Firebirds hungry for homecoming triumph over Fargo North
By Harry Lipsiea
The Devils Lake football has the opportunity to improve its winning percentage to .500 this season Saturday afternoon. During their homecoming match-up, the Firebirds are looking to notch a win against Fargo North at home.
“North is a solid football team who doesn't beat themselves. They play hard and physical,” Jay Schneider, Devils Lake head football coach, stated in an interview.
Fargo North is led by its experienced starting quarterback Mike Boutain.He is 27-of-59 passing on the season with 263 yards through the air.
“He is a solid runner and passer so we will need to be assignment sharp on defense for us to be successful on Saturday,” the coach commented.
Schneider would like to see his team getting the running game going this week. Starting running back Bradley Davidson is currently third in the conference with 502 yards and six touchdowns on the ground.
The Firebirds, however, weren’t able get much going on the ground last week at Fargo South. The Bruins limited the Firebirds to just 37 yards on 14 carries.
“We need to win the line of scrimmage and do a better job of running the football. We had a poor night running the ball against South last Friday,” Coach Schneider stated.
Devils Lake has been able to move the ball through the air as well so far this season. In the passing statistics department, sophomore quarterback Jacob Mertens is third in the EDC. He has completed 39-of-81 passes for 563 yards. Mertens has five throwing touchdowns.
His favorite target is Jordan Swanson who is third in the conference in receiving. The senior has hauled in 11 passes for 247 yards and three touchdowns. Zackery Shepherd had caught 11 balls for 152 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensively, the Firebirds have put together some big stops throughout the season. Devils Lake, however, is looking for more consistency.
“On defense, we need to get off of blocks better, tackle better, get more guys to the tackle, and play with more emotion/excitement on both sides of the ball if we are to beat Fargo North on Saturday for Homecoming,” Schneider commented.
On paper, the matchup against Fargo North looks to be an exciting one. It’s also important in the EDC standings. Fargo North is currently 1-2 in the conference and 1-4 on the season. Devils Lake is 1-2 in the conference and 2-3 overall.
“It should be a good game between two pretty evenly matched teams,” he added.
The homecoming matchup is at Roller Field at 3 p.m. Saturday.