West Fargo and Sheyenne Square Off For Spot in Dakota Bowl
Mustangs have never made it to Dakota Bowl; Packers won State in 2017
WEST FARGO, N.D. — Number one seed from the east, Sheyenne squares off with city rival West Fargo for a spot in the Dakota bowl tomorrow night on the football field. For both sides, there’s more on the line than just city bragging rights.
For Sheyenne, its familiar territory. In the football program’s six years, the mustangs have made it to the semifinals in three of those seasons including last year. The one hump the Mustangs are looking to get over is past that semifinal game and into the championship.
The emotions of not getting there are in the back of the team’s mind, however, this season’s squad knows the outcome will be different.
“Making it to the semifinals now for the last couple years and not being able to make that next step we can really feel that,” receiver Tyler Terhark said. “This year were hoping it’ll be different and were really excited it’s going to be a fun game.”
“These last few it’s been tough on everybody. I was able to experience it a little bit last year,” quarterback Grant Warkenthien said. “It was a tough thing and I didn’t play much but this year and every year we want to keep it going. This year I think we have a good chance. If we just bring it we’ll find ourselves in the Dakota Bowl.
“I think with the loss last year it’s just going to drive our guys to push even harder,” defensive back Alex Urlab said. “It’s going to push us that much more to not have the same feeling again that we had last year.”
The mustangs beat minot in the quarterfinals to get to the semfinals against the packers.
For West Fargo High School football, Friday’s Divison AAA semifinals game against rival Sheyenne game provides a chance for redemption, much in the same way this whole season has.
After winning the state title in 2017, the packers won just two games last season and failed to make the playoffs.
But they turned things around in 2019, finishing third in the EDC with a 5-2 record in conference play, in order to earn their place in the state semifinals.
And the team can’t think of a better opponent than the Mustangs.
Sheyenne defeated West Fargo 21-6 earlier this season and the Packers haven’t had a win against their inner-city foe since 2017.
That all sets up a game where the stakes are about as high as it gets in high school football and the Packers are embracing the intensity that comes with it.
“This is the best possible outcome that we could have hoped for,” senior quarterback Dustin Mertz said. “There is nothing better than playing a cross town rival in a game that means so much like this especially in my senior year so it’s really special to us.”
“There is nerves and there is emotions and everything,” admitted senior wide receiver Marcus Gulley. “But we just have to execute. It means a lot, especially being a senior, winning it for these guys would be amazing.”
“Tensions have been high. Practice has been at an all time high. Going into a game like this, you really got to step up your level in practice and, obviously, in the game so I think we are as prepared as we can be and we are ready to go at it,” Mertz said.
The game kicks off Friday night at 7 P.M. at Sheyenne.