Bismarck High School junior Caden Fischer drives a souped-up muscle car. It’s called the Demons offense.
That Fischer, the 5-foot-10, 175-pound Demon quarterback, has a bruising running game at his disposal is no secret. But Friday night he unveiled a passing game that was worthy of note in a 49-21 AAA football victory over Mandan at the Bowl.
While running backs Isaiah Huus, Brandt Kringlie and Lucas Miller were piling up 357 yards on the ground, Fischer did some damage through the air.
He connected on eight of nine passes for 127 yards and a touchdown, including a 59-yard blockbuster to senior wideout Gunner Swanson, a 6-foot-5, 175-pounder.
“We’re big outside. We’ve got a lot of height,” Fischer said of his receiving corps. "They’re quick and they play both ways. They’re versatile.”
Swanson showed that versatility. In addition to teaming up with Fischer for a bomb in the second quarter, he picked off two Mandan passes and was in on six tackles as a free safety.
Senior Jack Steckler, 6-5 and 210 pounds, grabbed four passes for 39 yards, and Cade Kivisto, a 5-5, 150-pound senior, snagged two aerials for 20 yards.
The night’s work for the BHS attack added up to 484 yards and 22 first downs.
Bismarck scored the first two touchdowns of the night on a quarterback sneak by Fischer and a 59-yard jaunt by Huus and kept the Braves at bay the rest of the game.
Seven minutes of the fourth quarter were played under the running clock mercy rule.
Fischer’s second one-yard scoring run of the night put Bismarck in charge 42-7 with 11:48 remaining in the game, invoking the mercy rule. His score was set up by Swanson’s second interception, which he returned 34 yards to the Mandan one-yard line.
Mandan returned the clock to normal operation by scoring on consecutive fourth-quarter possessions. James Barnhardt scored on a six-yard run with 7:56 remaining and Tyler Thilmony caught a 20-yard TD pass from Jayce Lowman with 4:49 to play.
Huus, a 6-foot, 200-pound junior, was the game’s top yardage gainer. He dashed and bashed his way to 154 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries. Miller, the speedy backup tailback, carried six times for 83 yards and a score.
Thilmony, a 155-pound senior, caught six passes for 85 yards to lead the way for Mandan, which piled up 322 yards, 181 of them through the air.
Fischer said third-ranked Bismarck’s 3-0 start is a testimony to a good work ethic.
“All our guys work hard. We work hard in practice every day and show it on Friday nights. And we’re having fun doing it, too,” he said.
Mark Gibson, the BHS head coach said Fischer and Kringlie showed him something Friday night.
“I’m fine with what’s going on right now,” he said. “We’ve found our running game again, which is a huge compliment to the line, and we’ve got the best running fullback (Kringlie) that we’ve had in a long time.”
“And I think our quarterback (Fischer) found his groove tonight. That was good to see. I loved how he competed,” Gibson added.
Mandan, now 1-2, swings back into action on Thursday at Dickinson. Bismarck, 3-0, takes on Legacy next Friday.
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