Demons bowl over DHS

BISMARCK -- By the time fans and parents of Dickinson High could get out of work and tune in to Thursday afternoon's football game, Bismarck High had already put the Midgets in a deep hole.

BISMARCK -- By the time fans and parents of Dickinson High could get out of work and tune in to Thursday afternoon's football game, Bismarck High had already put the Midgets in a deep hole.

If not for the early play of the defense, however, the game could have been over well before parents could punch out.

"It was a lackluster performance in the first half, no question," Dickinson coach Dave Michaelson said. "It was a big football game and for whatever reason, we just weren't very focused. We made mistakes."

Despite finding some life offensively through the run in the second half, the Midgets were unable to overcome a 29-0 first half deficit as the Demons held on for a 36-13 Class AAA, West Region victory at the Bismarck Community Bowl.

"I know what the final score looks like, I'm not a math major, but it was a better football game than that for the better part of the first half," Michaelson said. "Our defense has done a lot of that this year and they stepped up. They played pretty well most of the game."


After giving up an opening drive touchdown, the Dickinson defense prevented a 9-0 Bismarck first quarter lead from becoming a three-touchdown lead by making two key stops early.

Dickinson stuffed the Demons on fourth-and-goal at the half-yard line. The field position resulted in a safety on the first play from scrimmage for DHS but the defense gave got the ball right back by forcing a Bismarck fumble.

"Anytime you get two evenly matched teams, turnovers are a big key," Bismarck coach Mark Gibson said. "It goes both ways. We gave them some chances and certainly they gave us some chances and we cashed in on them."

Unfortunately for Dickinson, the offense returned the favor with a lost fumble of its own.

The Demons used the fumble recovery, a blocked punt and a sack that forced a turnover on downs to put up 20 points.

"You cannot make mistakes against Bismarck High, or Century or Minot High, any of the upper-echelon teams," Michaelson said. "If we want to pretend we are one of those teams, we can not make mistakes."

The blocked punt came with less than a minute remaining in the half. With the ball 4-yard line, Bismarck punched it in on the next play to make it 29-0 heading into the half.

"In the second half, we played a lot more focused," Michaelson said. "When you are focused, I think you play harder. As goofy as it sounds, I think we were over thinking in the first half."


After running for only one yard off ten plays in the first two quarters, Dickinson exploded for 120 yards rushing in the second half. Leading the awakening was Midgets senior running back Skyler Beaudoin, who did not play last week against Mandan due to injury.

Beaudoin rushed for a total of 107 yards on 16 carries in his return and finally put Dickinson on the scoreboard with an 18-yard touchdown run around the left side.

"He is maybe a step quicker, and not that Cole (Frenzel) is not a fast kid, but Skyler is more of a slasher," Michaelson said. "He made a nice cut on the touchdown. He brings another element to our offense."

Minus the four fumbles lost, Michaelson said he was pleased with the effort of his backfield and the difference between the first half and second was the play of the offensive line, which also came alive in the second half.

"I don't know what the halftime speech was for them but they made some adjustments and we didn't do a very good job adjusting," Gibson said. "They stood us up a lot. It's a big concern because that is the time in a game where you need to take over a game as an offensive line and we didn't do that."

DHS senior quarterback Ben Herauf was 10 of 16 for 88 yards, hitting senior receiver Tyler Steffan six times, including one for a 45-yard gain. Herauf was under pressure the entire game though and was sacked three times for a loss of 43 yards.

"When Ben had time, Ben was right on. Ben played a good game no ifs, ands or buts," Michaelson said. "He was on. It would have been nice to give him that kind of time to see how Bismarck responded."

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