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Zavalney sparks East to Shrine 11-man win

GRAND FORKS — For a third-string quarterback, Adam Zavalney played a big role in the offense Saturday, July 13, at Cushman Field.

Zavalney scored two touchdowns — one on offense and one on defense — and set up another score with a long run. The Park River/Fordville-Lankin product sparked the 11-man East team to a 27-7 win against the West in the annual North Dakota Shrine Bowl.

While the East dominated possession time in a first half that ended with it holding a 213-39 advantage in total yards, the score was tied at 7-7 until 3:14 remained in the second quarter.

Zavalney, playing the wildcat position when the East went to that formation, put his team ahead to stay at that point, scoring on a 3-yard run that gave the East a 14-7 lead into halftime.

The West threatened to score on its opening second-half possession, driving to the East 19 before being pushed back and turning the ball over on downs.

An 11-yard pass from Jesse Forknell (Fargo Davies) to Dawson Weisenberger (Fargo South) on the ensuing possession gave the East a 20-7 lead. That score was set up when, on a third-and-one play, Zavalney ran 15 yards for a first down at the West 15.

The East clinched the win when Zavalney intercepted a pass and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown with 1:11 remaining. Zavalney also broke up a pass at the goal line on another fourth-quarter West possession.

The East never trailed after taking the opening possession 72 yards on 10 plays. Forknell capped the drive with an 8-yard run, with Weisenberger kicking the extra point.

The West answered quickly. On the ensuing kickoff, Joey Hornstein (Devils Lake) went up the middle, broke into the clear and ran 87 yards for the touchdown. Marcus Hochhalter (Jamestown) kicked the extra point.

Forknell led the balanced East offense, completing 5-of-8 passes for 53 yards. Weisenberger had five catches for 66 yards.

Will Madler (Bismarck High) led the West, going 18-of-34 passing for 132 yards. High school teammate Matt Trolliey was his top target with 11 catches for 105 yards.