As bad weather rolled into Carrington Friday night, the Valley City High School football team found itself in the rarest of circumstances — a cancelled football game.
With 3:53 left in the first half, VCHS coach Scott Roehrich said the game was cancelled amidst a heavy downpour and plenty of lightening in the area.
"There's nothing you can do about it," he said. "They did the right thing that night for the safety of the kids and the spectators."
As a result, the Hi-Liners home opener will also serve as the season opener when the team plays Dickinson Trinity at 7 p.m. tonight at Hanna Field.
The game against Carrington will not affect either team. It was a non-region game that has no effect on playoff paring, Roehrich said.
Though it left Valley City without a record, Roehrich said his team got something just as important — playing time.
"I think the big thing for both of us is that we did get some game experience," he said.
The team got enough, he said, to get plenty of usable game film but also avoid injury.
Roehrich said the coaching staff saw plenty of good things, including good protection from the team's new offensive line. He said what the team expected as its strengths, were its strengths.
Tonight's season opener with Trinity, though, will be tough.
"We're going to be in for a dog fight," Roehrich said.
The visiting Titans, who play in 2A, beat 1A opponent Killdeer 32-0 last week in their season opener and received votes in first 2A football poll of the season.
Roehrich said Trinity plays well in lots of areas. They have an experienced quarterback in Ben Gordon, a quick running back in Brendin Steiner, and a tight end that serves as both a receiver and blocker for the running game.
Roehrich said the key to winning will be stopping the tight end and avoiding turnovers and penalties.
"We've got to eliminate big plays and not turn the ball over," he said.
Roehrich said the team is looking forward to the game, even if the last one they played was cut short.
"We're glad for the experience," he said.