North Star runs, passes its way past Blue Knights

Ray Maloney, Sports
North Star’s Colton Braun (24) cuts to his right to gain additional yardage in Tuesday’s game against Drayton-St. Thomas-Valley-Edinburg at Conyers Field in Cando. Braun and his Bearcat teammates combined to rush for 205 yards on the ground as North Star won the season opener for both teams 42-8.

CANDO, N.D. — Some big questions surrounded North Star football coach Bryan Haugen as his Bearcats prepared to open the 2010 season.

How do we replace an all-state quarterback? Who is going to step in to fill the shoes of an all-state wide receiver? Will our defense be able to deliver the kind of performance it did a year ago?

Those questions and several others were answered in a big way as North Star started strong and rolled to a 42-8 win over Drayton-St. Thomas-Valley-Edinburg on Tuesday at Conyers Field.

“It was a real nice win,” said Haugen, who guided North Star to a 6-4 record last season. “I was real happy with our offense and with our offensive line.”

He should be.

The Bearcats got a huge performance from Jacob Hagler at quarterback. The sophomore completed eight of 11 passes for 144 yards and a pair of touchdowns and North Star rushed for 205 yards on the ground in pounding out the win.

On the other side of the ball the Bearcats limited the visiting Blue Knights to just 141 yards on the ground and forced D-ST-V-E into four fumbles.

All of those fumbles came in the first half and the Bearcats capitalized each time in reacing to a commanding 42-0 halftime advantage.

The entire second half was played with the running clock in effect.

Colton Braun put the Bearcats on the board to start the season. He ran in from nine yards out with just over three minutes gone in the game to cap a six-play drive.

Four plays later the visitors turned the ball over for the first time and Adam Held recoveredjust past midfield.

Hagler hooked up with Daniel Grande from two yards out for his first scoring toss of the night.

Moments later Grande picked up a ball off the grass in stride and returned it 57 yards for another score and the Bearcats led 20-0 after the first period.

“(Braun) had a real nice game,” Haugen said. “He ran the ball hard and strong all night.”

Braun finished with a team-high 84 yards on 15 carries, while teammate Lance Logie added 71 yards on seven carries.

Grande caught four passes for 89 yards to lead North Star in that department.

North Star returns to action on Saturday when the Bearcats travel to Walhalla to tangle with North Border.

D-ST-V-E       0     0     0     8     —    8

North Star     20   22     0     0     —  42

Scoring Summary

First Quarter

NS — Colton Braun 9 run (run failed), 8:52.

NS — Jacob Hagler 2 pass to Daniel Grande, (Hagler run), 3:17.

NS — Grande 57 fumble return (run failed), .42.

Second Quarter

NS — Lance Logie 1 run (Logie run), 10:40.

NS — Braun 5 run (Hagler to Grande), 7:55.

NS — Hagler 47 pass to Grande (pass failed), .26.

Third Quarter

No Scoring

Fourth Quarter

D-ST-V-E —?Kilen Flanagan 3 run (Jeremy Ulvog to Flanagan), 3:08.