Jays prepare for run-heavy Huskies
Jamestown High School coach Bill Nelson knows that if his football team is going to be playing in November—or even late October—the Blue Jays would have to run the ball effectively.
Last Friday night against Valley City, the ground game was on full display for the fourth-ranked Blue Jays.
Running back Brandon Dallman rushed for 167 yards and a touchdown, quarterback Tommy Falk found the endzone three times and Aaron Mack ran for 48 during the 30-14 victory over the Hi-Liners.
"Our goal wasn't to throw the ball over the place," Nelson said, whose team travels to Wahpeton (1-5) tomorrow. "We want to establish the run game, especially if we want to be playing in November."
Dallmann continued his breakout season with rushes of 28 and 8 yard to score the opening touchdown three minutes into the contest. The junior didn't get going again till the fourth quarter where rushes of 15, 33 and 17 set up one of Falk's three touchdowns.
"I'm really happy with the running game," Nelson said. "Brandon had a really good game, while Tommy and Aaron also had good performances. Overall, we're starting to figure out some different concepts."
Jamestown's defense also held Valley City to two touchdowns on 149 yards of offense.
"They only recorded one longer pass and we learned from it," Nelson said, referring to a 40-yard strike caught by Sam Beierle. "We tightened it up in the second half and held Valley City off from there."
The Blue Jays made some subtle adjustments that most fans wouldn't have caught during the homecoming game. Senior Andrew Haugland moved from left tackle to left guard, senior Jacob Schulte moved to outside linebacker and sophomore Matt Anderson also started for the first time.
"They were good moves," Nelson said. "Obviously you look at the film and see the improvements we made after the adjustments."
Jamestown (3-3) turned its attention to run-heavy Wahpeton squad this week. The Huskies' offense features a double-wing concepts with a lot of misdirections.
"They have weapons and their double-wing concepts creates lots of misdirection," Nelson said. "They're going to get you thinking one way and suddenly they'll throw a counter. There'll be some big plays if we're not paying attention."
Wahpeton returns its entire offensive and defensive line that features seniors Tucker Hermes, Raymond Scharfenkamp, Brett Gilbertson, Dylan Jost, Ty Wixo and DJ King. The only specialty player returning is Isaac Wohlers, who moved from running back to QB.
"They're big up front," Nelson said. "We have to be assignment-sound because they run a double-wing style that is run heavy. If we don't stay home they'll slash you."
Jake Pfaff has been a running and receiving threat, while Shea Truesdell will also get carries out of the backfield.
The Huskies have struggled this season with only one victory against Grafton (1-5) two weeks ago.
"We refuse to look past any team," Nelson said. "We have to be stingy on defense and do our jobs."
Kickoff from North Dakota State College of Science's Frank Vertin Field will be at 7 p.m. tomorrow.
"Defensively we have to stop the run, limit possessions and not allow them to chew up a bunch of clock," Nelson said. "We have to move the chains on offense and take what they give us."