WEST FARGO -- Making all types of throws in the pocket and on the run, Andy Gravdahl played too well to break school records.
Gravdahl threw for 306 yards to six different receivers on his way to 381 yards of offense after being pulled in the third quarter as No. 1-ranked West Fargo cruised to a 41-0 victory over No. 3-ranked Bismarck High in the Packers’ home opener on Friday, Sept. 1, at West Fargo High School.
Gravdahl finished the game completing 16 of 23 passes for two touchdowns. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound senior quarterback is now second all-time in West Fargo’s single-game total offense record list behind Rob Gibson’s 413 yards in 2006. Gravdahl is sixth in the school’s single-game passing yards ranks.
“I think we’ve proven our point,” Gravdahl said. “Linemen, running game, passing game, defense, defensive backs, I think we’re good all around. We just have to keep stepping up and getting good experience.”
Gravdahl showed poise even as the Demons put pressure in his face and knocked him down, like during his 36-yard touchdown pass to Jake Faircloth in the first quarter.
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Gravdahl ended up with a game-high 75 yards rushing on seven carries, including an 18-yard touchdown run to start the scoring for the Packers (2-0). He also bolted for a 32-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter to crush any Bismarck hopes of a comeback.
Gravdahl stood tall in the pocket and delivered strikes, like on his 55-yard completion to Joe Pistorius on a go route that set up Faircloth’s touchdown. The quarterback also didn’t flinch when he rolled right in his own end zone with pass rushers barreling at him as he delivered a 38-yard strike to Dustin Mertz in the first quarter.
“He’s really a dual-threat quarterback. He’s worked hard over these past few years to be a starting quarterback and it’s really showing this year,” said Pistorius, who ended with a game-high 99 receiving yards on four catches. “I hope everyone starts noticing it.”
With the Demons (1-1) on their heels in the second quarter, Gravdahl took advantage of his arsenal of receivers and hit Tanner Zepeda along the sideline on another go route and the senior wide receiver did the rest for a 58-yard score.
“Our receivers have a really good relationship with each other and good chemistry, and when I scramble, they come with me,” Gravdahl said. “It’s a really good team all the way around.”
But for every throw Gravdahl completed, the West Fargo defense made a stop. The Packers gained 456 yards and held Bismarck to 138 total yards to earn the shutout.
“The whole team is very business like,” Packers head coach Jay Gibson said. “I like that they come focused, want to learn the game plan and a new thing or two every week. ... If we keep taking baby steps in the right direction, by the end of the year we could be a pretty good football team.”