BISMARCK — The Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin’s run game was on display on Saturday led by its main cog.
Senior running back Caleb Lahey had 241 yards with four touchdowns as the Blue Devils defeated Eldorado 41-22 in an IHSA Class 2A first-round game.
Lahey had been battling injuries the last few weeks, but BHRA coach Mark Dodd said he was ready to go against the Eagles.
“He hasn’t had a full week of practice since the Westville game, where he tweaked his knee and then he had another injury after that,” Dodd said. “He has been battling through and his body has taken a beating. This week he came in and practiced well and I think that showed in the game.
“Our offensive line showed up in the second half when we needed it and handing the ball to him is not a bad option. .. We leaned on him a lot today.”
While the run game was effective, Dodd said the passing game made its presence known in the first half as the Blue Devils built a 20-0 halftime lead.
“We threw the ball early today, including a big play to Rhett Harper to set up our second touchdown,” Dodd said. “We did what we needed to do. We had the lead and sat on it a bit and used the run game in the second half.”
Avery McConkey passed for 109 yards which included a touchdown pass to Weston Strawser and the 45-yard pass to Harper in the first half.
On defense, the Bleu Devils shut out the Eagles in the first half and was able to hold on when the Eagles were trying to get back into the game.
“We stopped them within the 10 twice in the first half,” Dodd said. “It didn’t look good but it was great to keep them out of the end zone in the first half. What got us the win today was the offenseive and defensive lines.”
Eldorado’s Aiden Whitlock threw for 306 yards with two touchdowns to keep the Eagles in the game.
“I have to give credit to Eldorado. They were a physical and solid team and they threw the ball more than we expected,” Dodd said. “Two of those big pass plays were on fourth and long and it was a case of them being very good.”
Dodd said having the fans at the game was great and with next week’s game set for home against Nashville, will give the fans a chance to help them again.
“Our fans are great. We had a big crowd there,” Dodd said. “We don’t take anything for granted. Making the playoffs is big and winning a playoff game is a amazing thing and now we have the chance to play a great team from Nashville.
“We are excited. We feel really good. The game today was a little sloppy and we made some mistakes. We had a chance to blow them out and we failed to do that a couple of times, but they made some great plays. It could have been a bigger score but our kids persevered.”
Nashville shut out Villa Grove 35-0 on Saturday and will be at Bismarck next Saturday at 2 p.m.
“We are a four seed and they are a five seed and we both hosted, so we get the chance to host,” Dodd said. “I know they are very highly thought of and it will be a great challenge and we are fortunate to get them at home.”