BISMARCK — A great season came to an end Saturday afternoon as the Bismarck-Henning Blue Devils were defeated 20-7 by the Spring Valley Hall Red Devils.
The Blue Devils struggled to get drives going with several turnovers, penalties and negative yardage plays. The offense that had been so dynamic in the regular season was stalled and stopped throughout the afternoon.
“We kind of got what we deserved,” Blue Devil Coach Mark Dodd said. “When you turn the ball over to good teams, you’re going to lose.”
Bismarck-Henning had three fumbles lost and a total of three interceptions, however two of the interceptions came in must-pass situations late in the ball game.
The turnovers came at times that just killed momentum for the Blue Devils. In the first quarter, Bis-Henn had just scored a 71-yard touchdown run by Patrick Ganley. Dodd called for the onside kick and Bis-Henn recovers and gain huge momentum. But then on the next offensive play, the ball is punched out and recovered by the Red Devils.
Another devastating turnover came in the fourth quarter. After a strong defensive series, the Blue Devils started what could have been a game-tying drive.
After a couple big plays, Dylan Allen passed the ball to Donnie Powell, Powell caught the ball but was immediately hit popping the ball into the air. The ball floated into Red Devil Colin Aimone’s hands and that led to a touchdown for Spring Valley Hall.
While the game had several mistakes in it, Dodd never questioned the hustle and heart of his team, especially in the second half.
Spring Valley Hall’s quarterback Taggart Venegas scrambled and found the open field. Meanwhile Donnie Powell, who was on the opposite side of the field and roughly 10 yards back, found a way to catch up to and tackle the runner preventing a score. Then with the momentum from that stop, the defense was able to stop the Red Devils from scoring inside the red zone.
“Donnie’s hustle represents everybody on this team,” Dodd said. “They play with their heart and never quit. He made a hustle play and stopped them from scoring. That was a big play on his part and a key play to the game.”
The game was also filled with big moments from seniors. Dustyn Ingram had an interception and successfully ran a momentum-boosting fake punt; defensive end Chase Swinford dominated the line of scrimmage forcing the rushed passes. He also collected three sacks and swatted down a pass in his final game.
The game began slowly for both sides. After both teams were held scoreless on their opening drives, the Red Devils struck first on a seven-yard keeper by Venegas. The extra point was missed and the early lead was 6-0 in favor of Hall.
Bismarck answered back almost instantly on the run by Ganley and with the Dalton Duncan kick, Bis-Henn took the lead 7-6.
In the second quarter Ingram had his interception but the ball was given back soon after on a fumble. Hall scored after that with a 29 yard pass from Venegas to Aimone, plus a two point conversion gave them a 14-7 lead.
The teams were both held scoreless in the third quarter, but in the fourth the Red Devils scored on a turnover sealing the deal.
Bis-Henn’s season comes to an end with several key seniors leaving but for quarterback Dylan Allen, his career is just getting started.
“He’s going to learn from this game.” Dodd said. “He’s going to be a great quarterback and already proved it this year.”