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Legacy quarterback Rhett Clements breaks free from West Fargo Sheyenne's Matt Wegner during their game on Aug. 31. The Sabers defeated Dickinson 21-6 on Friday.

Legacy is getting a crash course in adversity through the early weeks of the Class AAA football season.

But head coach Chris Clements' Sabers are hanging in there.

Despite a handful of injuries to key players, the Sabers secured their first West Region win on Friday night with a 21-6 victory over Dickinson.

"Anytime you get a win in the WDA it's a big win," Clements said. "Factor in we had lost two in a row, it was homecoming and we were very happy to break through and get that win."

The Sabers have been without all-state linebacker/running back Jake Hudson all season due to a thumb injury. An already small-ish senior class has been dinged further with wide receiver/defensive back Blake Hansted (mononucleosis) out for four weeks.

Matt Kraft, who ran for 84 yards against Dickinson, missed the previous game with an injury and senior running back Diamonte Stugelmeyer twisted an ankle against the Midgets and is questionable for Friday's non-region affair at West Fargo.

Clements isn't using the injuries as a crutch.

"It seems like it's been one thing after another, but hopefully it will allow us to develop some depth," Clements said. "We're an awfully inexperienced football team. We're playing a lot of sophomores. Our kids are learning a lot and they're competing. You want to be playing your best at the end of the season, so that's what we're working towards."

Quarterback Rhett Clements accounted for nearly 200 yards against Dickinson. Clements, a junior, threw for 148 yards and one touchdown and ran for another 41 yards.

"Rhett did some good things with his feet and through the air," Chris Clements said.

Rhett's touchdown toss went to junior Kain Honeyman, who also had a team-high five tackles defensively.

Keagen Woodbury and Lyric Hoffman -- both sophomores -- combined for seven catches and over 100 yards.

On the ground, Kraft carried the load after Stugelmeyer went down.

"Matt runs so hard. It's fun to have a big guy like that in the backfield," Clements said. "I liked the balance of things. We were able to distribute the ball to a lot of different players."

Defensively, the Sabers have allowed 13 (Red River) and 6 points sandwiched around 47 to third-ranked West Fargo Sheyenne (2-1).

"I thought the kids did a good job flying to the football, but I also thought there were too many arm tackles," Clements said. "(Dickinson) had a lot of yards after contact. Those are things we're going to address this week."

The Sabers to travel to West Fargo for the second time in two weeks on Friday. The Packers are the defending state champions but have struggled to a 0-3 mark and have scored just eight points total. They have played a difficult schedule, however, against Minot, No. 1 Bismarck High and Sheyenne.

"They've always posed problems for us," Clements said of the Packers. "They're a completely different team from the last four years. They're a very young football team, much like we are. We really need to be able to run the ball."

It's early, but top-ranked Bismarck High and No. 2 Century appear to have separated from everybody else in the West and the state. That leaves two playoff bids in the West for three teams to fight over -- Legacy, Mandan (2-1) and Minot (1-2). After Friday, the Sabers' next two games are against Minot and Mandan, both in Bismarck.

Clements is not looking that far ahead.

"We'll just take it one game at a time," he said. "Do I hope we're in that conversation later on? Of course. But we'll keep plugging along. Our kids are doing well and hopefully we'll keep making strides along the way."

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Reach Tribune sports editor Dave Selvig at (701) 250-8246 or david.selvig@bismarcktribune.com

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