Blog Post

West Fargo Finishes Perfect Season With Dakota Bowl Win

The West Fargo Packers ran away from the Minot Magicians in the second half of the 3A Dakota Bowl state championship to finish off their undefeated season with a 56-28 win.

Both teams had their moments in the first half as West Fargo started the scoring with a Jared Franek 2-yard touchdown run with seven minutes left in the first quarter. Minot would respond with back-to-back scoring drives. First a touchdown pass from senior quarterback Creighton Rudolph to senior tight end Lofton Klabunde for a 6-yard score put the Magi up 7-6. Then, a Dylan Danielson touchdown run from 4 yards out made it a 14-6 lead.

The Packers would punch right back with a drive capped off by the quarterback Andy Gravdahl floating a pass over the middle to Tanner Zapeda for a 19-yard touchdown, one of only five completions on the day for Gravdahl.  West Fargo retook the lead with a Alex Sell touchdown run at 20-14 with three minutes left in the first half.

Minot would use those three minutes though, to throw the final punch of the first quarter as Rudolph found Kyler Stenberg in the front corner of the endzone for a 34-yard touchdown pass. At the half Minot held a one-point lead 21-20.

West Fargo stole all the momentum early in the second half as they jumped on the Magi from the get go with an onside kick to start the half that gave the Packers excellent field position and just 4 plays later they were down by the goal line and Franek would run in his second touchdown of the game with a 2-yard score giving the Packers the lead for good.

Minot couldn’t seem to find the magic in the second half with a botched punt and an interception that led to short fields for West Fargo and the packers took advantage scoring two more times to lead 42-21. The magi had a glimpse of life with a quick scoring drive in under two minutes culminating in a 36-yard touchdown grab for Peyton Lamoureux to end a lopsided third quarter. 

The Packers sealed the game with a scoring drive to start the fourth when Franek got the hat-trick with his third rushing touchdown, this one from 12 yards out put West Fargo back up by three scores at 49-28. Sophomore Joel McIntosh added a touchdown run with six minutes left for the Packers to finish the scoring at 56-28. With the win West Fargo wins their first state title in football since 2003 and head coach Jay Gibson is now 6-0 in the Dakota Bowl as head coach of the Packers.

West Fargo also swept the season awards as Jay Gibson was named the coach of the year in 3A football and quarterback Andy Gravdahl was the Gatorade Senior Athlete of the Year. 

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