Firebirds crush Lions 37-0

Ray Maloney, Sports
Devils Lake quarterback Beau Eriksson surveys the Minot Ryan defense and prepares for the snap from center during Friday’s regular season home finale at Roller Field. The Firebirds, ranked No. 3 in the latest state poll, blanked the Lions 37-0 to improve to 7-1 on the season. Devils Lake will close the regular season Tuesday on the road at Carrington

DEVILS LAKE, N.D — A solid running attack and a staunch defense continued to be the recipe for success as Devils Lake continued its march toward the state playoffs.

The Firebirds combined those two ingredients and turned it into a 37-0 win over Minot Ryan on Friday at Roller Field as Devils Lake closed out its home portion of the regular season. The Firebirds improved to 5-1 in the West Region and 7-1 on the year with the win over the Lions.

Devils Lake, which has already clinched a playoff berth, will close out the regular season on Tuesday at Carrington. A win over the Cardinals will assure the Firebirds of a home playoff game.

It took little time for Devils Lake to take command Friday against Minot Ryan. Ben Wolf scored on a three-yard run with 6:36 remaining in the first period to put the Firebirds on the scoreboard. Joao Soares’ successful kick put Devils Lake in front 7-0 after Wolf’s TD scamper.

Then it was the defense’s turn to shine. After stopping Ryan on back-to-back possessions deep in Ryan territory, Chris Bertsch managed to break through and get a hand on a punt out of the end zone. The batted ball rolled out of the end zone giving the Firebirds a safety and a 9-0 advantage with 7.1 seconds left in the first period and Devils Lake never looked back.

Quarterback Beau Eriksson, who completed 11 of 14 passes for 113 yards on the night, pushed over from one yard out at 8:34 on the second period to extend the Devils Lake lead and Wolf scored his second TD of the night after rambling 34 yards later in the quarter to put Devils Lake in front 23-0 at intermission.

Kole Jenson’s seven-yard run in the third period and Austin Nelson’s short one-yard plunge in the final quarter closed out the scoring.

Devils Lake held the Lions to just 41 yards of offense, with 39 of those yards coming on the ground.

Scoring by Quarters

Minot Ryan       0     0     0     0     —     0

Devils Lake        9    14    7     7        —    37

Scoring Summary

First Quarter

DL: Ben Wolf 3 run.  (Joao Soares kick).

DL: Chris Bertsch blocked punt out of end zone for safety

Second Quarter

DL: Beau Eriksson 1 run (Soares kick).

DL: Wolf 34 run (Soares kick).

Third Quarter

DL: Kole Jenson 7 run (Sam Nettell kick).

Fourth Quarter

DL: Austin Nelson 1 run.  (Nettell kick).

Team Statistics

        MR    DL

Rushing        22-39    45-224

Passing        1-6    11-15

Passing Yards    2    113

Had Intercepted    0    1

Total Yards    41    337

Devils Lake Individual Leaders

Rushing: Ben Wolf 14-92; Kole Jenson 9-36; Austin?Nelson 4-2;, Beau Eriksson 6-21; Jason Berg 2-19; Danny Wahl 2-15.

Passing: Beau Eriksson 11-14-113.

Receiving: Tyler Mertens 2-42;  Ben Wolf 3-20; Calvin Crawford 3-19; David Allard 1-17; Brock Davidson 2-15.