Chemistry between senior duo has Waubun’s option offense humming

WAUBUN -- Waubun senior quarterback Jordan Spaeth holds the ball in senior fullback Ryan Weber's stomach, as both watch defenders fly toward them. Both players know one of them is about to get hit extremely hard, while the other - at the last sec...

Waubun Bombers quarterback Jordan Spaeth, left, hands off to fullback Ryan Weber during after-school practice Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, at Waubun High School. Dave Wallis/Forum News Service

WAUBUN - Waubun senior quarterback Jordan Spaeth holds the ball in senior fullback Ryan Weber’s stomach, as both watch defenders fly toward them.

Both players know one of them is about to get hit extremely hard, while the other – at the last second – will take the ball and run with it. At any point, Weber can grab the ball and sprint off or Spaeth can lead Weber into a defender and sprint away himself. Neither knows what is going to happen until it happens, but neither will budge nor bail until they have to.

This is the read-option offense. It takes patience, along with a special kind of trust between a quarterback and a running back.

“You need good chemistry together and me and Jordan have been best buds since kindergarten,” Weber said. “You have to expect anything and everything and just keep going. Whoever gets hit first will let go and we just know when to do that.”

It’s been run to perfection by Spaeth and Weber and has Waubun winners of its first two games for the first time since 2008 and ranked No. 8 in Class 9-man.


“Sometimes I don’t even know who has the ball,” Waubun coach Paul Clark said. “They’re carrying on the fake three, four or five yards past the line of scrimmage and one of them busts loose. It’s fun for me to watch.”

Through two weeks of football, Waubun has 617 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns. Spaeth and Weber have 479 of those rushing yards and all five of those touchdowns. In fact, Weber or Spaeth have had their hand on all eight touchdowns this season for the Bombers.

The two have known one another since kindergarten and began their football careers at recess in third grade. Weber was a defensive player for the Bombers until he became the lead offensive back last season.

Spaeth and Weber both rushed for more than 1,000 yards in 2013 and the Bombers have a 9-4 record with the two together on offense.

“I have complete trust in Ryan and he has the same in me and we have to take the right steps and read the play four, five or six yards down the field,” Spaeth said. “If you do it correctly, it’s a tough offense to beat. It takes awhile to catch on, but it’s been working well for us the last couple of years. Patience is a big thing.”

Waubun lost patience with Ada-Borup. No player on Waubun had ever beaten Ada-Borup in a varsity football game.

The last time Waubun had beaten Ada-Borup was Sept. 26, 2008. The Bombers were 10-1 that season and its lone loss came later in the Class 9-man, Section 6 title game to Ada-Borup. After that, the Cougars would win 10 straight against the Bombers, knocking them out of the playoffs three times – twice in the section title game, including last year’s 17-8 loss, one win away from state.

That all ended in Week 2 with a 36-0 win for Waubun over Ada-Borup, which has won five of the last six Class 9-man, Section 6 titles. It was the first time the Cougars had been shut out in 105 games.


“If you want to be the best you have to beat the best and Ada has been the best the last few years,” Clark said. “I told the guys I wasn’t planning on giving up a lot of touchdowns this season and we haven’t yet. It was a great win, but Win-E-Mac is 2-0. They don’t care how bad we beat Ada.”

The read option requires patience. Spaeth is all patience during the football season. It’s the offseason that gets him antsy.

“The game itself has always been something that I loved to do,” Spaeth said. “Every year, since I can remember, I can’t wait until football season. There’s something about it that is different from any other sport.”

Weber is hoping the offseason for Waubun is a long way away.

“We’re always improving,” Weber said. “We’re going to keep going and win them all hopefully.”

Murphy has covered sports in Chicago, Minnesota and North Dakota since 2009, working for The Forum since 2012. Contact: or 701-241-5548
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