Grand Forks Red River eagerly awaits rematch with Century at state football tournament
This is the Riders’ best overall record since the 2016 season, when they captured the No. 4 seed. They wouldn’t qualify for the next three years. Now they have the No. 2 seed in the East and have some momentum.
“It’s a pretty remarkable achievement. There have been several times, deep in our heads, we wanted to be a state champion team, but we also have to appreciate the process along the way to be one of the best teams Red River has ever offered ”, Red River head coach says Luke Glasoe.
The main force behind the Roughriders’ success this year has been Gannon Brooks. The elder scored 15 goals and added eight assists while playing consistently 80 minutes a night.
Behind him, however, remains a solid cast that has pushed harder when Brooks becomes the attraction of double, sometimes triple, teams. Junior Lukas Heydt has scored six goals this year, senior Trevor Olderbak has shared three, while defenders Ethan Dockter and Gabriel Birchler provided a solid line of support past goalkeeper Brady Price.
Adding efficient ball movers like Amit Rasaily and Ahmed Hassan on top of that, there is danger from the top to the bottom of the Red River list.
“The best thing we have going for us is our depth. The 22 guys that we will take this weekend, they will all have different skills, ”said Glasoe. “To have a bench as deep as we have it, it doesn’t matter who we’re going against, we’re going to have someone in our college program that we can come up with that is a very good match for who we’re going against.”
However, WDA power Century, 8-3-2 in conference, has its fair share of firepower to deal with.
Brooks Turner tied Brooks’ goal tally this season with 15, but not far behind was Anthony Cleary with 12. Cleary also added 11 assists, while Chance Bowlinger had four goals and 13 assists.
Needless to say, the Patriots also have confidence in their depth.
The Roughriders have been a strong defensive team this year, however. They have limited the opposition on numerous occasions, including two of the state’s top teams at Minot and Fargo Davies.
“We haven’t conceded a lot of goals this year so I feel pretty confident in both our goalies and defenders. We can withstand some difficult offenses. Minot came here earlier this year, we only gave them three and they are the best in the West. Davies, being the best in the East, three is about as much as they can score on us, ”Glasoe said.
The two teams should know each other pretty well, given how they faced each other in the first round of the last state tournament. Red River’s 2-0 lead quickly faded over the last eight minutes and the Patriots continued to advance through the overtime shootout.
It was difficult for Glasoe and the Roughriders to bounce back, but they managed to put on a solid season and the hope now is for revenge. Glasoe, however, still wants his group to really appreciate what he’s accomplished this year, nonetheless.
“Children don’t forget these moments. I hope these kids will savor their moments while they are there, ”he said.
Century and Red River start their state quarterfinal game Thursday at 2:15 p.m.