The Minot High football team has played Fargo Davies every season since the Eagles' inception in 2010.
Every year has yielded the same result: a Magicians victory. Yet, each season the Eagles have come closer to knocking off Minot.
Davies has come a long way since their inaugural season in which it went winless, including a 54-6 smacking by the Magicians. Last year, the Eagles finished 6-4 and won a share of the East Region title and took Minot to overtime before eventually falling 34-27.
Minot High hosts Fargo Davies tonight at 8 at Magic City Campus in its home opener. The Magicians are 4-0 all time against the Eagles.
"They're a very good team," Minot coach Barry Holmen said. "... I think they're starting to assert themselves as one of the elite football teams in (Class) AAA football. We're familiar with their schemes and their style and we certainly have a healthy respect for their athletes and style of play. It will be a nice challenge for us."
Both teams enter tonight's 8 p.m. contest at Magic City Campus winners of their season openers against non-conference opponents. The Magicians defeated West Fargo 20-12, while the Eagles soared past Century 35-12.
Davies' offense is led by twin brothers Aidan and Tristan Hartness. Aidan - the starting quarterback - threw for 93 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 97 more against the Patriots. Tristan Hartness - Aidan's primary wide receiver - caught three passes for 65 yards and a touchdown.
"They have a really good quarterback-wide receiver duo that we're going to be keying in on," Minot senior running back-linebacker Karter Gorney said. "They're potential all-state players. We definitely have to change our defense around to stop them."
The Hartness twins aren't the only ones Minot's defense needs to shut down to continue their winning streak against the Eagles. Davies' running game accumulated 353 yards, led by junior Ty Jochim, who rushed for 182 yards on 13 carries against Century. Classmate JD Arguelles had 43 yards and two touchdowns on eight rushes.
"They'll be a good team," Minot linebacker Zach Danelson said. "We just have to come out and make sure we're more physical than they are. We have to make sure to stop the run right away."
As for the Magicians, they received big plays when they needed them against West Fargo. Gorney ripped off touchdown runs of 47 and 53 yards, the latter with 35 seconds remaining. Defensively, Minot came away with two takeaways. Drew Repnow intercepted a pass in the end zone midway through the fourth quarter and junior quarterback-free safety Ben Bolinske picked off another with 53 seconds left.
"Our defense was pretty fundamentally sound," Holmen said. "We need to improve pretty typical things. We lost contain a bit sometimes last week. We're creating depth up front and we're learning more about our people up front. We're pleased with some of that, but we have other guys that are going to have a second (chance) to create some depth on the defensive side."
Home openers have been kind to Minot as of late. In their last four home openers, the Magicians have outscored opponents 163-19, including two shutouts. Davies averaged 32.4 points per game last season.
"We have home field advantage," Gorney said. "When your fans and your parents are there watching, you always play better."
Mike Kraft covers Minot High athletics and general assignments. Follow him on Twitter @MKraft24_MDN.