Firebirds roll over Braves 48-6

Ray Maloney, Sports
Devils Lake’s Rielly Morken (30) wraps up a Bottineau ball carrier for little gain during Saturday’s homecoming game at Roller Field. The Firebirds scored 28 points in the first quarter on their way to a convincing 48-6 win over the Braves to improve to 4-0 on the season.

About the only thing better than a high-powered offense is a stingy defense. Combine the two elements in the same game and good things are bound to happen.

Devils Lake learned that lesson in a big way on Saturday as the No. 2-ranked Firebirds had little trouble in capping off homecoming week at the school with a convincing 48-6 win over Bottineau.

Devils Lake scored 28 points in the opening period and never allowed the visiting Braves to seriously challenge in the game.

“We’re starting to really play Firebird football,” said Kole Jenson, who rushed for 97 yards on just seven carries in the game. It was the first game of the season Jenson was held to under 100 yards.

It really didn’t matter.

Jenson set the tone with his 42-yard TD run with less than three minutes gone in the game. And the Firebirds never looked back.

And the Devils Lake defense did its part in helping shut down the Bottineau offense.

Just three plays after Jenson’s score to open the game, Firebird linebacker stripped a Bottineau ball carrier of the pigskin and raced 34 yards for another score. A pass from Beau Eriksson to Reilly Morken for the conversion put Devils Lake ahead 14-0 with 7:33 left in the first quarter.

It was the first of five turnovers forced in the first half of Saturday’s contest.

Devils Lake added to its early lead when Eriksson rifled a bullet over the middle of the field to a wide open Tanner Hoffmeyer in the end zone from 15 yards out to extend the lead to 20-0 with 21 seconds remaining in the quarter.

And the Firebirds were not done.

On the first play following a Bottineau punt Jenson broke lose along the left sideline for a 36-yard jaunt to the end zone as the horn sounded to close the period. Austin Pearson’s kick made it 28-0 in favor of Devils Lake.

“I don’t care what team it is,” Desai said, “once you get momentum on your side, it is very difficult to get beat.”

Eriksson ran for a 16-yard TD of his own in the second period and tossed his second scoring pass of the day when he hooked up with Patrick Mohr for a 15-yard scoring strike to extend Devils Lake’s lead to 41-0 before the homecoming were introduced at halftime.

Eriksson finished with 113 yards on 7-for-12 passing and two scores on the day.

Austin Nelson scored on a 34-yard run to end the scoring for Devils Lake with just over four minutes left in the game.

Bottineau was held to just 104 yards of offense. The Braves rushed the ball 26 times for 90 yards, with most of those coming on the final drive of the game for the Braves as they drove for its only score of the game to avoid the shutout.

Trevor Wettlaufer broke loose for a 46-yard run to the DL-18 with just over two minutes left in the game. Brady Nerpel scored on the next play for the Braves.

Score by Quarters

Bottineau     0     0     0     6     —     6

Devils Lake 28   13    0     7     —    48

Scoring Summary

First Quarter

DL – Kole Jenson 42 run (Austin Pearson kick), 9:08.

DL – Sam Desai 34 fumble return (Rielly Morken pass from Beau Eriksson), 7:33.

DL – Tanner Hoffmeyer 15 pass from Beau Eriksson (kick failed), :20.8.

DL – Jenson 36 run (Pearson kick), ;0.0.

Second Quarter

DL – Eriksson 16 run (Pearson kick), 7:11.

DL – Patrick Mohr 15 pass from Eriksson (kick failed), 1:58.

Third Quarter

No scoring

Fourth Quarter

DL – Austin Nelson 34  run (Pearson kick), 4:30.

Bott – Mark LaCroix 18 run (run failed), 1:59.

Devils Lake Leaders

Rushing – Kole Jenson 7-97, Sam Desai 4-31, Eriksson 8-31, Austin Nelson 7-47

Passing – Beau Eriksson 8-12 119 yards.

Receiving – Tanner Hoffmeyer 3-43, Jenson 1-42, Patrick Mohr 1-15, Jordan Snyder 1-8, Ben Erickstad 1-5.