Late Night Under the Lights
On a night that didn't go according to plan for anyone other than Sheyenne at North at the Fargodome, it may have most true for the folks at Park Christian as they hosted Kittson County. The 9-man operation that has spent the last few years building to this season got some temporary lights set up so that they could do homecoming the right way. Cue the lightning light show that pushed pause on some games and the start of others back by more than two hours.
With the Bearcats coming from more than two hours away for the game, the Falcons were going to wait as long as possible so as to get the game in. So round about the time when the game would have been concluding as originally scheduled, it was deemed safe enough play. Both teams came out and did a brief warm-up session and then got underway.
Park started with the ball but weren't able to get any traction before turning it over on downs. The Falcons defense got a quick stop of their own and forced the first punt of the night but in the first major error of the night, Ethan Jorgensen muffed the reception and KCC jumped on the ball. With the short field, the Bearcats managed to punch in the touchdown to Matthew Stewart then the two-point conversion.
On Park's next possession they were once again forced to punt which set up the Cats to really take control. On an eight-yard run Adam Gustafson made it into the endzone which was again followed by a 2 pt conversion. Down 16-0 and still trying to find their footing in the game, Park once again had to punt the ball away on the next possession. A bit of positivity began for them as they then forced the same result. While the lightning had long since moved away, the wind continued to whip at unpredictable moments which I thought would lead both teams to really emphasize the ground game. Over the span of the game that proved to be true but for the Falcons to get back into it, they would have to take some risks. One such play paid off big for them as Payton Spaeth dropped it into the hands of Jorgensen who took it the rest of the way. The momentum swing continued in their favor as they forced another punt on the next possession and then had another scoring opportunity before the half. The field goal attempt went just to the left of the goalposts but the message still resonated that they weren't just going to lay down.
After the break, Jorgensen continued his personal redemption effort with an interception. The Falcons turned that into a red zone drive but before being able to make it a one-score game, they put it on the ground and Kittson recovered it.
The defense responded with a punt to get the ball back but the window of opportunity had already begun to close. Park was subsequently forced to punt it away as well but kept their chance alive through another turnover-on-downs to start the fourth quarter. The Bearcats weren't keen on allowing the optimism to linger any longer and Chisum Schmiedeberg got the first of three consecutive interceptions. That possession was finished with the dagger score, a touchdown run by Adam Gustafson. As mentioned, each of the Falcon's final possessions ended with picks. After Schmiedeberg it was Gustafson making a play and then Mitchell Docken to slam the door completely. From there, it came down to victory formation.
Kittson County Central 24, Park Christian 7
Player of the Game
In a performance that exemplified the power of two-way play, the choice is an easy one