WEST FARGO — Several mistakes by the West Fargo High School special teams led to a second straight loss this season for the Packers. The Bismarck High Demons (2-0) defeated the Packers, 25-18, Friday night in West Fargo’s home opener.
Two botched punt returns and a kickoff return touchdown helped the Demons, who struggled at times to move the ball on offense, grab a victory over the Packers.
“The returners catch the ball all the time, they’ve been catching them in practice so you don’t have any idea that it’s not going to go your way,” said West Fargo head coach Jay Gibson. “Sometimes you get a mental block.”
Bismarck capitalized on the Packers’ mistakes on special teams and the Demons also punched at West Fargo’s defense with its senior running back Jaxon Ford, who carried the ball 26 times for 120 yards.
“They’re a big defense, they’re very physical and the guys were flying around and they were hitting me pretty good so give it to them, they played their hearts out, too, we just ended up on top tonight,” Ford said.
The Packers (0-2) struck first with 5:57 in the first quarterback Creighton Pfau completed a 16-yeard touchdown pass to Haboniman Simon. A two-point conversion was no good but West Fargo took the lead 6-0.
After a Bismarck field goal late in the second quarter, West Fargo increased its lead to 12-3 after Pfau ran for an 80-yard touchdown. A special teams hiccup by the Packers canceled out Pfau’s big run after Ford decided to go on an 85-yard kickoff return run to cut the lead to 12-10 heading into halftime.
In the second half, West Fargo recovered after letting Bismarck take a 16-12 lead in the third quarter with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Pfau to receiver Michael Yeanay.
A mistake on offense would ultimately cost the Packers the game after Pfau fumbled the ball in his red zone and Bismarck’s Brayden Gieser scooped up the loose ball and ran in a touchdown.
Bismarck scored all of its points, with the exception of a 4-yard touchdown run by quarterback Jordan Mann, on special teams or defense.
“I thought our defense and our special teams were the difference in the game tonight,” said Bismarck head coach Mark Gibson. “I thought offensively we never got in a flow but you gotta credit them on that, they’re really physical up front and we preached about it all week how physical it was gonna be and our kids weren’t ready for it.
They punched us is the mouth and we didn’t punch back for a while but we had a lot of breaks today and thank God because if not there’s no way we win this game today.”
The Packers will play West Fargo Sheyenne (2-0) next week at Sheyenne Stadium at 7 p.m. Bismarck will play Dickinson (1-0) at home at 7 p.m.
\WF, Pfau pass to Simon, 16 yards. Pass failed.
B, Johnson field goal.
WF, Pfau 80-yard run. Run failed.
B, Ford 85-yard kickoff return. PAT failed.
B, Mann 4-yard run. Run failed.
WF, Pfau pass to Yeanay, 30 yards. Pass failed.
B, Gieser fumble recovery, 10 yards. Run failed.
B, Johnson field goal.
WF, Pfau 17-131, Teiken 12-30, Czerwinski 2-1, Franek 1-1. B, Ford 26-120, Butts 1-14. Jochim 1-5, Siverson 1-4, Irey 1-3, Mann 10-(-5).
WF, Pfau 7-17-1-111, 2 TD. B, Mann 6-7-0-34,
WF, Simon 3-37, Yeanay 1-30, Wibbels 2-28, Talley 1-16. B, Ford 3-24, Siverson 2-9, Sullivan 1-1.