The much-anticipated West Region football showdown Saturday between Bismarck Century and Minot was simply a show starring linebacker Levi Rockey and the Century Patriots defense.
The second-ranked Patriots (4-0 West Region, 5-1 overall) scored 21 points in the third quarter to start the running clock and routed fourth-ranked Minot 38-7 at the Community Bowl.
Only a second-quarter touchdown catch by Lofton Klabunde kept the Patriots from shutting out a team averaging 31 points a game.
“It just seemed lik we came off the ball very well tonight on defense and created some turnovers that gave us some short fields,” CHS coach Ron Wingenbach said. “When you create short fields you have to take advantage of it.”
Rockey had a sack, an interception and a fumble recovery. The two turnovers led to short fields and touchdowns.
“I didn’t think we could play that strong against Minot. We just came prepared,” Rockey said. “We just tried to go with the basics.
“It was a big win for us. It helps us get where we want to go in the playoffs.”
The Patriots held Minot (2-2, 3-3) to just 163 total yards.
“We were aggressive from beginning to end,” Wingenbach said.
Century scored two quick touchdowns to take a 14-0 lead. It got a little help from the Magicians.
Casey Foss, who ran for 58 yards, scored on a 4-yard run and Austin Underhill added the PAT for a 7-0 lead with 6:57 left in the first quarter.
On the next play, Rockey intercepted a Creighton Rudolph pass, leading to Nathan Kraft’s 18-yard TD run with 4:55 left.
“We were fortunate to get up early and that changes the game plan and defensively you can lay your ears back,’’ Wingenbach said.
Rudolph was picked off three plays after Kraft’s TD. But the Minot defense stiffened. The Magicians regrouped and kept the Patriots off the board again until Underhill’s 26-yard field goal with three seconds left in the half.
Rudolph finally got on track in the second quarter. He completed four of five passes on a 10-play, 69-yard drive that cut the deficit to 14-7 with 10:14 to play in the second quarter. Rudolph hit Lofton Klabunde from 23 yards out for the score and Kyler Stenberg added the PAT.
Late in the half, Century put together a long drive that reached the Minot 9-yard line before stalling. After three incomplete passes, the Patriots settled for three points and a 17-7 halftime lead.
The second half started with a Devyn Vance sack, which caused a fumble that Rockey recovered on the Minot 6. Two plays later, Olson scored on a 1-yard run.
That was followed by a 4-yard punt and one-play drive, that being a Grant Anderson 22-yard run. A three-and-out led to Cauy Kling’s 32-yard TD pass from Olson and a running clock with 6:42 left in the third quarter.
Kraft ran for 51 yards and Olson was 9-for-14 passing for 102 yards.
Dylan Danielson led Minot with 31 yards on eight carries.