WEST FARGO — Bismarck started defense of its Class AAA state football championship with stifling defense.
The Demons had eight quarterback sacks, including a safety, en route to a 29-0 road victory against West Fargo in the season opener for both teams.
“Our defense stepped up tonight,” said Demons senior running back Layne Johs, who rushed for 128 yards and a touchdown on 18 attempts.
Bismarck limited the Packers to 44 yards from scrimmage — 18 rushing and 26 passing.
West Fargo was held to six first downs with four of those coming late in the fourth quarter.
“It’s awesome,” West Fargo head coach Jay Gibson said of the Bismarck defense.
Quarterback Ben Jolliffe sparked the Bismarck offense in the second
quarter, tossing a pair of touchdowns. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound senior first connected with senior receiver Nick Kottre on a scoring play that covered 50 yards.
Kottre hauled in the pass about 10 yards downfield before weaving through the West Fargo defense, giving Bismarck a 7-0 lead with 11:37 to play in the second quarter.
Jolliffe added a 35-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Brett Adam on the next Bismarck drive.
That scoring play came on third-and-10 and gave the Demons a 14-0 lead with 6:17 to play until halftime.
“I connected with the receivers, and they did a great job running the ball in,” Jolliffe said. “We ran the ball out of our spread offense, and that opened it up for passing.”
Gibson liked the way the Packers played for the most part through the first two quarters.
“I was pleased with the first half,” said Gibson, whose team had a 3-6 record last fall. “We had two plays we didn’t defend. … We scratch those two plays, and we’re even with the best team in the state. They are going to wear you down. Man for man, they got us at every position.”
The Demons added 15 more points in the third quarter, including a safety. Bismarck built a 29-0 lead after junior running back Ricardo Galindo rushed for a 4-yard touchdown with 4:52 remaining in the third quarter.
“I think tonight was the payoff for all the hard work the kids did all summer,” said Bismarck interim head coach Dale Colby. “It’s a building block. We played a lot of kids tonight. I thought our kids performed pretty well.”
The Demons played without head coach Mark Gibson. Earlier this week, Mark Gibson was suspended four games after he broke school conduct rules during the summer.
Bismarck had an 11-1 record last season en route to a state championship.
“I liked the team effort we had,” Johs said. “Our coaches brought us together through the preseason adversity.”
Bismarck 0 14 15 0 — 29
West Fargo 0 0 0 0 — 0
B — Nicholas Kottre 50 pass from Ben Jolliffe (Josh Seibel kick)
B — Brett Adam 35 pass from Jolliffe (Seibel kick)
B — Layne Johs 9 run (Seibel kick)
B — Justin Bauer safety
B — Ricardo Galindo 4 run (kick failed)
RUSHING: B, Johs 18-128, Galindo 9-33, Adam 1-9, Hunter DelaBarre 4-5, Seibel 2-4, Jolliffe 2-4, Marquardt 3-4, Kole Bauer 1-2, Plant 3-1. WF, Olsen 11-37, Schulz 1-19, Hoy 2-11, Blotsky 1-0, Berginski 7-(minus-3), Roehrich 6-(minus-26), Cameron 3-(minus-20).
PASSING: B, Jolliffe 8-20-0 135 yards. WF, Roehrich 2-7-0 26, Cameron 0-2-0 0, Hoy 1-3-0 12.
RECEIVING: B, Kottre 3-67, Adam 1-35, Jaime Thorson 2-27, Johs 1-3, Brandon Schmid 1-2. WF, Heinen-Lugert 1-16, Fraase 1-12, Heisler 1-10.