The Bismarck Demons, smarting from last week's loss to Dickinson, went right back to what they do best -- the meat-and-potatoes stuff.
Bismarck used efficient blocking and tackling, and hard-nosed power football to put away Legacy 49-8 in West Region football Friday night at the Community Bowl.
Establishing their reliable ground game in the early going, the Demons ran for 311 yards and five touchdowns. Bismarck scored on seven of its 10 possessions.
"The glaring thing was the physicality," Legacy coach Chris Clements said. "You've got to play mentally and physically tough. We did that at times, but not consistently."
"Jaxon (Ford) got the yards, but it starts up front in the offensive line. ... They were that much more physical than we were. That's the type of physical play you need to have to be successful. And you have (fullbacks) Jake Sanders and Justin Bergquist who are tough, physical kids to lead him."
Bismarck was so effective in building a 28-0 halftime lead that Ford, a 5-foot-11, 170-pound senior, carried the ball only twice in the second half. He had 86 yards and two touchdowns at intermission.
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Jordan Mann, the BHS quarterback and punter, booted the ball just once, punting in the middle of the first half.
Otherwise, the Demons were consistently visiting the end zone.
Ford's 31-yard punt return set Bismarck up at the Legacy 19-yard line in its first possession. On second down, Mann darted 16 yards to the Saber 1-yard line and on the next play he barged into the end zone. Hunter Johnson converted his first of seven extra-point kicks and BHS led 7-0 with 4:15 elapsed.
Ford took a pitch and went wide to the right for a 50-yard scoring run in Bismarck's next possession. A 44-yard catch-and-run by wide receiver Seth Siverson put the Demons on top 21-0.
A 41-yard punt return by Ford gave BHS possession at the Legacy 3-yard-line with 2:01 to play in the first half. Ford went through the right side standing up five seconds later, giving Bismarck a 28-0 halftime lead.
The Demons added 21 points after the break on a seven-yard scoring run by Lucas Butts, an explosive 58-yard Mann-to-Ford pass play and a 20-yard scoring burst by Butts.
With the mercy rule intervening, most of the second half was played with a running clock.
Legacy got on the scoreboard with 3:11 remaining in the third as quarterback Tyler Hoekstra found Devin Beck for a 5-yard scoring strike. Alex Brosseau's two-point conversion run momentarily cut the deficit to 35-8.
With Mann throwing for 135 yards, Bismarck outgained Legacey 446-279.
Legacy had a tough time establishing anything on the ground. Brosseau, the standout junior tailback, managed just 75 yards on 25 carries. His longest jaunt was 18 yards.
Hoekstra, a sophomore, threw for 207 yards. He was intercepted once by Jalen Sprecher and sacked twice -- by Preston Mayer and Brayden Thomas. Those sacks put a big dent in Legacy's rushing output -- 72 yards in 34 carries.
Brayden Gieser, a 6-foot, 200-pound senior middle linebacker, has a piece of 10 tackles to lead BHS, many of them at Brosseau's expense.
Gieser said he wasn't following Brosseau around the field, he was just making plays.
"We weren't targeting anybody. ... I was just doing my job -- doing what the coaches told me to do," Gieser said.
Mann, a 6-1, 185-pound senior, said the Demons put in a demanding week of practice following last week's 22-21 setback at the hands of Dickinson.
"It was an intense and fast-paced week. We all had to work and try to get better every day. We had a bad taste in our mouths after last week," Mann said.
Mann hesitated to say that Friday's victory re-established the momentum lost in the Dickinson game.
"It's hard to say," he said. "... We can't forget what that loss feels like. That helps us work hard in practice every day."
Bismarck, now 3-1, plays host to Williston next Friday at the Bowl. Legacy, 0-4, meets Century next Saturday at the Bowl.
B -- Jordan Mann 1 run (Hunter Johnson kick), 7:45.
B -- Jaxon Ford 50 run (Johnson kick), 3:44
B -- Seth Siverson 44 pass from Mann (Johnson kick), 4:04.
B -- Ford 3 run (Johnson kick), 1:56.
B --Lucas Butts 7 run (Johnson kick), 10:46.
L -- Devin Beck 5 pass from Jason Hoekstra (Alex Brosseau run), 3:11.
B -- Ford 58 pass from Mann (Johnson kick), 1:07.
B -- Butts 20 run (Johnson kick), 3:09.
Rushing: B -- Jaxon Ford 10-135; Lucas Butts 6-59, Jake Sanders 7-55, Jordan Mann 4-47, Jalen Sprecher 3-14. L -- Alex Brosseau 25-75, Tyler Boone 2-20, Ruben Tafoya 1-6, Jason Hoekstra 6-minus 29.
Passing: B -- Mann 4-6-0, 135 yards. L -- Hoekstra 18-28-1, 207.
Receiving: B -- Ford 2-67, Seth Siverson 1-44, Ethan Hauff 1-24. L -- Austin Wolf 4-67, Boone 4-66, Devin Beck 7-51, Hunter Humann 2-21, Jason Fetch 1-2.
Records: Bismarck 1-1 West Region, 3-1 overall; Legacy 0-2, 0-4.
(Steve Thomas is a Bismarck Tribune sportswriter).