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Turtle Mountain Star
Rolla , North Dakota
September 13, 2021     Turtle Mountain Star
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September 13, 2021

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September 1-3, 2021 Page 9 Rodney Laverdure Jr. and his teammate, Trenton Azure, protect the qurterback from the pass rush of North Prairie's Wyatt Dunlop. Coach creditS"intensity’ in '- Cougar’s win over Dunseith By John Rosinski Of The Star A week after churning their way to a win over Benson Cohnty, the North Prairie COugars were firing on all cylinders last week. NP hosted Dunseith in the first home game in Rolla, along with the first regional game of the season. After stopping the Dragons on their initial possession, the'Cougars hit one haymaker after another on their Way to a 50-12 win. Dunseith opened the game with a bit of a purpose offensively. The - Dragons ran the ball on the first six plays and chewed up some yardage in the process. The drive stalled, however, at the 27-yard line. That’s when the Cougars explo- sive offense took the field. V It took, NP a single play to score the first touchdown of the game. Quarterback Nicholas Mears took the snap and cut through the left side of his line. Mears darted toward the sideline and ran almost untouched into the end zone for a 73-yard score. The Dragons responded just as quickly and gave the impression it might be a close contest. Quarterback Ethan Morin hooked up with his fa? . vorite target in fellow senior Chad Parisien. The duo connected on a 23.- yard score, knotting the game at six. The rest of the evening belonged to the Cougars. Mears struck againin short order on a 40-yard score. The struggling Dr'agon defense was hob- bled even more during the drive when senior and anchor lineman Rodney Laverdure Jr. left the game with a lower leg injury. Dunseith’s bid for another score was derailed on the ensuing drive as NP sophomore Blake Mattson picked off Morin for an interception. Mattson returned the ball to the. l5-yard line and that was more than close enough for the Cougar offense to score. Tyre] Yoder found the money ona 16-yard touchdown. The ' strike came on the very first play of the second quarter to give the Cougars a 22-6 advantage. After snuffing out the Dragons next drive, NP again went to the air. Mears found Mitchell Leas in the front comer of the end zone on a per- fectly timed nine-yard pass and catch. Just as Leas turned around to find the ball, it was almost immedi— ately right square in his hands for the score, giving NP what turned out to be an insurmountable 30-6 lead. The night just kept getting better for the Cougars later in the quarter. After extending a drive on a fourth and six play, Yoder scored on a not quite so ordinary 19-yard run. Mid~ way through the run Yoder fumbled North Prairi junior Mltchell Leas breaks up a pass attemt in- tended for Dunseith senior Chad Parisien. the ball. Fortunately for the Cougars and unfortunately for the Dragons, the ball popped up right in front of Yoder, who calmly regained posses- sion and darted for the comer of the endzone. An interception by Carter Cassa—- vant later in the quarter and a 23-yard touchdown reception by Mattson ended the first half frenzy. ‘ With a running clock in the sec- ond half the Cougars were content to run the ball throughout the second half. NP’s last score came on a 56: yard run by senior Deryk Thomas. The Dragons scored on a 7-yard reception by Parisien later in the half. NP Head Coach Josh Keller cred- ited his team for cranking up the ef- Intensity (Continued on Page 16) Houston Davis, rigt, puts Watford City defender on skates after cutting back against the grain during a catch-and-run in Turtle Mountain’s big win at home. By Jason Nordmark Of The Star The Turtle Mountain Braves picked up a Class 11AWest Division win Friday night downing the Wat- ford City Wolves 24-18. Head coach Jason Goumeau said his squad was motivated for the game due to the school’s annual homecom- ing celebration and another special féason. “I think the main thing was. some ‘of kids, especially the seniors, knew Danny St. Vincent,” said Goumeau, of the school’s former head coach whorecently passed away. “They wanted to win it for him.” The match up with the Wolves was a see—saw affair that had each team gaining and losing momentum throughout the night. “The key was that we didn’t get frustrated,” Goumeau said. “If they scored, we kept a good attitude. We just kept playing fOOtball.” The Braves started strong offen- sively, but lost momentum quickly after a fumble inside Watford City’s territory. The sting multiplied when Dakota Cluchie hit a hole on the out— side and galloped in for an early 6-0 lead for the Wolves. Penalties stubbed the Braves’ en- suing drive. A‘ first down pass was called back due to holding and back- to—back false starts resulted in a third and 16 that Turtle Mountain couldn’t convert. The punt put Watford City on its own 24 yard line and the prospects looked good for the team after a nice first down ’play gained 15 yardse From that point on‘ out, however, the Braves’- defense made life for the Wolves miserable. A bad snap along with a penalty pushed the Wolves back to their own 19 yard line. Melvin Jeanotte and ’ Dayton Allery teamed up for a big sack on the next play, leaving Wat- ford City with a third and 40 that the teamcould not achieve. , A punt gave the Braves prime field position at midfield. Keon La- ducer started the march by breaking three tackles en route to a 15 yard run that fired up the sidelines. Another gain was magnified by a Wolves’ face mask penalty and the Braves found themselves on the 14 yard line. .On the next play, Turtle Mountain quarterback Tanner Monette faded back and had two 6’4” receivers in the same spot and lofted the ball in their direction. Houston Davis and Parker Wallette both went up for the ball and Davis came down with it as the much shorter Watford City de- fenders watched it all unfold. Monette found Wallette alone for the extra point and the Braves grabbed an 8-6 lead. Watford City continued to strug— gle on offense, hampered by both an aggressive Belcourt defense and penalties. Turtle Mountain started the sec~ ond quarter with the ball at midfield. Another sharp pass from Monette pushed the chains down to the Wat- ford City34 but the drive stalled with Defense, big plays boost I raves by Watfo rd City Connor LaVallie picked off a Watford City pass in the first half of the Braves’ win over the Wolves. a sack that pushed the down marker back to midfield. V A near-perfect punt by Houston Davis pinned the Wolves at their own three-yard line and set the scene for a turning point in the game. Watford City tried to run out of its own end zone and the Belcourt front line was up to the task, taking down the run- ner just outside the goal line. In three plays, the Wolves went forward just once which set up a punt from the back of the end zone. The quick kick was shOrt and Keon Laducer caught it on the run, then hit full speed leaving would-be tacklers behind on his way to the end zone. The defensive front of the Braves had a lot to do with both the forced punt and the score serving as tacklers and blockers during the se- ries that-led to a 16-6 lead for the home team. Braves (Continued on Page 16)