Bismarck spoils homecoming

In the spirit of homecoming, Jamestown held a parade to set up the Blue Jay football team's contest with top-ranked Bismarck. But when the game kicked off, it was the Demons that did all the marching. Bismarck rushed for 334 yards and put up almo...

John M. Steiner / The Sun Bismarck's Lee Braunagel tackles and strips Jamestown's Tanner Olson during Friday night's game at Ernie Gates Field.

In the spirit of homecoming, Jamestown held a parade to set up the Blue Jay football team's contest with top-ranked Bismarck.

But when the game kicked off, it was the Demons that did all the marching.

Bismarck rushed for 334 yards and put up almost 500 yards of total offense as the Demons remained unbeaten with a 56-0 win over Jamestown on Friday night at Ernie Gates Field.

"We were concerned a little bit, because I didn't think we played very well last week," said Bismarck coach Mark Gibson. "The guys knew there was a lot of work to do, and tonight I think we executed extremely well on both sides of the ball."

Bismarck, which is now 6-0 overall and 3-0 against West Region teams, scored on each of its seven possessions in the first half, including three touchdowns from running back Layne Johs.


The junior back rushed for 66 yards on six carries in the opening 24 minutes before taking the rest of the night off.

But before Johs started doing damage, the Demons used a little trickery to get on the board.

After suffering a 10-yard holding penalty that negated a 22-yard TD run for Johs, Bismarck wide receiver Brett Adams, who has also spent time as QB this year, hit senior wide out Devin Schirado for a 32-yard touchdown on a reverse pass that gave the Demons the early 7-0 edge.

"We do a lot of those things throughout the year," said Gibson of the wide receiver reverse. "We pick it every once in a while, and it was just one of those times we picked it."

Schirado was left uncovered as he walked into the end zone for the score. The 6-foot-2 receiver finished the night with three catches for 78 yards and two touchdowns.

"That trick play caught us off guard, obviously, but we should have had it covered," said Jamestown coach Bill Cahill. "Our defensive backs knew what they were supposed to do, they just didn't do it."

Schirado's second TD reception came from starting quarterback Ben Jolliffe, who sat out last week's game against Dickinson because of a high ankle sprain.

"I think we played well for half of the first half, but then we just let them do what they wanted to for maybe nine minutes," said Cahill. "That cost us about three scores. It's one of those things where the guys learn that if they don't play all-out against good teams, they're going to pay for it."


In Jolliffe's return, the junior signal-caller went 5 for 8 for 120 yards and two touchdowns.

"I thought the offensive line played very well," Gibson said. "From a week ago, I thought we took steps forward. And that's all we want to do this time of year, is keep going forward."

Johs added to Bismarck's lead when he broke free up the middle for a 33-yard TD scamper midway through the first quarter following Jamestown's second straight 3-and-out to start the game.

Jamestown's Matt Grounds made his first start of the season under center for the Blue Jays, and after sputtering in the first two drives, he found some chemistry with Nathan Ellingson on a 3rd-and-3. Ground hit the 6-foot-3 tight end over the middle for a 20-yard strike to move the chains for the first time.

"It's been (a move) we've been thinking about," said Cahill of the QB switch. "We feel we need to throw the ball, and Matt throws a pretty nice ball."

Ground used his feet to pick up 16 yards later in the drive, but the offense stalled on Bismarck's 23-yard line.

"It's not OK to get close and not take advantage of the opportunities," Cahill said. "We had at least two opportunities where we could have scored, but we didn't take advantage of the opportunity."

Johs went on to score from 6 and 8 yards out as the Demons took a 49-0 lead into the break.


Adam also caught a 27-yard TD pass when he wrestled a jump ball away from a Jamestown defender down the left sideline with just under 10 minutes to play in the first half.

The Blue Jays (0-6, 0-4 West Region) showed some resilience in the second half, holding Bismarck to just seven points and moving the ball for 132 of their 165 total yards in the game.

The yardage could have been higher after Grounds used a fake pitch to catch the Bismarck defense off guard late in the fourth quarter. But while Grounds was running up the right sideline, the referees blew the play dead because they, too, fell for the fake pitch.

"It's one of those things where we start doing some stuff right, but then something happens," Cahill said. "Maybe we're getting those out of our system so these last couple of games we have some opportunities."

Grounds went on to get some of that yardage back when he hit Brady Anderson twice in the drive, including a 24-yard connection on the final play of the game. Anderson made four grabs throughout the night for 43 yards. Grounds led the team with 36 yards rushing and completed 8 of 23 passes for 99 yards and an interception.

"I thought for his first start that he did a real nice job," said Cahill of Grounds' performance. "Does he have a lot to learn? Yes. But as a kid entering his first varsity start, he threw some nice passes. ... We'll stay with him because one thing it gives us is the opportunity to put Brady out there as a wide receiver. We'll use Brady at quarterback, too, but one thing with Matt is he'll get some good game experience and he will be back next year."

Backup running back Ricky Purtle led the Demons in rushing with 121 yards, most of which coming in the second half. He also found the end zone late in the first half to make it a 49-0 lead.

Jamestown will hit the road next week to play Grand Forks Central -- a team the Blue Jays defeated last year.


"If we learn from the stuff that we did well tonight, next week who knows (what will happen)," Cahill said. "We have to travel and we have to go up to Grand Forks, and sometimes we don't have a lot of success there, but it's not Century, it's not Bismarck and it's not Mandan. It's someone we feel that we can play with."

Bismarck 56, Jamestown 0

Bismarck 28 21 7 0 -- 56

Jamestown 0 0 0 0 -- 0


First quarter

BHS--Devin Schirado 32 pass from Brett Adam (Cody Ward kick good)

BHS--Layne Johs 33 run (Ward kick good)


BHS--Johs 6 run (Ward kick good)

BHS--Johs 8 run (Ward kick good)

Second quarter

BHS--Adam 27 pass from Ben Jolliffe (Ward kick good)

BHS--Schirado 17 pass from Jolliffe (Ward kick good)

BHS--Ricky Purtle 3 run (Ward kick good)

Third quarter

BHS--Isaac Walth 1 run (Ward kick good)


Fourth quarter

No scoring

Team statistics


Rushing 334 66

Passing 6-9-0 8-23-1

Passing yards 152 99

Total offense 486 165

3rd down efficiency 7-9 5-11

4th down efficiency 0-0 0-2

First downs 16 11

Penalties 6-60 5-32

Turnovers 0 3

Individual statistics

PASSING: B, Ben Jolliffe 5 for 8, 120 yards, 2 TDs; Brett Adam 1 for 1, 32 yards, TD. J, Matt Grounds, 8 for 23, 99 yards, INT.

RUSHING: B, Ricky Purtle 15-121, Layne Johs 6-66, Kip Jangula 6-63, Michael Long 6-53, Isaac Walth 3-20, Adam 1-8, Kelsey Keller 1-4, Kole Bauer 1-2, Huner DelaBarre 1-2, Jolliffe 2-(-5). J, Anthony Cook 6-19, Tanner Olson 7-11, Matt Grounds 10-36.

RECEIVING: B, Jangula 1-17, Devin Schirado 3-78, Dexter Werner 1-30, Adam 1-27. J, Brady Anderson 4-43, Nathan Ellingson 2-37, Tanner Olson 1-11, Tony Smith 1-8, Willy Marler 1-8.

SACKS: B, Reed Hendrickson 2. J, Aaron Michel.


Records: Bismarck 6-0, 3-0 West Region. Jamestown 0-6, 0-4 West Region.

Sun sports writer David Griswold can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or by e-mail at . Follow him at

What To Read Next
Get Local