Football finishes successful season with playoff berth

Jack Dorsher, Web Editor

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Eight years after their last playoff appearance, the Fargo North football team battled its way to
earning the fourth seed in the Eastern Dakota Conference. A slow start to the season proved
insignificant as the Spartans won their last four regular season games to secure a playoff spot,
finishing with a 3-3 record in the EDC.

The Spartans started the season with a convincing 32-7 win over Dickinson but struggled in
their next four, losing to Williston, Fargo Davies, Fargo South, and West Fargo Sheyenne. Fargo
North was outscored by its opponents 146-14 in that stretch. The Spartans were unphased by the
losses, knowing they could play better football.

“Getting healthy helps a lot of things,” defensive coordinator Brent Miller said of the team’s
second half turnaround. “Football is the ultimate team game. It takes a while to figure out where your
players fit and what everybody’s role and responsibility is on the team. Once we figured that out
things started falling into place.”

The Spartans started to turn things around with a win over defending state champions West
Fargo High School. They went on to defeat Grand Forks Red River 12-3 the following week, virtually
securing a playoff spot. The Spartans then won a tough road contest over Mandan 25-14. In the final
game of the regular season, Fargo North toppled Grand Forks Central on senior night 34-14.

“The four game losing streak wasn’t what we wanted but we rebounded nicely from that,” said
junior Peyton Fisher. “Beside the losing streak we did everything we wanted to.”

Fargo North concluded the regular season in fourth place in the Eastern Dakota Conference,
earning them a matchup with the undefeated Bismarck High School, the number one seed from the
Western Dakota Association. The Spartans faced off against the Demons at the Bismarck
Community Bowl on Oct. 26.

“We knew they were good, but we were still pretty hot. We had won four in a row so we were
pretty confident,” said Fisher.

The Spartans hung with the Demons in the first quarter, but as the game went on Bismarck
showed why it earned the first seed. The Demons scored 37 points in the first half and the Spartans
couldn’t climb out of the hole. Fargo North only allowed one score in the second half but just couldn’t
get the offense going, falling to the Bismarck Demons 44-0.

Fisher said, “Even though we were underdogs we were excited and ready to go. It didn’t turn
out the way we wanted, but we believed we could have pulled it off.”
No one wants to lose their last game of the season, but the Spartans are proud of what they
were able to accomplish this year. They aren’t satisfied, however. This offseason will be key in
ensuring the Spartans stay at the top of the EDC.

“We always emphasize the weight room and our offseason conditioning and getting bigger,
stronger and faster for next season,” said Miller.

The Spartans graduate 14 seniors and are extremely proud of what they were able to
accomplish, leading the team to the playoffs this year.

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Football finishes successful season with playoff berth