K-Heart Sports – 10/17/23


MINOT, ND – A little change in the Class AAA and AA football polls this week. The polls are voted on by the North Dakota AP Sportscasters & Sportswriters Association.
Class AAA Football Poll
Team (First Place Votes)    Record    Points    Last Week
1. Fargo Shanley (23)            8-0         119           1
2. Minot High (1)                    7-1           97           3
3. Bismarck High                    6-2           71           4
4. West Fargo Sheyenne       6-2           46           2
5. Fargo Davies                      4-4           22          T5
Other teams receiving votes: Mandan
Class AA Football Poll
Team (First Place Votes)    Record    Points    Last Week
1. Fargo North (22)                8-0          110           1
2. Fargo South                       5-3            85           2
3. Dickinson                            6-2            67          3
4. Grand Forks Red River      5-3            44           5
5. Jamestown                         5-3            13           4
Other teams receiving votes: West Fargo Horace
MINOT, ND – Several Class B volleyball teams hit the court on Monday.
High School Volleyball
Class B
#6 South Prairie-Max def. Velva (3-0) 25-16, 25-21, 25-18
#9 Central McLean def. Center-Stanton (3-0) 25-12, 25-12, 25-16
Des Lacs-Burlington def. Bottineau (3-2) 25-20, 19-25, 25-20, 25-27, 15-9
Surrey def. Nedrose (3-0) 25-20, 25-13, 25-14
Tioga def. Glenburn (3-2) 21-25, 25-17, 22-25, 25-23, 15-7
Kenmare-Bowbells def. Berthold (3-1) 30-28, 25-22, 16-25, 25-21
Drake-Anamoose def. St. John (3-1) 17-25, 25-10, 25-20, 25-12
Beulah def. Killdeer (3-0) 25-22, 25-10, 25-15
Trenton def. Stanley (3-1) 25-18, 21-25, 25-20, 25-20
Alexander def. Divide County (3-2) 25-23, 25-18, 13-25, 11-25, 15-11
Parshall def. North Shore-Plaza (3-2) 25-16, 25-22, 15-25, 21-25, 15-4
Powers Lake-Burke Central def. New Town (3-0) 25-21, 25-21, 25-12
MINOT, ND – Pairings, locations and times are set for the first round of the 9-Man and Class A football playoffs on Saturday. We’ll broadcast the Velva-Drake/Anamoose-Garrison game on 106.9 FM and carry the Bishop Ryan game on 1320 AM.
High School Football
Class A
State Playoffs
First Round – Saturday (10/21)
#1 Velva-Drake/Anamoose-Garrison hosts Bowman County, 2 pm (ON 106.9 FM)
Shiloh Christian hosts Bishop Ryan, 2 pm (ON 1320 AM)
#4 Dickinson Trinity hosts Stanley, 2 pm
Des Lacs-Burlington hosts Killdeer, 1 pm
#2 Kindred hosts Harvey-Wells County, 1:30 pm
Carrington hosts Oakes, 2 pm
#3 Langdon Area-Edmore-Munich hosts Lisbon, 1:30 pm
Central Cass hosts Cavalier, 2 pm
High School Football
State Playoffs
First Round – Saturday (10/21)
#1 Sargent County hosts Nelson County (in Gwinner), 2:30 pm
North Prairie hosts Wyndmere-Lidgerwood (in Rolla), 2:30 pm
#4 Westhope-Newburg-Glenburn hosts Linton-HMB (in Westhope), 2 pm
Grant County-Flasher hosts Central McLean (in Flasher), 2 pm
#2 New Rockford-Sheyenne-Maddock hosts Hankinson (in New Rockford), 1:30 pm
LaMoure-Litchville-Marion hosts North Star (in LaMoure), 1 pm
#3 South Border hosts Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood (in Ashley), 1:30 pm
Alexander hosts Hettinger County (in Alexander), 2 pm
GRAND FORKS, N.D. – After defeating North Dakota State 49-24 on Saturday, North Dakota has moved up to No. 11 in the latest Stats Perform Poll and No. 9 in the AFCA FCS Coaches’ Top 25. The Bison dropped No. 15 in the Coaches poll and No. 14 in the Stats poll.
1. South Dakota State (6-0, 3-0 MVFC), 1,400 points (56 of 56 first-place votes)
2. Montana State (5-1, 3-0 Big Sky), 1,342
3. Sacramento State (5-1, 2-1 Big Sky), 1,203
4. Furman (5-1, 3-0 SoCon), 1,195
5. Incarnate Word (5-1, 2-0 Southland), 1,023
6. South Dakota (5-1, 3-0 MVFC), 1,002
7. Delaware (5-1, 3-0 CAA), 985
8. Western Carolina (5-1, 3-0 SoCon), 981
9. Montana (6-1, 3-1 Big Sky), 978
10. Idaho (5-2, 3-1 Big Sky), 946
11. North Dakota (4-2, 2-1 MVFC), 930 (#15 last week)
12. Southern Illinois (5-1, 2-1 MVFC), 725
13. William & Mary (4-2, 2-1 CAA), 687
14. North Dakota State (4-2, 1-2 MVFC), 673 (#6 last week)
15. Holy Cross (4-2, 2-0 Patriot), 653
16. North Carolina Central (5-1, 0-0 MEAC), 607
17. UT Martin (5-1, 2-0 Big South-OVC), 504
18. Harvard (5-0, 2-0 Ivy), 446
19. Florida A&M (5-1, 4-0 SWAC), 403
20. Central Arkansas (5-2, 3-0 UAC), 373
21. Chattanooga (5-2, 4-1 Southern), 268
22. Villanova (5-2, 3-1 CAA), 229
23. UC Davis (4-3, 2-2 Big Sky), 136
24. Austin Peay (4-2, 1-0 UAC), 125
25. Youngstown State (3-3, 1-2 MVFC), 108
Others Receiving Votes: New Hampshire, 68; Fordham, 44; UAlbany, 39; Lafayette, 32; Northern Iowa, 23; Weber State, 23; Eastern Kentucky, 13; Eastern Washington 13; Illinois State, 11; Tennessee State, 6; Lamar, 2.
AFCA FCS Coaches TOP 25 (Oct. 16)
1. South Dakota State (26)
2. Montana State
3. Furman
4. Sacramento State
5. Incarnate Word
6. Montana
7. Delaware
8. Idaho
9. North Dakota (#15 last week)
10. North Carolina Central
11. Holy Cross
12. Southern Illinois
13. William & Mary
14. Western Carolina
15. North Dakota State (#7 last week)
16. South Dakota
17. Harvard
18. Florida A&M
19. UT Martin
20. Chattanooga
21. Central Arkansas
22. New Hampshire
23. UC Davis
24. Austin Peay
25. Illinois State
Others Receiving Votes: Fordham, 47; Villanova, 38; Lafayette, 21; Youngstown St., 17; Eastern Kentucky, 6; Northern Iowa, 6; Rhode Island, 6; Pennsylvania, 2; Albany, 1; Mercer, 1; Portland St., 1.
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (UND) – Following the 49-24 win over North Dakota State on Saturday, two members from the University of North Dakota football program were named Missouri Valley Football Conference Players of the Week on Monday. Gaven Ziebarth earned the title of MVFC Offensive Player of the Week, while Luke Skokna was named the MVFC Co-Special Teams Player of the Week.
Ziebarth recorded 18 carries for 156 yards and a trio of touchdowns in the win. He had a 59-yard touchdown midway through the fourth quarter that put the game out of reach for the Bison, bringing the score to 49-17 with 7:18 left. Earlier in the contest, Ziebarth had a five-yard touchdown run to put UND back on top at 14-7 and then a seven-yard rushing score with 7:13 left in the third quarter to make the score 35-17. The game was Ziebarth’s third 100+-yard rushing game of his career. His 156 yards on the ground was a new career best. It was also his first time scoring three touchdowns in a game while at North Dakota.
Skokna, the MVFC Co-Special Teams Player of the Week, helped UND set the tone in the 49-24 victory over NDSU, taking the opening kickoff 100 yards to put the Fighting Hawks up 7-0 just 13 seconds into the game. He finished the contest with three touchdowns, also scoring on a 13-yard reception that brought the tally to 21-7 with 1:40 before intermission and then scored on a four-yard rush with 13 seconds left in the first half to bring the score to 28-17. Skokna helped North Dakota have good field position throughout the game, rolling up 157 yards in kickoff return yardage. With his opening kickoff return for a touchdown, Skokna became just the third player in UND history to record a 100-yard return and was only the fourth player in program history to run back the opening kickoff. He was also the first UND player to return a kickoff for touchdown since Evan Holm’s 99-yard score vs. Weber State on Oct. 27, 2018. Skokna shared the honor with Will Leyland of South Dakota. Leyland made a 41-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Coyotes past the Penguins, 34-31. It was his second 41-yard make of the game which is a new career long.
North Dakota will visit Northern Iowa on Saturday. Kickoff between the Fighting Hawks and Panthers is slated for 4 p.m.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (UND) – Fresh off a 2-0-0 weekend and an Ice Breaker Tournament title, North Dakota has jumped into the top-5 at No. 5 in both the USCHO.com and USA Hockey/The Rink Live polls. Last weekend, UND rolled to a 7-2 victory in the regular season opener over Army West Point before a tough, 2-0 victory over longtime rival Wisconsin on Saturday clinched the Ice Breaker crown for the second time in program history. Hunter Johannes (F), Jackson Blake (F) and Garrett Pyke (D) were honored with selections to the Ice Breaker All-Tournament Team, with Johannes taking home the tournament’s most outstanding player award following a trio of goals. Goaltender Ludvig Persson was also selected as the NCHC’s Goaltender of the Week after finishing with a 1.00 GAA and .952 save percentage, including a 29-save shutout against the Badgers. North Dakota will remain home for a showdown with another rival and top-ranked Minnesota beginning Friday night at 7:07 p.m. from Ralph Engelstad Arena.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Senior goaltender Ludvig Persson was named NCHC Goaltender of the Week on Monday, as announced by the league office. Persson shined in his official North Dakota debut, backstopping the Fighting Hawks to the Ice Breaker Tournament title. He didn’t allow an even-strength goal all weekend and surrendered only two goals all tournament. In the season opener on Friday against Army, Persson made 11 saves, including three on breakaways, in a 7-2 victory, with his only goals allowed all weekend coming on the power play. In Saturday’s championship game versus Wisconsin, the Swede turned aside all 29 shots he faced for his first shutout in the green and white and sixth of his career after transferring from Miami. Persson earned First Star of the Game Saturday, making seven short-handed saves as UND went 4-for-4 on the penalty kill. Persson finished the Ice Breaker Tournament with a .952 save percentage, totaling 40 saves on 42 shots faced. He also posted a 1.00 goals-against average on the weekend and is now 2-0-0 on the season. This is the eighth time that Persson has earned the conference’s weekly honor in his career. No. 5 North Dakota remains home to battle top-ranked Minnesota this weekend from Ralph Engelstad Arena.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The first game for the Minnesota Vikings without Justin Jefferson was a slog, a glaring reminder of how vital the superstar wide receiver is for their ability to score. The Vikings also suggested in Chicago that acumen, grit and pride might be just enough to keep the season alive while Jefferson is sidelined with a hamstring injury — even if it’s going to be ugly at times. “We’re not going to be picky about finding a way to get a win,” quarterback Kirk Cousins said. The Vikings had 220 yards, their fifth-lowest total in 56 regular season games since Jefferson arrived in 2020. Their 15.4% third-down conversion rate was their fourth-worst in that span, and even after the game the Bears defense still ranks last in the league on third down (50.6%). “It was kind of a revolving door of missed assignments here from some of our more reliable players,” coach Kevin O’Connell said after the 19-13 victory Sunday. “Our offense will be hungry to go back to work and make sure we rectify some of those things, because honestly the way Kirk was throwing it today, I feel like it could have been a much, much bigger day.”
The Bears frequently employed a single high safety rather than the two-deep alignment most common for opponents trying to control Jefferson, daring Jordan Addison, K.J. Osborn and the rest of Minnesota’s receivers to beat man-to-man coverage. Addison did just that midway through the second quarter with the Vikings ahead 6-3, when Cousins zipped a perfectly placed pass up the sideline on the first down, but he slightly mistimed his dive and didn’t secure the ball as he landed on the grass. The rookie contributed the only offensive touchdown of the afternoon for the Vikings (2-4) two possessions later, his fourth in six games, but the drop was a snapshot of how Jefferson’s absence places a greater burden on the rest of the group to outperform their baseline production with the 2022 AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year out for at least another three games. “I just need to be more aggressive from the start,” Addison said. “What I need to improve on is just attacking the ball, coming back to the ball and just showing people that they can’t guard me.”
The pass rush directed by defensive coordinator Brian Flores — who blitzed on 22 of 29 dropbacks, per Sportradar — produced five sacks and eight quarterback hits. Danielle Hunter had two sacks and is tied for the NFL lead with eight. Safety Josh Metellus, playing frequently out of the slot as the nickel back, had a sack, three quarterback hits and a forced fumble.
Alexander Mattison netted just 44 yards on 18 carries in a regression for the rushing attack after a couple of productive games. The lanes often weren’t there between the tackles.
Linebacker Jordan Hicks had an interception and a fumble recovery for a touchdown to go with a team-leading 10 tackles. He has helped stabilize the defense this season following the departure of mainstay Eric Kendricks. “He was not going to be denied a chance to be the guy to go out there and respond,” O’Connell said.
Fullback C.J. Ham is one of the most respected players on the team, but his presence as a blocker hasn’t done much for the lagging ground game. He also contributed to an intentional grounding call on Cousins in the fourth quarter when he stayed with the rusher instead of turning to try to catch a screen pass.
OLB Marcus Davenport, who missed most or all of three games with an injury to his right ankle, hurt the other one in the second quarter against the Bears and didn’t return. O’Connell indicated his absence might be longer term. … LG Ezra Cleveland hurt his foot and was replaced by Dalton Risner. His status is day to day, O’Connell said on Monday.
26:15 — The average time of possession per game for the Vikings this season. That’s the lowest in the league and also the lowest for the team since at least 1991, according to available data from Sportradar.
The Vikings host San Francisco on Monday night, with the 49ers coming off their first loss of the season in a concerning game at Cleveland during which three vital offensive players — running back Christian McCaffrey, wide receiver Deebo Samuel and left tackle Trent Williams — suffered injuries that make their availability this week unclear.

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