BY ROB WITZEL firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — BISMARCK — At a glance Friday night’s matchup between the undefeated Bismarck-Henning Blue Devils and the winless Westville Tigers seemed like it may have been an easy win for the Devils.
But looks can be deceiving as the game was up for grabs until the final minute. Trailing 21-13 Westville drove down the field and were inside the Blue Devil 20-yard line.
Westville quarterback Kyle Brazas’ last pass of the game was a Dustyn Ingram interception that helped Bismarck-Henning hold on for the 21-13 win.
For Bismarck coach Mark Dodd, he felt a sense of relief after the game over anything else.
“I’m completely relieved.” Dodd said. “Westville did an awesome job on both sides of the ball. On offense with all the formations and variances, it’s a nightmare (to coach against). Westville is a solid team and I wouldn’t be surprised if they won out and made the playoffs.”
Bismarck’s success came from their ability to run the ball with multiple backs. Both senior Patrick Ganley and junior Donnie Powell rushed for over 100 yards.
“We have a great strong line and our running game works well,” Powell said. “Patrick gets keyed a lot as the play maker. You just stick it out and eventually things open up.”
Powell, who had his first career varsity start, ran for 104 yards and a touchdown while Ganley ran for 125 yards and one touchdown.
The game began with both teams starting out slow offensively and tough on defense.
“(Westville is) a really physical team and we knew that.” Ganley said. “We laid hits, they laid hits and it was a hard fought game.”
Neither team scored in the opening quarter and it wasn’t until midway through the second that Brazas connected with Dalton Hilligoss on a 26-yard touchdown pass, giving Westville a 7-0 lead.
Later in the second quarter, the Blue Devils responded with a 32-yard run by Powell, Bismarck could not connect on the extra point though and trailed 7-6.
On Bismarck’s final drive of the first half, the Blue Devils couldn’t get in the end zone but they did take the lead on a 21-yard field goal by Dalton Duncan that finished the second quarter.
While the Blue Devils took awhile to score in the first half, they wasted little time in the second scoring. After a substantial drive, Bismarck extended their lead on a five-yard Ganley run. With a missed extra point, the Devils led 15-7.
Later in the third, LaDavion Severado and Dalton Hilligoss helped lead another drive by the Tigers and would close the gap with a five yard touchdown run by Hilligoss. The Tigers went for two and the tie but came up short.
In the fourth quarter, Bis-Henn extended their lead to 21-13 with a 12 -ard quarterback keeper by sophomore Dylan Allen. Westville put together a solid drive late but came up short and would fall to 0-4.
“We had opportunities and we didn’t capitalize,” Westville coach Guy Goodlove said. “When you have opportunities, you have to take advantage of them. When you don’t do that, it’s hard to expect to win. We kept doing the same things we’ve been doing all year, and we’re getting better at it. I thought we played well enough to win and just made some crucial mistakes. “
Next week the Tigers host Milford.
Next week Bismarck heads to Jamaica High School to take on the Salt Fork Storm. Several Blue Devils hope momentum of Friday’s win can carry over to next week.
(This win) helps a lot.” Ganley said. “They are undefeated and we’re undefeated, it’s going to be a huge game.”
Vermilion Valley Conference All Times Central Conf. Overall Team W L W L Bismarck-Henning 2 0 4 0 Geo-RF/Chrisman 1 0 3 1 Salt Fork 2 0 4 0 Oakwood/A-P 1 0 1 3 Milford/CP 0 2 2 2 Hoopeston Area 0 2 0 3 Westville 0 2 0 4 Friday, Sept. 20 games Cerro Gordo/Bement 49, Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman 13 Oakwood/Armstrong-Potomac 75, Hoopeston Area 0 Salt Fork 40, Milford/Cissna Park 30 Bismarck-Henning 21, Westville 13 Friday, Sept. 27 games Bismarck-Henning at Salt Fork (Jamaica), 7 p.m. Oakwood/Armstrong-Potomac at Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman, 7 p.m. Milford/Cissna Park at Westville, 7 p.m.