Lampert leads way
MANDAN – Brady Lampert was annoyed by his lack of big plays in Minot High School’s three games before Friday’s West Region meeting for Mandan’s Homecoming.
The senior running back appeared to fix the problem. Lampert routinely made multiple Braves miss near the line of scrimmage, broke a 37-yard score and had three touchdowns in the first half of the Magicians’ 47-0 rout at Faris Field.
“Our line did great up front and Kolton (Larson) made some good key blocks where I could just cut it,” said Lampert, who finished with a game-high 119 rushing yards on 14 carries. “I made my first move better than I have recently and it really helped us.”
The Magicians (4-0 overall, 2-0 region) rolled early in their third shutout of the season. Mandan (0-4, 0-2) started with a quick three-and-out and Minot sophomore quarterback Ben Bolinske carved through the Braves on a 63-yard opening drive, which ended on a 21-yard touchdown reception for Lampert.
Bolinske completed all four of his attempts on the drive for 50 yards and finished 9 of 12 for 109 yards and no interceptions.
“That was great too and, again, we’re just trying to take what the defense is offering,” MHS coach Barry Holmen said, “and for the most part they lined up how we thought they would.”
It was all about the ground game though. The Magicians ran for 240 yards with 14 ball carriers. The rushing total may have been much higher, but junior Karter Gorney took the second half’s opening kickoff 90 yards up the right sideline for a touchdown.
The reigning champion in the Class A 100-meter dash said it felt like he was back on the track.
“We’ve been working on it for, like, five weeks now,” Gorney said. “We go over it every Thursday, like, 12 times. As soon as I saw the open lane I took it and (Ta’Vaydron) Davis, he had a sweet block, and I just took it to the house.”
The Braves failed to gain a first down in the opening half without the help of penalties. Junior quarterback Trever Leingang was replaced by sophomore Jake Carlson late in the second quarter after failing to connect on his 10 attempts.
Leingang tried to pick on Minot senior cornerback Josh Pizzo – who was nabbed with an early pass interference – but repeatedly overthrew junior Parker Harm. Pizzo was there each time to add pressure. Mandan fumbled on its second possession to set up senior Ben Love’s 27-yard field goal.
Lampert’s 37-yard score made it 17-0 in the first and the Braves fumbled again two possessions later. Minot senior Kimani Benjamin scored on a 4-yard run to cap another short drive and Leingang was picked off by junior Drew Repnow on the next drive. Repnow had the ball stripped and Mandan regained possession, but failed to advance past the 50-yard line.
Lampert scored again from 12 yards out and Love capped the first half with a 22-yard field goal with three seconds left as the Magicians tested their two-minute offense and gained 61 yards.
Minot sophomore Conor Taney played quarterback the entire second half but didn’t attempt a pass.
“We have all new linebackers, so those kids are struggling to figure out where they’re at,” Mandan coach Todd Sheldon said, “and inside linebackers are a pretty important position. I know the kids are playing hard.”
Mandan finished with just 72 yards of total offense.
The Magicians beat Williston 42-0 last week with three turnovers, but focused better against Mandan and didn’t lose the ball once on offense. Minot had four receivers gain more than 20 yards – led by senior tight end Jacob Holmen’s 29 yards – and Larson had the only other reception for 15 yards.
“Just really pleased,” Barry Holmen said. “I thought we shared the ball real well on offense. We were diverse. We were able to pass, we were able to run and that really puts pressure on a defense.”
Holmen was especially pleased with Lampert’s second straight 100-yard performance.
“He’s running hard and finishing runs and once in a while we tell Brady maybe one less cut,” Holmen said. “Sometimes he gets caught up in all that, but he’s looking to make that big play, that big explosive run and we’re enjoying having him play well right now.”
The Magicians will play a fourth straight road game next week at No. 5 Grand Forks Red River (2-2). The Roughriders fell 47-27 to Davies on Friday. The Magicians beat Davies 34-27 in overtime in week two.
Tim Chapman covers Minot High School athletics. Follow him on Twitter @chapmatp.