For most of their 52-7 victory over Fargo Davies on Friday, the Bismarck Demons looked like a team bound for its sixth straight state AAA title game.
Instead, the Demons chose to focus on their most unsightly 2 minutes of the rout at the Community Bowl.
“We made some good plays, but we had a lapse in the second quarter,” said Bismarck safety Nick Goulet, opened scoring with an interception return. “But it’s a good game to build on.”
Likewise, BHS tailback Layne Johs said the Demons aren’t where they want to be yet.
“I’m pleased, but we slipped up a little bit near the end of the first half,” said Johs, who rushed for 163 yards and three touchdowns. “You try not to (lose focus) ... but they scored and we realized we had to finish it.”
“We’re building every week, but we can’t have mental breakdowns like we did in the second quarter,” Johs continued. “We’ve got to get better every week.”
Bismarck came out with fangs bared at the beginning of the game and the start of the second half.
Goulet’s 53-yard interception return opened a scoring flurry that put Bismarck ahead 19-0 with just over 6 minutes elapsed.
“There’s really no better feeling for a defensive back. A pick-six is what we love to do,” Goulet said.
The BHS defense played a major role in the fast start, stopping the Eagles on a pick and four straight three-and-outs at the outset.
With the running backs leading the way, the offense responded with two quick scores. Fullback Riley Plant scored from 24 yards out on Bismarck’s second possession and Johs, a 210-pound senior, followed with a 37-yards dash to paydirt. Both the scoring drives began in Davies territory.
Davies tallied the first points of the second period with an six-play, 92-yard scoring march.
A 39-yard Aiden Hartness-to-Tristan Hartness pass moved the ball to the BHS 47. Four plays later Eric Peterson muscled his way into the end zone on a 29-yard scoring strike from Aiden Hartness.
The Demons wasted little time in responding. Johs dashed 82 yards to score with 1:02 left in the first half. Then, for good measure, BHS put up three touchdowns in the third quarter for a 45-7 lead.
Backup tailback Ricardo Galindo scored twice in the third quarter and Johs tacked up his third and final TD.
Johs, who has rushed for 291 yards in Bismarck’s first two games, seemed less impressed by his three TDs than the team total of 339 yards.
“Three hundred is a good number of yards, but you’ve got to look at the offensive line and coaching,” Johs said. “All we have to do is take the ball and run straight ahead.”
For the Eagles, now 1-1, the road ahead doesn’t get a lot easier. They’re at West Fargo next week and then meet Grand Forks Red River, Minot, Fargo North and Fargo South. Three of those are ranked teams.
Davies coach Jason Thielges said he wasn’t as disappointed with his team’s intensity as he was the slew of mental mistakes.
“It wasn’t a grind-us-down with six yards on every play on every down. When you look at it we’d get to third down and they’d make a big play on us,” Thielges said.
Indeed, four of Bismarck’s touchdowns were launched from 37 yards away or farther. In addition, the Eagles turned the ball over four times and BHS converted each miscue into a score.
“It’s mental things that we can correct, but we’ve got to compete better than we did tonight,” Thielges added. “We were down 19-0 before we made a play.”
Bismarck returns to action next Friday at the Bowl, playing host to Devils Lake.
Davies 0 7 0 0 — 7
Bismarck 19 6 20 7 — 52
B — Nick Goulet 53 interception return (kick failed), 11:28.
B — Riley Plant 24 run (Josh Seibel kick), 8:58.
B — Layne Johs 37 run (kick failed), 5:41.
FD — Eric Peterson 29 pass from Aidan Hartness (Gunnar Pauly kick), 6:16.
B — Johs 82 run (kick failed), 1:02.
B — Ricardo Galindo 28 run (Seibel kick), 9:28.
B — Johs 8 run (Seibel kick), 6:52.
B — Galindo 37 run (kick failed), :43.
B — Coltin Marquardt 4 run (Seibel kick), 8:24.
First downs 9 16
Rushes-yards 30-75 37-339
Passing yards 96 40
Comp-Att-Int 7-22-3 3-8-0
Punts-avg 7-36 2-35
Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-1
Penalties-yards 5-40 4-35
Rushing: FD — Dylan Hughes 8-34, Alek Groth 7-20, Aaron Irmen 3-19, Derek Arness 6-16, Aidan Hartness 6-minus 14. B — Layne Johs 13-163, Ricardo Galindo 6-72, Riley Plant 7-54, Noah DuBord 5-26, Coltin Marquardt 4-16, Brett Adams1-6, Nick Jolliffe 1-2.
Passing: FD — A. Hartness 7-22-3, 96 yards. B — Jolliffe 3-8-0, 40.
Receiving: FD — Tristan Hartness 1-39, Eric Peterson 2-33, Cayden Barta 2-20, Hughes 1-12, Goth 1-minus 15. B — Nick Kottre 2-32, Adam 1-8.
Interceptions: B — Nick Goulet, Adam, Tanner Hegre.
Records: Fargo Davies 1-1 overall; Bismarck 2-0.