The Bismarck Demons won twice Friday night, but only one of the victories goes into the West Region football standings.
Bismarck won the ball possession duel 58-38. That, in turn, set up a 42-7 homecoming triumph over Minot at the Community Bowl.
Bismarck entered the game undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the state. Minot, now 3-2, was No. 4 in the state's AAA poll.
"Offensively we had great ball control," said BHS fullback-linebacker Carson Winkels. "Our offensive linemen did a great job and our defensive line did, too."
Bismarck head coach Mark Gibson said the plan was to keep the ball away from Minot's rushing tandem of Donte Smart and Jonas Tengesdal.
"We had to keep them off the football field and we did a great job of that tonight," Gibson said.
The third period stands as Exhibit A.
Bismarck, up 28-7 at halftime, allowed the Magicians just seven offensive plays in the third quarter. The Demons, meanwhile, ran 15 plays, including a 2-yard touchdown run by tailback Jake Miller for a 35-7 lead.
"We were only up three touchdowns and we came out and ate up the clock. We were up by four touchdowns and that was a huge momentum change" said Miller, who rushed for 188 yards and three TDs.
Miller picked 76 yards and all two of his TDS in the first half. He scored on a 41-yard run for the first points of the game with 4:16 expired and banged in from two yards out to give the Demons two scores in two possessions.
The speedy Smart, who gained 117 yards eight carries, broke away for a 65-yard run with 4:06 to play in the first quarter, cutting Bismarck's lead to 14-7.
Quarterback Esley Thorton fumbled on Bismarck's next possession, Minot's Taylor Soltis recovering at the BHS 17 with 3:56 left in the quarter.
Bismarck's defense then slammed the door, allowing the Magicians only two yards before turning the ball over on downs.
Minot coach Barry Holmen said the Magicians' inability to convert on the fumble was one of four lost opportunities.
"We had the ball on a short field ... and we weren't able to come up with enough plays in a row," he said. "... We had chances, that's what I took from the first half."
Minot's offense died at the BHS 32-, 15- and 36-yard lines before intermission and at the Demon 29 on its first possession of the second half.
That helps explain the Magicians' lone TD in light of 240 yards total offense.
Bismarck, after dodging a bullet following Thorton's fumble, turned around and pot together its longest march of the night.
The Demons went 85 yards in 10 plays, Thorton closing the drive with a two-yard quarterback sneak with 9:42 to play in the first half.
Bismarck followed that drive up with a 12-play, 69 yard scoring march. Thorton hit Nick Jolliffe with a 10-yard bullet scoring strike over the middle with :41 left in the half.
Miller scored on a 22-yard run with 4:31 to play in the third quarter, his final play of the evening.
Backup quarterback Tyson Gibson Bismarck's final touchdown of the night on the scoreboard, bashing in from a yard out in the fourth quarter.
Miller, the West Region rushing leader, said the victory was in no way as one-sided as the five-touchdown margin suggests.
"Their defense stood up and played us tough tonight," Miller said. "... We couldn't run the ball until we made some halftime adjustments and everything clicked."
Winkels, too, said the game was a bruising physical fray.
"Minot is a good football team," Winkles said. "They beat us up, but we battled through it.
That was the plus Holmen took from the field.
"I thought we played physical and I thought we made them play physical. That goes a long way," he said.
The victory was Bismarck's third straight over a ranked team and third-ranked Century looms ahead.
"It's almost like a playoff run," Gibson said. "Each week is more important and next week's opponent is really good."
Minot 7 0 0 0 - 7
Bismarck 14 14 7 7 - 42
B - Jake Miller 41 run (Calvin Krueger kick), 7:44
B - Miller 2 run (Krueger kick), 4:22
M - Donte Smart 65 run (Erik Larson kick), 4:06
B - Esley Thorton 2 run (Krueger kick), 9:42
B - Nick Jolliffe 10 pass from Thorton (Krueger kick), :41
B - Miller 22 run (Krueger kick), 4:31
B - Tyson Gibson 1 run (Krueger kick), 5:15
First downs 7 25
Rushes-yards 26-196 48-273
Passing yards 44 94
Comp-att-int 4-12-1 8-10-0
Punts-average 3-28 1-16
Fumbles-lost 2-0 2-2
Penalties-yards 2-11 7-50
Rushing: M - Donte Smart 8-117, Jonas Tengesdal 8-17, Max Murphy 6-44, Adam Melom 2-8, Jace Olander 1-5, Isaiah Steinwand 1-5. B - Jake Miller 23-188, Channing Mann 10-43, Esley Thorton 8-34, Carson Winkels 3-9, Tyler Vogel 1-3, Tyson Gibson 3-minus 4.
Passing: M - Murphy 2-8-1, 37 yards; Steinwand 1-2-0, 4; Micah Holmen 1-2-0, 3. B - Thorton 8-10-0, 94.
Receiving: M - Steinwand 1-33, Jarid Hoffman 2-7, Smart 1-4. B - Nick Jolliffe 4-59, Winkels 1-25, Calvin Krueger 1-7, Miller 1-4, Alex Deyle 1-minus 1.
Interceptions: B - Thorton.
Records: Minot 0-1 West Region, 3-2 overall; Bismarck 1-0, 5-0.