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October 20, 2014     Turtle Mountain Star
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October 20, 2014
 

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October 20, 2014 .... The Star Page 11 SPORTS Braves clip Blue Jays for first win By John Rosinski Of The Star It could have been easy for the Belcourt Braves' football team to shut it down after they fell behind 8-0 in their road game against Stanley-Powers Lake on Saturday. After all, the Braves have endured a challeng- ing year on multiple fronts. In addition to being a young team at several key positions, they have also had some players who were expected to con- tribute miss significant time with various injuries. They also came into the game with a 0-7 record. But to the Braves' credit, they shook off the early deficit, regrouped and were eventually re- warded with a 22-14 triumph. The 22 points were a season high for the Braves and the bulk of them came in the second quarter. Belcourt's first score came courtesy of the de- fense. Like he has done all season, Brandon Ro- driguez was in the right place to make a big play. After the defense forced a fumble, Rodriguez cor- ralled the loose ball and rumbled home for a 17- yard score. After scoring the touchdown, Rodriguez capped it off by converting the two- point conversion. With just over a minute to play in the half, Ro- driguez found the money a second time, scoring on a four-yard run. For the first time all season, the Braves enjoyed a halftime lead of 14-6. Neither team scored in the third quarter but early in the fourth, Colten Birkland hauled in a 33- yard pass from quarterback Stacy Davis for what proved to be the game-winning score. Austin Thomas added the two-point conversion. S-PL added a score with just under two minutes to play, but would not get a miracle finish. Rodriguez ended his big day with 17 carries for 71 yards. The Braves are set to close out their regular sea- son this Friday when they host Griggs-Barnes County. Polar Bears freeze out Cougars in second half By Jason Nordmark Of The Star North Prairie went toe-to-toe with the two-time regional champs Satur- day afternoon in Rolette. At the end of a wild first half, the Cougars were tied with Larimore 13- 13 in a game featuring big hits on de- fense and a school-yard offense. At the end of the second half, however, the Polar Bears were the three-time regional champs after put- ting up 29 unanswered points. The 42-13 final wasn't indicative of what was a monumental match up for 36 minutes. In fact, one could say Larimore was lucky to get out of town with the win. The prospect of facing a formida- ble Larimore run defense motivated an offensive switch for the Cougars. Instead of feeding the Bears a steady diet of Sean Soukup, Taylor Scott and T.J. Martin, North Prairie loaded up a run-and=gun offense from the start. The strategy allowed the Cougars to slice through the Bears like they were deli meat. The first drive took just a few minutes and featured five- receiver sets. Quarterback Jalen Pfeifer had time to pin point his tar- gets and settled on Martin for a three- yard score to open the game. North Prairie's defense also an- swered the bell with intensity. Lari- more's misdirection offense was thrown off kilter by the Cougars' one direction defense. That direction was, forward and down onto the turf. Senior Ryan Gailfus was a major pain for nearly every Polar Bear who touched the ball. Lineman Karson Schoening stymied Larimore's chances of running up the gut and the North Prairie secondary shut down the passing game. The home-team's strategy was working early, but with the school- yard offense comes inherent risks and the increased chance of a missed receiver. That's how Larimore got on the board first, with a pick-six by their all-region senior Jake Peterson. The Polar Bears struck again in the first quarter when one of those misdirection plays finally broke through and Rocye Verkuehlen took off for 42 yards. The Cougars answered with more passing. A Pfeifer pass glided into the outstretched arms of Soukup for a 44-yard strike to tie the game at 13- 13 after one quarter of play. The second quarter will haunt the Cougars for quite a while. Two times, on two sustained drives, North Prairie moved right through the reel- ing Polar Bear defense. Both of those drives ended in fumbles inside the 10-yard line and instead up being up two scores, North Prairie went into the halftime huddle on an even keel with region's top team. For most of the first half and for unknown reasons, Larimore kept its primary weapon in the holster. Peter- son did have a touchdown, but it was on defense. He carried the ball a few times, but did not consistently get the rock. That all changed in the second hall It started when Peterson picked off a Pfeifer pass early in the third quarter. That led to quarterback Jacob Tupa hitting Peterson on a short crossing route that turned into a 43-yard score and a 19-13 lead. Early in the fourth quarter, Peter- son found a chink in the Cougar armor and took off for a 50-yard scoring run. Meanwhile, the North Prairie of- fense went cold. They reverted to the run to start the half, but the five-re- ceiver set returned after the Polar Bears took the lead. Larimore's defense was expecting the aerial assault and brought the pressure on Pfeifer, who did well to scramble away. Most of the sacks were due to the uptick in pass cover- age on the part of the Polar Bears. Larimore added two more touch- downs in the fourth to seal the team's Cougars (Continued on Page 13) Above: North Prairie's Riley Richard (50) forces Larimore quarterback Jacob Tupa to get rid of the ball off his back foot during Saturday afternoon's match up. Below: With a contingent of fans and teammates cheering him on, Brody Cahill (2) takes off for a big gain after a side line catch. Dunseith's Brendon Nerpel went up high to block a Honker pass attempt as his teammate, Josh Nadeau also closed in on the quarterback. Dunseith goes bonkers Honkers By John Rosinski Of The Star The Dunseith Dragons capped off their 2014 football season with twice as many wins as the year before. The Dragons hosted Kenmare-Bowbells-Burke Central in the final game of the season last Saturday, and earned a 22-14 victory. The win was the fourth for the Dragons this season after winning two games last year, and not even fielding a varsity team in 2012. The Dragons' defense proved to be the difference maker in their triumph. Dunseith's defense opened the game by picking up an interception, added three more turnovers throughout the game and ended things with a thunder- Bonkers (Continued on Page 12) St. John's Kylene Martell tries to block a point attempt by the Comets' Lynnsey Salubaugh. Comets continue to shine By John Rosinski Of The Star It was another successful week for the Rolette-Wolford volleyball team. The Comets played two matches and won them both without losing a single game. On Tuesday the Comets wel- comed St. John, and fought off a spirited effort by the 'Chucks to pick up the win, 25-13, 25-14 and 25-11. R-W took a commanding 15-6 lead in the first game before St. John mounted a small rally midway through the contest. The Comets managed to keep things under control and won the game on a Kinze Martinson ace. The second game was close for the first 15 points but after a slow start, the Comets raced to the win. St. John only trailed 8-10 in the early going, but a pair of net viola- tions and a Comet ace stretched the deficit to 8-14. After a St. John point, the Comets' Lexy Wittmayer recorded one of her match-high 19 kills to re- gain control of the match. St. John continued to battle, how- Volleyball (Continued on Page 12)