The outdoor scoreboard hung on the south wall of the Gardner-Hawks Center still reads “Vikings.”
On Saturday, however, it was the Blair Roughriders semi-pro football team that called the former Dana College field home for its second scrimmage and third game overall. The hometown team beat the North Iowa Knights 32-30 after its first home exhibition game ended early June 27 when Blair police arrived. A fight between the teams broke out at the end of that game, but Saturday ended with the team's coming together and then an opposing player thanking the Roughriders for a hard-fought outing on the Blair team's Facebook page.
The 9-man football scrimmage took place on a field marked for 50 yards of play. The Roughriders started fast with three quick touchdowns after surrendering an early safety.
Rynell Ware scored Blair's first six points on a long run after a Knights pass interference penalty prolonged the drive. Cameryn DeBerry then added to the Roughrider lead with a short run before AJ McCraney grabbed a highlight-worthy touchdown pass himself. Quarterback Karl Kennedy II made the throw his wideout bobbled then ripped away from a North Iowa defender for the score.
So far, the Roughriders have played just one Impact Developmental Football League game. That 56-20 loss to the Midwest Defenders of West Plains, Mo., came on July 11.
Next, Blair's football team will travel to Springfield, Mo., for its second league game against the Queen City Asylum. That contest is Aug. 1, while the Roughriders' next home game is set for Aug. 8.
Saturday's Blair roster was as follows: Chris Allen, Kenny Allen, Fernando Andrade, Corey Bradley, Adrian Childs, Tyrai Chiles, Paris Cribbs, Cameryn DeBerry, William Dowty, Shane Durham, Sarael Duncan, Shawn Ellis, Marco Escobedo, Robert Finney, Marquez Griffin, Thad Harper, Chase Howard, Karl Kennedy II, Jeremy Lawson, Jordan Lippert, Jacob Love, AJ McCraney, Keven Rodgers II, Trenten Stover, Curtis Smith, Rynell Ware, Mike Welch, Toven Williams, Steven Wilson.