Safety at Sid Cichy
In the five-horse race that is the top of the EDC for Football, two plays on Thursday night may end up being the difference between Davies finishing atop the conference and West Fargo finishing their surprising run in that spot. If you somehow missed it, the weather was winning all over the state & extended region last night but the games had to go on. Thus West Fargo & Davies met on the turf at Shanley, because mud bowls are unacceptable when they can be avoided.
After a first drive punt by the Green team, the Eagles got the ball to the one-yard line but were stopped just short of a touchdown for a turnover on downs. On the very next play, West Fargo wasn't able to get the ball beyond the end-line so the scoreboard sat at 2-0.
After a couple more empty possessions, Davies had the ball again. Jack Carlson took the ball and finished the big score this time. After a failed two-point conversion the score was an unconventional 8-0. The theme of the wind being the most impactful of the weather elements showed up again after a couple of punts, the second of which by the home team on the scoreboard. After the ball left the foot of Davies punter, the ball died in the air as quickly as I have ever seen. So needless to say, extra points and field goals were going to be VERY unlikely.
With the short field, West Fargo went back to work and Dustin Mertz took the responsibility on himself to knock the zero out. After the touchdown run, they finished on the two-point conversion to even the score at eights.
After a long kickoff return, all the way to the 12 yard line, Carlson took the ball for the next two plays and made it a 14-8 game.
Another recurring theme during the game was repeated issues by West Fargo to handle the snap cleanly. Even when it did go smooth, the Davies defense was able to make some noise, as Caleb Sjostrom did on the next set of plays with a sack that ultimately lead to another punt. The Eagles weren't able to do anything with it and ended up punting again with little time coming off the clock.
Even with limited time left, the intermittent rain & steady, strong wind both teams managed to add to their points totals before getting warmed up. The West's score came on a 23-yard pass from Mertz to Carter Birrenkott with three minutes to go.
In continued semi-hurry-up offense, Davies got beyond midfield, at which point Reid Hartness was able to complete a pass against the wind to Ty Satter. The D1 recruit did the rest to end the scoring of the half 20-14.
After the break, Davies returned with another turnover on downs but the Green's recurring bugaboo cropped up again as the snap sailed past one drive substitute Sam Fredericks, which put their offense in a precarious position yet again. With their backs against the end line and the quarterback in the zone, the Eagles defense was able to force more pressure. As he scrambled to avoid the sack, Fredericks stepped on the back of the end zone while trying to throw the ball away beyond the front line, which also didn't work out. A second safety for the home team, I can't remember the last time I've seen that.
West Fargo rebounded from those issues with a fourth-down, 26-yard touchdown run by the reinserted Dustin Mertz. Another failed 2-point conversion left them down by two, they became the beneficiary of a fumble and Joel McIntonish gave his team the lead for the first time.
Be it ever so briefly.
Davies managed to respond with one last drive that ended with Hartness closing the books on the scoring with a six-yard touchdown run. West Fargo got the ball back with potentially enough time to win but driving into the wind in a passing imperative situation proved to be too much and the Eagles were able to end the game with a kneel down.
Davies 30, West Fargo 24
Davies kept themselves in the driver's seat for the EDC crown but the race remains open to five local teams for at least one more week. As soon as next week the Eagles may be able to claim the title with a win over Sheyenne and a loss by Shanley who go up against West Fargo. To put it simply, next week is going to be a fun one in the area!
Players of the Game
With a pair of touchdowns for Davies, none are more deserving