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Bismarck Demons

In the annals of Bismarck Demons football, which date back to 1911, you could probably count the games like this one on one hand.

BHS scored on its first eight possessions and rolled to a 62-6 victory over Jamestown on Friday night at the Community Bowl.

Bismarck defenders overwhelmed the visiting Blue Jays in the first half as the Demons opened a 55-0 lead. That was the old ball game.

Jamestown coach Tim Fletcher said there was little doubt the BHS defense changed the complexion of the game in the early going.

“Their defense is aggressive. They show up to play every Friday, and if you’re not ready to stop the stunts they come with they get the penetration they need to disrupt your offense.”

Penetration, indeed.

Outside linebacker Justin Thorson practically lived in the Blue Jay backfield in the first quarter. Thorson racked up three sacks in the first 9 minutes for a minus 21 yards.

“I was just doing my job,” Thorson said. “I was coming off both sides and most times I was getting a clear run (at Jamestown QB Matt Grounds).”

The BHS defense didn’t allow a first down in the first half and limited the Jays to a minus 48 total offense.

Jamestown gained plus yardage on just six plays before intermission.

“We get better as a team each week ... and good things happen,” Bismarck safety Lee Braunagel said.

No kidding. The Demons held Jamestown to 69 yards total offense, bagged seven sacks and had three takeaways. The defense contributed a touchdown and a safety to the 62-point tally.

“The defense came out and I think we were ready to play,” Thorson said in a huge understatement.

Bismarck’s defensive score resulted from the penultimate sack of the night. Grounds dropped back to pass on third-and-10 from his own 19 and took a jarring hit from Michael Thompson. The ball popped loose and linebacker Alex Seibel recovered at the 6-yard line, scoring untouched.

Meanwhile the BHS offense racked up 472 yards. Tailback Layne Johs led the way with 144 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries. He’s topped the 100-yard mark in all six games for the undefeated and top-ranked Demons.

Quarterback Ben Jolliffe, fullback Riley Plant, and tailbacks Lee Braunagel and Coltin Marquardt also ran for TDs for Bismarck.

Jolliffe hooked up with Brett Adam and Tyler Unruh for scoring strikes of 46 and 36 yards.

Braunagel rarely finds his way into the offensive backfield.

“It was my first carry ever in a varsity game,” he observed.

Jamestown’s score came from long distance, Grounds connecting with Sean Lindberg for a 52-yard strike in the middle of the third period.

Grounds left the game after Thompson’s hit and didn’t return. Fletcher said Grounds was pulled mostly as a precautionary measure.

“He kind of got the wind knocked out of him. It was a situation where we as a staff felt it was important to get him out of there. He took a pretty hard shot,” Fletcher said.

Bismarck returns to action Thursday, playing host to Mandan. Jamestown hosts Grand Forks Central in a nonregional game on Friday.

Jamestown 0 0 6 0 — 6

Bismarck 28 27 0 7 — 62

First Quarter

B — Brett Adam 46 pass from Ben Jolliffe (kick failed), 9:14.

B — Jolliffe 1 run (kick failed), 6:28.

B — Safety, Matt Grounds recovered own fumble in end zone, 5:32.

B — Tyler Unruh 36 pass from Jolliffe (Josh Seibel kick), 4:51.

B — Riley Plant 1 run (Seibel kick), :30.

Second Quarter

B — Layne Johs 1 run (Seibel kick), 11:27.

B — Johs 82 run (Seibel kick), 8:52.

B — Lee Braunagel 7 run (Seibel kick), 8:19.

B — Coltin Marquardt 1 run (kick failed), 1:36.

Third Quarter

J — Sean Lindberg 52 pass from Grounds (kick failed), 6:28.

Fourth Quarter

B — Noah DuBord 6 fumble return (Seibel kick), 9:02.

Team Statistics


First downs 7 17

Rushes-yards 34-minus 31 42-305

Passing yards 100 167

Comp-Att-Int 4-9-0 6-10-0

Punts-avg 5-34 0

Fumbles-lost 6-3 1-0

Penalties-yards 1-5 4-50

Individual Statistics

Rushing: J — Anthony Cook 22-34, Eathan Gumke 2-6, Joey Gebhardt 2-minus 12, Matt Grounds 8-minus 59. B — Layne Johs 8-144, Coltin Marquardt 15-88, Brett Adam 1-17, Noah DuBord 6-17, Kole Bauer 2-16, Josh Seibel 1-9, Lee Braunagel 1-7, Hunter DelaBarre 1-6, Ben Jolliffe 3-5, Riley Plant 1-1, Hayden Gibson 3-minus 5.

Passing: J— Grounds 3-6-0, 70 yards; Gebhardt 1-3-0, 30. B — Jolliffe 6-9-0, 167; Bauer 0-1-0

Receiving: J — Sean Lindberg 1-52, Tyler Ukestad 2-35, C.J. Soulis 1-13. B — Adam 1-46, Tyler Unurh 1-36, Johs 1-34, Plant 1-26, Nick Goulet 2-25.

Interceptions: None.

Records: Jamestown 1-3 West Region, 1-5 overall; Bismarck 3-0, 6-0.

Reach reporter Steve Thomas at  250-8244 or


Sports Reporter