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Family's loyalty divided because of GSU-NDSU game

    FARGO, N.D. — The cellular towers between Arlington, Va., and the state of Georgia better be working at full capacity Saturday afternoon. The text messages between the Prouty families could get quite intense.
    Parents Rick and Mary Jo Prouty, both North Dakota State graduates, will be watching the game at the Crystal City Sports Pub in Arlington. Their sons, Richard and Sean, will be watching the game in Georgia. Both are Georgia Southern graduates.
    You get the picture.
    “There’s been some good-natured trash-talking going on,” Sean Prouty said.
    The talk is regarding the NDSU vs. GSU Football Championship Subdivision semifinal at the Fargodome. It’s a Prouty family “battle” that has many layers.
    Mary Jo is the administrative director for North Dakota Sen. Kent Conrad. Her brother and NDSU graduate, Scott Stofferahn, is the state director for Conrad in the Fargo office, and he’s been in this mix since before the season started, making light of GSU buying out of a regular-season game with NDSU.
    “I told (the two boys) in an email that they were chicken,” Scott said.
    Sean and Richard are well-versed in Fargo and the dome. Both spent a lot of time in the area during summers. Scott and Mary Jo’s parents lived in Cogswell, N.D.
    “A lot of fond memories of North Dakota,” said Sean, an elementary music teacher.
    Sean was at Georgia Southern when the school won two FCS national championships. He’ll be watching the game Saturday with a GSU alumni club at a restaurant in Augusta, Ga.
    “It’s been fun seeing NDSU do as well as they have,” he said. “It’s just interesting to see how the brackets worked out this year. What were the chances of us playing North Dakota State? Talk about two different worlds.”
    Scott remembers those two worlds meshing in 2000 when he made a trip to Georgia and checked out life in Statesboro. It was a weekend when NDSU was in the Division II quarterfinals and Georgia Southern was in the FCS quarters.
    “That’s when I realized they had a really, really good tradition down there,” Scott said. “We were comparing right through the ’80s when NDSU was cleaning up and they were doing the same in I-AA. I said, ‘Well, you’re lucky you’re in a different division, you don’t have to play us.’ ”
    NDSU and GSU played in 2006 in Statesboro, Ga. – a 34-14 regular season NDSU win. This game, however, has a lot more to it.
    “You can bet if we’re winning at any point,” Scott said, “they’ll be getting text messages on every play.”