If two-time defending Class AAA football champion Bismarck High was humbled by a season-opening shutout at the hands of West Fargo, the Demons should have plenty of confidence now.
For the second straight week Bismarck overwhelmed its opposition, scoring a 49-7 victory over Detroit Lakes, Minn., on Friday.
The score only hinted at Bismarck's dominance. The Demon starters scored a touchdown on every possession before they were lifted. The starting defense allowed just three first downs and no points.
The Demons (2-1) certainly looked ready for next week's showdown against Century.
"I think the biggest thing is that from week one to now, we've taken some big steps forward," Bismarck coach Mark Gibson said. "Moreso than Century, we just had to worry about ourselves."
There wasn't much to worry about Friday as Bismarck rolled up 410 yards on the ground. Dillon Lange ran 18 times for 213 yards, 152 in the first half. Channing Mann picked up 115 yards on 11 carries, all in the first two quarters.
Lange credited Bismarck's offensive line for its second consecutive 400-yard rushing performance.
"They were huge. They were like tidal waves," Lange said. "They did their job, and No. 42, Talyn (Johnson), he did a great job."
How impressive was Bismarck in blowing out to a 42-0 halftime lead?
"I told them at halftime, ‘Of all the years we've been doing this, that's one of the best halves we've ever had," Gibson said.
After forcing the Lakers to go three-and-out on their first possession, the Demons promptly marched 42 yards for a score - though it took a bit of luck to find the end zone.
Mann broke off his second straight long run, but fumbled at the Detroit Lakes 5-yard line. The ball rolled forward into the end zone, where tight end Matt Keller fell on it for the score.
"I was blocking for Channing," Keller said. "My guy slipped off me and ended up punching the ball out of Channing's hands. I guess hustle really is rewarded, because I was just cooking and I got there."
On Bismarck's next offensive play, Tyson Gibson rolled right on a play-action pass and threw a strike to Keller for a 43-yard score.
"Normally Dexter (Werner) is maybe the guy, but I got the opportunity that doesn't come very often," Keller said. "When the ball was coming at me, I was just telling myself, ‘I'm going to make the play.' "
Lange added to the lead with a 15-yard touchdown scamper. Detroit Lakes' nightmarish first quarter ended on a botched punt attempt from their 30-yard-line. The snap sailed over Chris Nelson's head and out of the end zone before he could cover it. The safety gave the Demons a 22-0 lead with 18 seconds left in the first.
Bismarck's offense kept rolling after the ensuing kick. On the second play of the second quarter, Mann escaped a shirt tackle en route to a 33-yard touchdown. At that point Bismarck led 29-0 while the Lakers had yet to produce a first down.
Mann broke off another long touchdown run on Bismarck's next possession, this time a 24-yarder. The Demons punched in one more before halftime, a 1-yard sneak by Gibson.
The Demons started the second half with a 74-yard march, 61 coming on runs by Lange, including a 4-yarder for a touchdown. Then the Bismarck starters called it a night.
The Lakers did put together a 77-yard drive for its only score. A 45-yard run by Nathan Baker was the key play on the drive, which culminated in Logan Baker's 8-yard TD run.
"Defensively we took (Detroit Lakes) out of what they do best, and offensively everything just clicked tonight," coach Gibson said.
"It's nice to be clicking right now. Obviously we're going to have to be a lot better next week."
Detroit Lakes 0 0 0 7 - 7
Bismarck 22 20 7 0 - 49
B - Mack Keller fumble recovery in end zone (Jackson Binegar kick), 9:04.
B - Keller 43 pass from Tyson Gibson (kick failed), 7:32.
B - Dillon Lange 15 run (Binegar kick), 2:50.
B - Safety, :18.
B - Channing Mann 33 run (Binegar kick), 11:29.
B - Mann 24 run (Binegar kick), 7:00.
B - Gibson 1 run (kick failed), :45.
B - Lange 4 run (Binegar kick), 5:04.
DL - Logan Baker 8 run (Steven Labine kick), 10:24.
First downs 8 22
Rushes-yards 29-143 49-410
Passing yards 24 63
Passing 3-12-0 4-4-0
Fumbles-lost 2-1 1-0
Punts-avg 5-30.8 0-0
Penalties-yds 7-33 4-20
Rushing: DL - Nathan Baker 3-58, Alex Mason 8-27, Casey Fonder 3-24, Nick Griffith 1-15, Logan Baker 1-8, Jon Gilson 1-8, Joe Mollberg 12-3, Noah Kitzman 1-0. B - Dillon Lange 18-213, Channing Mann 11-115, Brennan Fetch 8-36, Dalton Delange 4-27, Talyn Johnson 4-12, Tyson Gibson 2-6, Brett Adam 2-1.
Passing: DL - Mollberg 3-12-0, 24 yards. B - Gibson 4-4-0, 63 yards.
Receiving: DL - Josh Stalberger 3-24. B - Mack Keller 2-48, Dexter Werner 1-11, Kip Jangula 1-4.
Records: DL 0-2; B 2-1.