovsky said. “We saw what they liked to do. And, obviously, we shut them down.’’
Carrington entered the game averaging 9.4 yards per rushing attempt and 282.8 rushing yards per game. Against the Aggies, who had Rehovsky, Cole Clemetson, Nick Lindgren and Adam Johnson on the line, the Cardinals rushed 31 times for 89 yards. Carrington was without leading rusher Cole Ferguson, who was sidelined with a knee injury.
“That says what kind of day their defense had,’’ Carrington coach Marty Hochhalter said of the 89 rushing yards. “We couldn’t get anything going. They’re so fast. They controlled the line of scrimmage and their linebackers were so quick getting in there to make plays.’’
Carrington’s previous low point total in a game was 28.
Said Park River-F-L coach Robert Goll: “The defensive line shut down whatever they wanted or tried to do. Carrington has big, physical linemen. We worried ahead of time if we could go man-to-man on the line, if they would handle us up front. But I don’t think that happened. And it was everybody doing his job.’’
Carrington’s lone score came in the second quarter on a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Connor Wendel, set up by a 31-yard halfback option pass from Braxton Hewitt to Jacob Fandrich.
But the Aggies regained the lead for good at 14-9 on Jackson Hankey’s 2-yard TD run with 8:57 left in the first half.
The score remained 14-9 until PR-F-L scored twice within 2:10 in the fourth quarter. Daman Flaten hauled in a 23-yard pass from Levi Cudmore for a 22-9 PR-F-L lead with 10:36 remaining.
After the Cardinals turned the ball over on downs, it took one play for Park River-Fordville-Lankin to score again. Hankey burst up the middle and into open field. He broke a pair of tackles in going 55 yards for a TD and a 28-9 lead with 8:26 left.
“That was the backbreaker,’’ Goll said. “That was a great run. And to go up by 19 with eight minutes left, that’s tough for any team to come back from.’’
Cudmore finished 7-of-14 passing for 177 yards, including a 75-yard score to Jordan Omlie in the first quarter. Hankey, held to 24 yards in the first half, finished with 138 on 22 carries.
“We did what we always do,’’ Hankey said. “We pounded the football. The offensive line made holes. They made me look good.’’
And then there was that Aggies defense. With an 8.4 points-against average on the season, PR-F-L defended like it has all season.
To hold Carrington to nine points and 89 yards rushing, “I guess we played pretty well,’’ Rehovsky said.
Park River/F-L 28, Carrington 9
PRFL 8 6 0 14 - 28
Carrington 9 0 0 0 - 9
PRFL- Jordan Omlie 75 pass from Levi Cudmore (Jackson Hankey pass from Cudmore)
Carrington- Safety, Bridger Anderson tackled Cudmore in end zone
Carrington - Connor Wendel 1 run (Jacob Fandrich kick)
PRFL - Jacob Hankey 2 run (pass failed)
PRFL - Flaten 23 pass from Cudmore (Hankey run)
PRFL - Hankey 55 run (pass failed)
RUSHING - PRFL: Jackson Hankey 22-138, Daman Flaten 2-9, Levi Cudmore 10-9; C: Connor Wendel 14-41, Walker Carr 10-29, Braxton Hewitt 7-19
PASSING - PRFL: Cudmore 7-14-2, 177 yards; C: Wendel 6-20-2, 62 yards, Hewitt 1-1-0, 31 yards
RECEIVING - PRFL: Jordan Omlie 1-75, Flaten 4-65, Hankey 1-22, Cadyn Hunter 1-15; C: Jacob Fandrich 2-50, Bryce Edland 2-23, Hewitt 1-11, Carr 2-9