By Ray Maloney
Journal Sports Editor
BISMARCK, N.D. — For the second straight season the Class AAA state playoffs have been the end of the road for Devils Lake.
Top-ranked Bismarck scored three times in the opening quarter to set the tone on the way to a 41-0 win over the Firebirds on Friday at the Bismarck Community Bowl.
The Demons will now face West Fargo on Friday in Bismarck with the winner of that game advancing to the Dakota Bowl in Grand Forks the following weekend. Bismarck is the defending state champion.
Devils Lake, meanwhile, ends the season at 4-6.
Brett Adam hauled in a 47-yard pass from Ben Joliffe for the first score of the game and the Demons tacked on two more scores to take a 20-0 lead on the Firebirds after the first 12 minutes of the game.
Layne Johs, who finished the game with 135 rushing yards, caught a 33-yard pass from Joliffe and then ran in from 44 yards out to provide the Demons with that cushion. Johs added two scores in the second quarter on runs of 26 and 3 yards.
Devils Lake, which has relied heavily on its ground attack this season, was held to just 88 yards rushing in the contest. Austin Schall led the way with 71 yards on 21 carries and Blake Prozinski added 21 yards on nine carries for the Firebirds.
Devils Lake quarterback Nate Mertens ended the game with just 57 yards passing after completing five of nine passes. He was sacked on several occassions. Chase Johnson caught one of the passes for 31 yards and Schall added two receptions for 24 yards to finish the contest with 107 yards of total offense for Devils Lake.
The Bismarck defense limited Devils Lake to 145 yards of offense while the BHS offense compiled a total of 346 yards on the night.
Score by Quarters
Devils Lake 0 0 0 0 — 0
Bismarck 20 14 7 0 — 41
BHS — Brett Adam 47 pass from Ben Joliffe (kick failed).
BHS — Layne Johs 33 pass from Joliffe (Johs run).
BHS — Johs 44 run (kick failed).
BHS — Johs 26 run (Josh Seibel kick).
BHS — Johs 3 run (Seibel kick).
BHS — Ricardo Galindo 1 run (Seibel kick).
First Downs 9 14
Rushing Yards 88 261
Passing Comp-Att 5-11 3-8
Passing Yards 57 85
Total Yards 145 346
Punts-Ave. 5-26.0 3-33.0
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties-Yards 2-15 4-40
Rushing — Devils Lake: Austin Schall 21-71, Blake Prozinski 9-21, Dallas Anderson 6-14. Bismarck: Layne Johs 10-135, Ricardo Galindo 5-48, Ben Joliffe 2-22.
Page 2 of 2 - Passing — Devils Lake: Nate Mertens 5-9-57. Bismarck: Joliffe 3-8-85.
Receiving — Devils Lake: Chase Johnson 1-31, Schall 2-24. Bismarck: Brett Adam 2-52, Johs 1-33.