RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — University Of North Dakota Vs. University Of Montana

The University of North Dakota fell to 2-5 and 1-3 in the Big Sky Conference after the University of Montana (5-2, 3-1 BSC) scored a 41-17 victory over the Fighting Hawks Saturday at Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Missoula. Montana redshirt freshman Gresch Jensen overcame a shaky start to finish the game with 423 yards passing and four touchdowns. The Fighting Hawks were playing without their starting quarterback, Keaton Studsrud. His backups, Brad Heidlebaugh and Andrew Zimmerman, were a combined 12-29 for 188 yards and one touchdown. UND running back James Johannesson led the Fighting Hawks rushing game with 93 yards on seven carries and one touchdown. UND’s only other touchdown came on a 62-yard pass from Zimmerman to Stetson Carr. UND returns Saturday to take on Sacramento State at the Alerus Center. (Check out more photos from Russ Hons here.)

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — University Of North Dakota Football Vs. Northern Colorado

UND Football snuck out a homecoming win against Northern Colorado on Saturday, 48-38, on a back-and-forth game full of ups-and-downs. (Check out more photos from Russ Hons here.)

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — University Of North Dakota Vs. Montana State University

The University of North Dakota football team suffered its third loss of the season Saturday, dropping a 49-21 Big Sky Conference game to Montana State University before 12,342 fans, the first sellout at the Alerus Center since the 2009 season opener vs. South Dakota. The 17th-ranked Fighting Hawks, who fell behind 21-0 in the first half, closed the gap to 28-13 in the third quarter on two Reid Taubenheim field goals and a 37-yard touchdown interception by Jake Disterhaupt, but the Bobcats outscored UND 21-8 the remainder of the game for the victory. Brady Oliveira scored UND’s only other touchdown, a 34-yard run late in the third quarter. Montana State quarterback Chris Murray rushed for 132 yards and one touchdown and threw for 174 yards and three touchdowns. MSU (1-2, 1-0 BSC) finished with a 515 to 255 edge in total offense, with 341 of those coming on the ground. UND (1-3, 0-1 BSC) will return to league action next Saturday at UC Davis. (Check out more photos from Russ Hons here.)

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — A Week Of Sports At University Of North Dakota


The University of North Dakota sports teams were busy this past week, the women’s volleyball team playing and winning four matches — North Dakota State University, George Washington, South Dakota State University and Appalachian State — and the men’s football team shutting out Missouri State in the Potato Bowl. Grand Forks photographer Russ Hons was on hand for all the action, and here is what caught his eye.

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Sweet Potato Pie

Traditions are what make holidays special. And food is a big part of that for most families.

When I was growing up, Grandma — and later Mom — would make baked oysters for our big Thanksgiving Day celebration, which was attended by all my aunts, uncles and cousins on the Menard side of the family. Since then, the dish has become synonymous on “Turkey Day” for many relatives of my generation.

And there was always pumpkin pie and apple pie for dessert at Grandma’s, a tradition that Therese and I have kept up at our house, except for this year.

Therese, who is the pie-maker, crafted a sweet potato pie for our post-meal repast because we had a guest, University of North Dakota football player Demun Mercer, join us.

Demun, who is a wide receiver on the Fighting Hawks team that will host the University of Richmond on Saturday in a Division I playoff game in the Alerus Center, hails from Winnsboro, La., which we all know is in the Deep South, where sweet potato pie is a Thanksgiving Day tradition.

To make Demun feel at home at our dinner table, Therese decided the sweet potato pie would be a nice touch, along with mac ‘n’ cheese, another holiday favorite of many African-Americans.

From the smile on Demun’s face when Therese announced we had sweet potato pie — ala Patti LaBelle’s black-bottom pie crust version — I think she succeeded.

And after sampling the sweet potato pie, I’ll never go back to pumpkin.

Sweet Potato Pie
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter-flavored vegetable shortening, chilled
1/3 cup ice water
¼ cup light brown sugar
3 large orange-fleshed sweet potatoes (Louisiana yams), scrubbed
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
½ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
¼ cup half-and-half
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Whipped cream, for serving (optional)
For the crust: Sift the flour and salt into a medium bowl. Add the shortening. Using a fork or a pastry blender, cut the shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few pea-sized bits. Stirring with the fork, gradually add enough of the water until the mixture clumps together (you may need more or less water). Gather up the dough and press into a thick disk. If desired, wrap the dough in wax paper and refrigerate for up to 1 hour.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 13-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick. Fold the dough in half. Transfer to a 9-inch pie pan, and gently unfold the dough to fit into the pan. Using scissors or a sharp knife, trim the dough to a 1-inch overhang. Fold the dough under itself so the edge of the fold is flush with the edge of the pan. Flute the dough around the edge of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while making the filling.
For the filling: Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the sweet potatoes and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the sweet potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 30 minutes. Drain and run under cold water until cool enough to handle. Peel the sweet potatoes and place in a medium bowl.
Mash with an electric mixer on medium speed until very smooth. Measure 3 cups mashed sweet potatoes, keeping any extra for another use, and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Uncover the pie shell and brush the interior with some of the melted butter. Sprinkle ¼ cup of the brown sugar over the bottom of the pie shell. Bake until the pie dough is set and just beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. If the pie shell puffs, do not prick it.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, using an electric mixer on low speed, mix the mashed sweet potatoes, the remaining melted butter and ½ cup brown sugar, the granulated sugar, eggs, half-and-half, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spread into the partially baked pie shell, smoothing the top.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake until a knife inserted in the center of the filling comes out clean, about 1½ hours. Cool completely on a wire cake rack. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve with whipped cream.

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — University of North Dakota vs. Northern Arizona University

The University of North Dakota clinched a share of the Big Sky Conference football championship Saturday in the Alerus Center with a 38-31 win over visiting Northern Arizona University. But if you would have told that to Fighting Hawks fans in attendance after the first half, you might not have gotten many believers. UND erased a 31-10 lead in the third quarter, scoring 28 unanswered points, capped by Deion Harris’ 40-yard interception return for a touchdown with only 2:43 left in the game, to claim the victory, their ninth straight after opening the season with two losses. The win allowed UND to finish off Big Sky play with a perfect 8-0 record and a good shot at a NCAA FCS Playoff game. The win closed out the regular season for the Fighting Hawks, who will have next weekend off before learning if they will make postseason play. The Hawks (9-2 overall, 8-0 BSC) were led by quarterback Keaton Studsrud, who passed for 254 yards and one touchdown and wide receiver De’mun Mercer, who had seven catches for 147 yards and a touchdown. Running back John Santiago chipped in 77 yards and two scores on the ground, and Brady Oliveira ran for 103 yards and threw for one touchdown. NAU (5-5, 4-3 BSC) was led by quarterback Blake Kemp, who threw for 416 yards and three touchdowns. Check out more photos from Russ Hons here.

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — Homecoming 2016 — University Of North Dakota Vs. Southern Utah University

The University of North Dakota, behind quarterback Keaton Studsrud’s four touchdowns passes, defeated Southern Utah University 45-23 on Saturday in Grand Forks’ Alerus Center to remain perfect at 4-0 in the Big Sky Conference football standings. Studsrud was 20-for-27 through the air for 282 yards in the 2016 Homecoming victory as the Fighting Hawks won their fifth straight game after opening the season with two close losses. The victory over the Thunderbirds (3-3, 2-2 BSC) gave UND its first five-game winning streak during the program’s Division I era and first overall since opening the 2007 campaign with six-consecutive victories. That was the team’s final season at the Division II level. Fullback Kyle Norberg led UND in rushing with 73 yards on six carries, while Brady Oliveira added 64 yards on the ground and John Santiago 56. Both Oliveira and Santiago scored touchdowns. Studsrud’s touchdown passes were to Luke Stanley, Noah Wanzek, De’mun Mercer and Travis Toivonen. The Fighting Hawks return to Big Sky play on Saturday at Idaho State. Check out more photos from Russ Hons here.

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — University Of North Dakota Vs. Sacramento State — Behind The Scenes

The University of North Dakota football team picked up a big road win Saturday, defeating Big Sky Conference foe Sacramento State University 40-7 in Sacramento, Calif. But there is much more to college football than action shots from the game. Grand Forks photographer traveled with the Fighting Hawks, and here is a behind-the-scenes look at the weekend, starting and ending with the team’s charter flight. Check out more photos from Russ Hons here.

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — University Of North Dakota Vs. Cal Poly

The University of North Dakota knocked off No. 16-ranked Cal Poly 31-24 in Big Sky Conference football action Saturday in the Alerus Center in Grand Forks. The Fighting Hawks were led by quarterback Keaton Studsrud, who passed for two touchdowns and rushed for another. UND (3-2, 2-0 BSC) has now won three straight, while the Mustangs (3-2, 1-1 BSC) saw a two-game winning streak snapped and lost for the first time at the Alerus Center in their last four tries. Studsrud finished 15-for-21 through the air for a season-high 249 yards. Sophomore Brady Oliveira had his second-straight 100-yard rushing game and added a 38-yard touchdown in the third quarter to help the offense gain a season-high in yardage at 452. Check out more photos from Russ Hons here.

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery —College Football, University Of North Dakota Vs. University Of South Dakota