VALLEY CITY, N.D. (NewsDakota.com) – It was the running game of Valley City vs. the passing game of Central Cass, and thanks to a couple of seniors, Drew Zaun and Max Fehr, the running game won out as Valley City celebrated homecoming three weeks late with a 18-14 win over 5th ranked Central Cass Friday night at Hanna Field.
Things did not start out so well for Valley City as Fehr fumbled on the third play of the game setting up Central Cass in Hi-Liner territory. But the Hi-Liner defense forced a three and out. Squirrels punter Brendan Maasjo pinned Valley City deep in their own territory at the 17 yard line.
The Hi-Liners did not do much better, after two runs, a penalty and an incomplete pass, Valley City punted the ball away.
On the ensuing drive, Aiden Jacobson picked off Maasjo at the 17 yard line Three plays later, Fehr took the pitch from Kael Grebel, cut inside a block by Jonah Schuldheisz and it was off to the races for 74 yard run capping a 83 yard drive in three plays taking 1:14 off the clock. The kick was no good making it 6-0 Hi-Liners.
The Hi-Liners would get the ball back on a short punt and a good return by Gavin Gerhardt. The Hi-Liners didn’t do much with good field position so with 45 seconds to go in the quarter, they would call on junior kicker Jay Kupitz. The soccer player nailed a 41 yard field goal to make it 9-0 Valley City.
Kupitz would add a 26 yard field goal with 8:26 to go in the third quarter to make it 12-0 Hi-Liners.
Central Cass would come back and take lead on two third quarter touchdown passes. Maasjo hit Logan Prochnow for a 35 yard touchdown when Prochnow caught the ball with Autstin Shape and Gavin Gerhardt in great position. The two point conversion was no good making it 12-6 Valley City with 6:11 to go in the third quarter.
Central Cass would take the lead on an 11 yard touchdown pass from Maasjo to Prochnow who caught the pass in the back corner of the end zone. The score was set up by a 37 yard reception by Jake Deutsch. Deutsch would make a great catch in the end zone for the two point conversion to make it 14-12 Central Cass with 2:55 to go in the third quarter.
The fourth quarter belonged to the Hi-Liner defense. Drew Zaun picked off Maasjo on a tipped pass to set up the Hi-Liners in the Squirrels territory. Max Fehr capped the drive with a four yard touchdown run with 6:16 left in the fourth quarter, his second of the game and tenth of the season.
On the ensuing drive, Zaun struck again with another interception at the Hi-Liner 23. He would return it 14 yards to the 37 yard line.
The Squirrels would get the ball back with 32 seconds left in the game but could not get anything going and the Hi-Liners celebrated the win.
Fehr finished with 179 yards on 39 carries with two touchdowns. Kael Grebel was 4 for 11 for 69 yards passing. Austin Shape caught two of those for 50 yards.
Brendan Maasjo was 16 for 32 for 164 passing for the Squirrels. He had the two touchdowns but three interceptions. Jake Deutsch had 7 catches for 80 yards. Logan Prochnow caught three balls for for 50 yards and two scores.
Valley City is 1-2 in the East Region and 2-4 overall. Central Cass falls to 1-3 in the region and 3-4 overall.
Valley City will host Hillsboro/CentralValley next Saturday at Hanna Field at 1pm. Coverage begins with the pregame at 12:45 with the kickoff set for 1pm on 1490 AM /96>3 FM KOVC and video streamed on newsdakota.com.