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High score puts Honkers in elite football class

It wasn’t realized immediately but the Honkers have joined an elite class in North Dakota high school football with their 84-32 win over Trenton on Sept. 30.

10/11/16 (Tue)


Honker runningback Dax Nelson looks for an opening against Mohall Lansford Sherwood earlier this season. The Kenmare-Bowbells-Burke Central Honkers became the highest scoring team in 9-man football in North Dakota by the end of the season, including an 84-32 win over Trenton, while MLS ended the season with the best defense, giving up the fewest points in 9-man. Both teams play in Region 6.

By Marvin Baker

It wasn’t realized immediately but the Honkers have joined an elite class in North Dakota high school football with their 84-32 win over Trenton on Sept. 30.

The Honkers, which includes players from Kenmare, Bowbells and Burke Central, became the first and only team this year in North Dakota high school football to score 80 or more points in a single football game.

Scoring 80 points in a football game is rare, and although it has happened in the history of North Dakota high school football, it’s an oddity.

In fact, in the past five years, Kenmare and Cavalier are the only two teams in the state that have accomplished that feat.

On Sept. 5, 2015, Cavalier hammered Drayton 84-0, making it the only other 80-point score since 2010.

Throughout history there have been some impressive scores, however, most of them were in the early years of football in North Dakota.

In 1917, Williston beat Jamestown 102-0 and in 1919, Glendive, Mont., beat New England 137-6.

From 1910 to 1974, North Dakota had one class for football. From 1975 to 1996, three classes were used and since 1997, we have had four classes.

Kenmare-B-BC plays in the 9-man division, Berthold plays in the Class A division, Stanley in AA and Minot in AAA.

The highest scoring games this year have all been in the 9-man division. Divide County, playing in Region 6 with the Honkers, scored 73 in its win over New Town. Cavalier beat Drayton 70-0 and North Prairie picked up the third 70-point game with its 74-20 win over Dunseith.

There appear to be a number of games where teams will hit 70 points. Ironically, 12 of 16 games in the past five years in which the score reached 70, all involved 9-man teams.

Even more impressive is the fact that of those 12 games in the 9-man division, the Cavalier Tornadoes were involved in six of them.

Cavalier scored 76 in four of those games, LaMoure and Trenton both scored 76 in the same week, Cavalier and Mott scored 72 and Richland, Shiloh Christian and Surrey all scored 70.

In Class A, Park River has hit 75 points in a game and Killdeer and Carrington have both topped out at 71.

The only other 70-point score in Class A since 2010 was Minot Ryan beating Standing Rock 73-0 earlier this year.

Other high scoring games from this season include Fargo Shanley over Lisbon 57-0; Park River over Milnor 64-6 and Richland over Sargent Central 70-6.

In addition to scoring 84 against Trenton, the Honkers are one of only four teams in North Dakota high school football to score more than 300 points during the regular season.

Through the final regular season game against Ray, Kenmare amassed 376 points, placing them first in the state in all classes of high school football in 2016. The next closest team in scoring was Bismarck St. Mary's in Class AA with 213 points scored. Four other teams, with two of them in Region 6, hit the 300 mark; Wyndmere 366, Mohall Lansford Sherwood 344, Divide County 330 and North Prairie 300.

Drayton, in Region 2, scored the fewest point in 9-man football with only 28 points through eight games.

On defense, the Honkers have given up 164 points. Divide County has coughed up 192, Wyndmere 108 and North Prairie 120.

Ray has the dubious distinction of surrendering the most points in 9-man at 367, followed closely by Parshall at 351.

The MLS Mavericks, who finished in first place in Region 6, have the best defense in 9-man football having given up only 44 points through seven games. Thompson has the second-best defense with 48 points against in seven games. The best defense in North Dakota this year is West Fargo, in Class AAA. The Packers have surrendered only 21 points through seven games.

The Honkers finished second in Region 6 with a 6-1 record, 6-2 overall and will open the 9-man playoffs in Kenmare Saturday at 2 p.m., against Region 4 foe Drake-Anamoose who finished 3-2... Read EVERY WORD on EVERY PAGE of The Kenmare News by subscribing--online or in print!