Demons' Sease enjoys expanded role

To Thomas Sease’s way of thinking, the only problem with high school football is the length of the games. The Bismarck senior would vote for a couple more minutes each quarter.

“He’s a throwback kid,” Demons head coach Mark Gibson said. “He’s a kid who doesn’t want to come off the field. ... If he had the choice he’d be on the field for everything.

Sease, 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, is a returning all-state defensive lineman. He’s been converted into a two-way player this year by need more than design, and he’s delighted.

He started at defensive tackle and fullback last week at Jamestown, logging what may have been the most minutes of his varsity career.

“I’ve lost about 25 pounds since last season, so I feel that I’m really in good shape,” Sease said. “I don’t think (the double duty) took away from my game at all on offense or defense.”

As a two-way regular, Sease has been released from most of his special teams duties. But if he has to be on the field for 48 minutes, that’s OK, too.

“If the coaches ever want me back on special teams, I’ll be happy with that,” he said.

Bismarck is currently riding the crest of a 20-game winning streak. The Demons top the state AAA football poll at 3-0 as they shoot for their their third straight state AAA championship. They’ve won four of the last five state titles.

Graduation ravaged the undefeated 2012 team, however, leaving a host of question marks in its wake.

The newly-minted Demons have answered the bell, however. Bismarck’s trademark defensive prowess appears intact after having limited its first three opponents to an average of 7.0 points and 152 yards per game.

Offensively, the Demons are putting up 329 yards and 31.3 points per outing. Noah DuBord, the West Region’s No. 2 rusher, and Hayden Gibson, the region’s No. 2 passer, are major contributors to the offense.

“(Sease) and Stanley Jones are the cornerstones of our defense, and we’re leaning on them for a lot more leadership,” Gibson said.

Jones, a 220-pound senior linebacker, is the only other returning full-time defensive starter. Senior Isaac Walth played a significant amount of time in a linebacker rotation last fall.

Sease said the picture has, indeed, changed as a senior.

“We’re expected to contribute to the team week in and week out and help the team win,” Sease said. “We’ve got to show up and we know that the (new) kids are watching everything we do. They’ll follow us in a positive or negative way no matter what we do.”

Next on the schedule is ronight’s West Region clash with Dickinson at the Community Bowl. Dickinson rolled to two wins before falling 23-3 to unbeaten Century last week.

The rest of tonight’s regional schedule has Century (3-0) at Williston (0-3) and Minot (3-0) at Mandan (0-3). Jamestown (2-1) plays host to non-league foe Devils Lake (1-2).

Although the Demons have started well, Sease recoils at talk of another championship run.

“We’re not thinking about that yet. That’s the last thing we’re thinking about,” he said. “We’re just coming up on our second conference game.”

“I think we can improve in a lot of spots. It depends on how much we want it,” Sease added. “We feel a sense of urgency at practice every single day.”

This season the coaching staff moved Sease from strong side to weak side defensive tackle with some part-time offensive duties at tight end and fullback thrown in.

That all changed last week when fullback Hunter DelaBarre went down with a season-ending knee injury at practice.

Presto, Sease became a two-way regular. His statistics at Jamestown weren’t much to look at — 3 carries for 7 yards — but BHS fullbacks are blockers, not runners.

“I like (fullback). I know they’ll be giving the ball to the running back and it will be better with me blocking,” Sease said. “I’m not going to go 80 yards with the ball, but if I’m one-on-one with someone I think I can take him and spring the running back.”

That’s pretty much the story on defense, too, for Sease, who is now in his third year as a starting defensive lineman. Rarely will one of the front guys lead the team in tackles.

“Our job is to draw the double team, don’t get pushed back and cause havoc ... so the linebackers are free to make plays,” he said.

That’s all well and good as far as Sease is concerned. The only statistic he keeps a sharp eye on is the number in the win column.

“I’m all about team. ... I try to be one of those guys who can win, week in and week out. ... Eventually everyone gets a chance to shine on defense,” he said.

But no one gets a chance to shine on the sideline.

“I’m glad I can help the offense,” Sease said. “I don’t like standing on the sideline and watch the offense. I like to be in there and help out.”

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

CLASS AAA

WEST REGION

Region Overall

W L W L

Bismarck 1 0 3 0

Century 1 0 3 0

Minot 1 0 3 0

Jamestown 1 1 2 1

Dickinson 0 1 2 1

Williston 0 1 0 3

Mandan 0 1 0 3

Friday, Sept. 13

Bismarck 35, Jamestown 7

Century 23, Dickinson 3

G.F. Red River 48, Mandan 14

Minot 42, Williston 0

Friday, Sept. 20

Dickinson at Bismarck, 7 p.m.

Century at Williston, 7 p.m.

Minot at Mandan, 6:30 p.m.

Devils Lake at Jamestown

WEST REGION STATISTICS

TEAM OFFENSE

Team Pts. Rush Pass Total

Century 35.3 249.3 123.0 372.3

Minot 34.3 233.0 121.0 354.0

Bismarck 31.3 201.7 127.3 329.0

Jamestown 30.3 249.3 94.3 343.6

Dickinson 28.7 114.3 139.3 253.7

Mandan 11.3 141.3 106.7 248.0

Williston 4.0 68.7 70.0 138.7

TEAM DEFENSE

Team Pts. Rush Pass Total

Bismarck 7.0 83.3 68.7 152.0

Dickinson 7.7 166.3 42.0 208.3

Minot 9.0 88.7 75.3 164.0

Century 15.3 130.7 123.0 253.7

Jamestown 17.7 100.0 154.7 254.7

Williston 30.3 172.0 122.7 294.7

Mandan 44.7 283.7 94.0 377.7

n NOTE: Scoring, rushing, passing and total yardage calculated for West Region teams on a per-game basis.

INDIVIDUAL OFFENSE

Rushing: 1. Hunter Babeck, C, 74-470. 2. Taylor Orr, J, 56-434. 3. Noah DuBord, B, 48-358. 4. Brady Lampert, Min, 52-267. 5. Ross Effertz, Man, 33-224. 6. Scott Nelson, J, 20-143. 7. Kimani Benjamin, Min, 11-138. 8. Dalton Feeney, C, 32-99. 9. Ross Monson, J, 26-97. 10. Karter Gorney, Min, 20-90.

Passing yards: 1. Andrew Heckaman, D, 21-50-2, 413 yards. 2. Hayden Gibson, B, 30-58-2, 381. 3. Dalton Feeney, C, 23-46-3, 369. 4. Ben Bolinske, Min, 24-37-3, 324. 5. Trever Leingang, Man, 15-50-7, 289. 6. Ross Monson, J, 20-47-1, 274. 7. Dillon Brunelle, W, 29-42-3, 182. 8. Alex Yanosko, Min, 3-4-1, 39. 9. Jake Carlson, Man, 2-7-1, 30. 10. Joey Gebhardt, J, 1-3-0, 9.

Touchdown passes: 1. Dalton Feeney, C, 7. 2. Andrew Heckaman, D, 5. 3. (tie) Ben Bolinske, Min, and Ross Monson, J, 4. 5. Hayden Gibson, B, and Trever Leingang, Man, 2. 7. Jake Carlson, Man, 1.

Receiving yards: 1. Dylan Skabo, D, 11-287. 2. Tyler Rudolph, C, 9-186. 3. Jon Tharaldsen, B, 7-149. 4. Landon Jochim, C, 7-144. 5. Parker Harm, Man, 7-135. 6. Kimani Benjamin, Min, 5-124. 7. Trevor Muth, Man, 4-107. 8. Tre Kinchen, Min, 8-101. 9. Jacob Holmen, Min, 9-93. 10. Marc Wegner, J, 4-75.

Total offense: 1. Andrew Heckaman, D, 496 yards. 2. Hunter Babeck, C, 470. 3. Dalton Feeney, C, 468. 4. Taylor Orr, J, 434. 5. Hayden Gibson, B, 397. 6. Ben Bolinske, Min, 389. 7. Ross Monson, J, 371. 8. Noah DuBord, B, 358. 9. Trever Leingang, Man, 334. 10. Brady Lampert, Min, 267.

Scoring: 1. (tie) Taylor Orr, J, and Dylan Skabo, D, 30. 3. Ben Love, Min, 25. 4. Hayden Gibson, B, 24. 5. Ben Hanson, J, 20. 6. (tie) Hunter Babeck, C, Kole Bauer, B, Kimani Benjamin, Min, Noah DuBord, B, Parker Harm, Man, Dominic Neameyer, C, and Zach Sweep, C, 18.

Field goals: 1. Ben Love, Min, 4. 2. Dominic Neameyer, C, 3. 3. (tie) Tony Kostelecky, D, Cole Olson, B, and Ben Hanson, J, 1.

EAST REGION

Region Overall

W L W L

Fargo South 1 0 2 1

G.F. Red River 1 0 2 1

Fargo Davies 1 0 1 2

West Fargo 1 0 1 2

Fargo North 0 1 0 3

G.F. Central 0 1 0 3

Devils Lake 0 2 1 2

Friday, Sept. 13

G.F. Red River 48, Mandan 14

Fargo Davies 50, G.F. Central 8

West Fargo 40, Fargo North 12

Saturday, Sept. 14

Fargo South 38, Devils Lake 24

Friday, Sept. 20

Devils Lake at Jamestown

G.F. Red River at Fargo Davies

Fargo North at Fargo South

G.F. Central at West Fargo

EAST REGION STATISTICS

Offense: 1. Fargo South, 40.7 points per game. 2. Fargo Davies, 28.0. 3. G.F. Red River 27.7. 4. (tie) Fargo North and West Fargo, 18.0. 6. Devils Lake 17.0. 7. G.F. Central 6.7.

Defense: 1. G.F. Red River, 16.0 points allowed per game. 2. West Fargo, 23.3. 3. Fargo South, 25.0. 4. Devils Lake, 26.3. 5. Fargo Davies, 29.3. 6. Fargo North, 41.3. 7. Grand Forks Central, 43.7.

— Compiled by Steve Thomas

Reach reporter Steve Thomas at  701-250-8244 or steve.thomas@bismarcktribune.com.

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Sports Reporter