Rushing for over 100 yards in a game is becoming more common each week. Eight running backs eclipsed the century mark two weeks ago, highlighted by Drake-Anamoose junior Darin McClintock's 267-yard performance. Last week, nine running backs rushed for more than 100 yards, including three at over 200 yards.
McClintock topped his previous week's rushing total with 340 yards and five touchdowns on 25 carries in a 54-42 victory over Kenmare-Bowbells-Burke County on Friday.
"They just didn't have an answer for him," Drake-Anamoose coach Chris Arnold said. "He had his motor going that night. We needed him to keep running the ball to stay in the game. I was just in awe that night watching him run. It took a lot to take him down."
Bishop Ryan senior running back Chase Fugere stiff-arms a Turtle Mountain player earlier this season at Herb Parker Stadium.
Drake-Anamoose had 59 total rushes compared to just four passing attempts. In four games this season, McClintock has rushed for 781 yards and 10 touchdowns on 76 carries. He is averaging 195 yards per game and 10.3 yards per carry.
Drake-Anamoose won its last two games to improve to 2-2. The Raiders are a half-game back of Benson County and Surrey for the final playoff spot in 9-man Region 3.
McClintock isn't the only running back putting up numbers this season. Bishop Ryan senior Chase Fugere totaled 224 rushing yards in a 50-13 win over Dickinson Trinity. A week prior, Fugere rushed for 164 yards in less than two quarters against Turtle Mountain.
"We run a spread offense that forces the defense to cover the entire field," Ryan coach Brad Borkhuis said. "It's an attribute to the completions in the one-to-seven-yard passes. That spreads the defense out so much that there are huge gaps to run."
Fugere has rushed for 537 yards on 74 carries and scored 10 touchdowns in four games.
Carrington battling for District 7 lead
A District 7-opening loss to Langdon on Sept. 4 has not deterred the Carrington High School volleyball team from striving for the district championshipn come October.
Since losing the five-game match, the Cardinals have won their last two district matches against New Rockford-Sheyenne and Rolette-Wolford. Carrington is 7-0-2 since the loss, with the two ties coming in the Valley City Tournament.
"We're happy with our strong start," Carrington coach Sharon Boehmer said. "We're a talented, athletic group."
Carrington features a well-balanced offense. Junior middle blocker Madison Wendel is the team's top offensive weapon, followed closely by senior middle blocker Breana Barton and junior outside hitter Kayla Hochhalter. The trio combined for 23 kills against NRS. Barton and Hochhalter are the team's serving aces.
"Our serving has been the biggest strength," Boehmer said. "The majority of our varsity is serving in the high 80 percent."
Setting the offense in motion are senior setters Josey Page and Nikki Braaten. Both had double-digit assists against NRS.
Defensively, Carrington has a clear height advantage over most of the teams in the district. The Cardinals' two blocking experts, Wendel and Barton, stand 5-foot-11 and 5-foot-10, respectively. Hochhalter is also 5-foot-10. Page is the only Cardinal shorter than 5-foot-7. When the ball gets past Wendel and Barton at the net, junior middle blocker Page Anderson, senior outside hitter Jacey Engelhorn and Hochhalter are the team's digging specialists.
Experience is a key ingredient to the early success. The Cardinals have five seniors and four juniors on their 11-player roster. The other two members are sophomores.
Carrington sits a half-game behind both Midkota and Langdon for the top spot in the district. The Cardinals have an important match with Midkota coming up at home on Tuesday. A win would put them ahead of Midkota in the district, but a loss could cripple their chances of finishing the year on top.
"It's a measuring stick," Boehmer said. "We're fighting for first in the district. What matters is the end of the season and the postseason. They want a good seeding in the district. The match is a big match, but we'll use it as a measuring stick."
Beulah's offense rolling midway through season
First-year coach Jim Dooley appears to have found the right formula, as his Beulah football team has climbed to No. 2 in the state media's Class AA poll.
The Miners (4-0 overall, 2-0 region) opened the season with a 28-8 victory over Hazen, a huge turnaround from the 42-0 loss suffered a year prior.
Having upperclassmen at every skill position has made life a little easier for Dooley. Senior quarterback Trevor Zacher has two senior wide receivers to throw to in Cody Nelson and Jesse Hettich. Zacher has the option to hand the ball off to senior running back Karson Hintz, who has 583 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Hintz is also a viable receiving option, catching 10 passes for 137 yards and a touchdown.
"The kids are buying in," Dooley said. "That's why we've been able to have success. They work hard and our staff is doing a good job of holding them accountable."
Zacher has completed 39-of-68 passes for 640 yards and four touchdowns. Hettich is the team's leading receiver with 17 receptions for 336 yards and three touchdowns. Nelson has caught eight passes for 122 yards and a touchdown.
"We have some talent," Dooley said. "We're not really limited to one thing offensively."
It was no secret that last season the Miners offense was inconsistent. Beulah failed to score in the season-opener against Hazen and followed that up by scoring just 12 points in a loss at Central Cass.
The offense caught fire against Turtle Mountain, scoring a season-high 40 points, only to fall back to Earth with 33 combined points over the next three games. Two late 28-point performances were drowned out by a 42-0 loss to Grafton in the Class AA Quarterfinal.
The Miners look to continue this year's turnaround on the road against Bismarck St. Mary's at 7 p.m. on Friday.