In hindsight, Minot High School probably should have picked a different opponent for Homecoming than Bismarck High.
The Demons thoroughly dominated the Magicians in every phase of the game in a 42-0 West Region win Thursday at Duane Carlson Stadium.
"We kinda take that to offense when somebody picks us as their homecoming game," Bismarck senior tailback Layne Johs said. "Usually you wanna have a locked-up win for your homecoming. We take that to offense when they pick us for their homecoming so we came out ready to play."
Tim Chapman/MDN • Bismarck High School senior running back Layne Johs (with ball) makes a cut as Minot High senior defensive lineman Bryan Doerr (77) looks on during the Demons’ 42-0 win over Minot on Thursday.
Johs entered the contest a 1,000-yard rusher with 19 touchdowns on the season but was largely ignored on the Demons' first possession.
Instead, Bismarck (8-0 overall, 5-0 region) worked the ball downfield through the air. Demons senior quarterback Ben Jolliffe found openings on screen passes to senior receivers Nick Kottre and Brandon Schmid to move the chains.
"Me personally, I was wondering why they weren't handing it off to (Johs)," junior linebacker Brady Lampert said. "That's what we schemed around was shutting him down and then they opened up the little screens and stuff."
Jolliffe later hit Schmid from 35 yards out on 3rd-and-22 for Bismarck's first score. Minot (6-2, 3-2) never recovered.
Junior receiver Kimani Benjamin fumbled the ball away on the Magicians' second possession. After forcing a punt, Lampert muffed the ball back to Bismarck, setting up the Demons' second score.
"It dropped really quick and it hit the ground before I caught it," Lampert said. "I just got smacked as soon as I tried to touch it."
Once Bismarck got its lead, Johs got his carries. The all-state back hit paydirt for the 20th time on a 50-yard scamper in the second quarter and had a 49-yard run later in the game. He also had an 80-yard touchdown called back due to a holding penalty.
Johs finished with 170 yards on 22 carries. His backup, Ricardo Galindo, had 64 yards on nine rushes thanks to the holes created by the Bismarck offensive line.
"The thing at Bismarck High that we take pride in is a blue-collar offensive line," Johs said. "We like to run the ball, obviously, that's what Coach (Mark) Gibson likes to do. When those guys are working and the fullbacks are going and we find the seam, that's the way it works at Bismarck High."
The Demons held MHS to 203 yards of total offense and forced three turnovers. Bismarck senior linebacker Brennan Fetch intercepted a pass from Magicians junior quarterback Alex Yanosko and returned it 65 yards for the Demons' fifth touchdown.
The loss combined with Bismarck Century's win against Mandan means Minot is locked into the No. 3 seed for the state playoffs and will not host a first-round game. Bismarck's win guarantees them the region's top seed.
"They're the best around right now and we're going to work hard to improve ourselves and clean things up," MHS coach Barry Holmen said.
Minot finishes the regular season Wednesday at Jamestown at 7 p.m.