Denfeld News

Oct. 22, 2009
Duluth News Tribune

Central, Denfeld finale?
By Rick Weegman

Though Wednesday’s game between Duluth Denfeld and Duluth Central likely was the final time the crosstown schools will line up against one another on the football field, it won’t be the last time some of the players will see each other on the gridiron.

Some of the Trojans might wind up playing alongside the Hunters next season, if Central closes as expected under the school district’s long-range facilities plan.

Denfeld’s 20-6 victory at Public Schools Stadium gives the Hunters the No. 2 seed for next week’s Section 7AAAA playoffs and a home game against either Grand Rapids or Hibbing.

It also will give returning Denfeld players bragging rights against their former rivals and future teammates, something that reminds Hunters coach Frank Huie of how junior football works in Duluth.

“One day you have to beat the brains out of someone and the next year you’re lining up with each other,” he said.

C.J. Ham rushed for 102 yards on 17 carries and scored two touchdowns for Denfeld (5-3 overall, 3-1 league), which shared the final North Country Conference title with Duluth East.

“We went through some hard times against the Duluth schools,” Huie said. “I’ve been here 30 years and we used to beat them on a regular basis and some people started taking that for granted. Then it didn’t happen for four years, and you don’t take it for granted any more.”

Ivan Dakovic added 58 yards rushing and a clinching TD run in the fourth quarter.

The Trojans ended the regular season 0-7 overall and 0-4 in the league. They lost several close games, including a bizarre ending against East on the final play when the Greyhounds ran in their own blocked field goal for a touchdown.

“We’re still making mistakes that you should get rid of after the first couple weeks, and inconsistent play will keep up with you every time,” Vold said. “It seems like we haven’t been able to hold our chin up since the East game. That was a tough pill to swallow, and I don’t think our guys swallowed that pill very well.”

Denfeld ............................. 0-7-7-6—20
Duluth Central ................ 0-0-0-6—6

DD — C.J. Ham 24 pass from Mitch Svihel (Billy Phousongphuang kick)
DD — Ham 34 run (Phousongphuang kick)
DD — Ivan Dakovic 3 run (kick failed)
DC — Alex Garnett 37 pass from Steve Knuth (pass failed)

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