WEST FARGO — The West Fargo football team didn’t squander its second opportunity to play Bismarck this fall.
The Packers suffered a loss to the Demons in the second week of the season, but have gone only up since. West Fargo’s latest triumph was a 27-10 win against Bismarck on Friday during the quarterfinals of North Dakota Class AAA state playoffs at West Fargo High School.
“That is a really good team we played (Friday),” said West fargo senior quarterback Creighton Pfau. “We played really hard and came out on top.”
The Packers (8-2) advance to the semifinals and will host Bismarck Century on Nov. 6. The victory was West Fargo’s first against the Demons since Aug. 27, 2010. West Fargo was 0-8 against Bismarck since that victory including three losses in the playoffs.
Since its 25-18 loss against Bismarck on Sept. 4, West Fargo has won eight straight games.
The Packers grabbed control early Friday and never trailed.
Bismarck drove to the West Fargo 21-yard line on its opening series, but the drive stalled when West Fargo junior Haboniman Simon intercepted a pass thrown by Bismarck’s Jordan Mann.
The Packers then rattled off a four-play, 95-yard scoring drive that ended with Pfau finding senior tight end Alex Talley for a 60-yard touchdown reception.
“Usually on that play it, doesn’t go to Talley, but the way they were defending, it was supposed to,” said Pfau, who finished 5 of 7 passing for 109 yards and two touchdowns. “He made a great play and finished it off with a big run.”
Bismarck answered with a 29-yard field goal by senior Hunter Johnson on the first play of the second quarter. Later in the quarter, Bismarck had a field goal attempt blocked, which West Fargo used to spark a six-play, 87 yard touchdown drive before halftime.
“We needed to score when he had the opportunities to do so and we didn’t always get the job done,” Bismarck head coach Mark Gibson said. “Defensively they made some great stops so you have to give them a lot of credit. They are biggest and most physical team in the state. I loved our effort (Friday). We gave it all we had and that’s all you can ask for.”
West Fargo head coach Jay Gibson said both scoring drives in the first half were executed well.
“On both drives it wasn’t like we were getting a short porch to work with after making a defensive stop or turnover, but you always want to make the other team pay for that a little bit,” Jay Gibson said.
The No. 3-ranked Packers’ defense kept Jaxon Ford from gaining big yardage and more importantly kept the standout running back out of the endzone. Ford finished with 75 yards for the No. 4 ranked Demons (7-3).
Jay Gibson also mentioned he was pleased with the the play of senior linebacker Jordan Faircloth, who replaced an injured Ben Dirks early in the first quarter. Dirks’ injury was specified after the game, but he did not return to action.
Pfau also rushed for 118 yards and a touchdown on Friday.
“Creighton contributes a tremendous amount,” Jay Gibson said. “He has a lot of experience and what he does so well is deciding whether to pitch, keep or pass. All of our plays have more than one option. You need have a special guy playing quarterback when that’s your offense and we have one.”