Too many weapons.
It's been a common theme for opponents of the Bismarck High School football team this year.
It wasn't any different for Minot High School on Friday.
Minot High School running back Donte Smart tries to get around the corner against the Bismarck High defense as the two teams played in a Class A football game Friday at the Bismarck Community Bowl.
The Demons used their explosive complement of playmakers to control the ball and top the Magicians 42-7 at the Bismarck Community Bowl.
"They are diverse," MHS head coach Barry Holmen said. "They're the epitome of a diverse, well-balanced offense. It's extremely difficult to completely stop them, but we had some good moments during the game on defense. There are big plays in drives. Right now we're coming up a little short (on those plays)."
The top-ranked Demons got going quick as all-state tailback Jake Miller popped a 41-yard TD run with 7:44 remaining in the first quarter. The Demons got the ball back on an interception and struck minutes later. Miller got in from 2 yards out with 4:22 remaining to give the Demons a 14-0 lead following the extra point.
Bismarck High 42, Minot High 7
Key play: Nick Jolliffe's 8-yard TD reception with 41 second to go in the second quarter to give BHS a 28-7 lead.
Key player: Bismarck's Jake Miller, who scored three TDs.
Key stat: Bismarck High scored in at least one TD in every quarter.
"Without a doubt (this is the most explosive team I've coached)," BHS head coach Mark Gibson said. "We've got kids that can make plays from all over the field."
Minot got a big play of its own on the very next play drive.
Donte Smart busted a big run off the right edge, scoring from 65 yards out.
Minot had a chance to get right back into the game on the next possession. MHS linebacker Dillon Bercier came off the left edge, sacking BHS quarterback Esley Thorton. Thorton fumbled the ball at the 18 and the Magi recovered.
But the Bismarck defense stiffened, stopping the Magicians on four downs and allowing the BHS offense to take over.
Gibson said it was the turning point in the game.
We turned the football over, which is something we haven't done much this year," he said. "Our kids responded right away. That was a big part of the game. If they score there, it's 14-14 and they're right back in it."
Holmen said missed opportunities stopped the Magi (3-2) from having a chance to knock off the No. 1 Demons (5-0).
"Missed opportunities," he said. "Our defense gets a big fumble down deep and we don't cash in. It's execution, we're not executing our offense. It's hard to drive long fields, but we had some short fields. That's the disappointment on the offensive side of the ball."
After the turnover on downs, Bismarck drove the ball and made it 21-7 on a Thorton 1-yard keeper with 9:42 remaining in the third.
The Demons made it 28-7 when Thorton found Nick Jolliffe on an 8-yard slant in the final minute of the first half.
"We knew they were going to have the ball plenty," Holmen said. "It comes back to us controlling the ball and sustaining some drives. They're very explosive. The kids learned some things (Friday). They just played against the best team in the state."
Bismarck snuffed out any chance of a Minot comeback in the third quarter. Thorton fumbled a snap on Bismarck's first possession of the quarter, opening the door for MHS. But the Magi couldn't convert the turnover into point and turned the ball back to Bismarck. The Demons controlled the ball for most of the remainder of the quarter, scoring with 4:31 remaining on a 22-yard run from Miller.
"It was huge," Miller said of the drive. "We were only up three TDs. To eat up a quarter like that and get a touchdown, it's always a big momentum changer."
Gibson said ball control was key to keeping the MHS offense off the field.
"I think that was the key to the game," he said. "We wanted to keep them off the field. They've got big-strike capability."
Minot couldn't muster much following Bismarck's third-quarter drive.
Bismarck added a TD on a 1-yard run by Tyson Gibson in the fourth quarter to complete the scoring.
Minot 7 0 0 0 - 7
Bismarck 14 14 7 7 - 42
Bismarck - Jake Miller 41 run (Calvin Krueger kick), 7:44.
Bismarck - Miller 2 run (Krueger kick), 4:22.
Minot - Smart 65 run (Erik Larson kick), 4:06.
Bismarck - Esley Thorton 1 run (Krueger kick), 9:42.
Bismarck - Nick Jolliffe 8 pass from Thorton (Krueger kick), :41.
Bismarck - Miller 22 run (Krueger kick), 4:31.
Bismarck - Tyson Gibson 1 run (Krueger kick), 5:40.
First downs 7 25
Rushes-yards 26-196 48-273
Passing yards 44 94
Comp-att-int 4-12-1 8-10-0
Punts-avg. 3-28 1-16
Fumbles-lost 2-0 2-2
Penalties-yards 2-11 7-50
Rushing: MHS - Donte Smart 8-117, Jonas Tengesdal 8-17, Max Murphy 6-44, Adam Melom 2-8, Jace Olander 1-5, Isaiah Steinwand 1-5. BHS - Jake Miller 23-188, Channing Mann 10-43, Esley Thorton 8-34, Carson Winkels 3-9, Tyler Vogel 1-3, Tyson Gibson 3-minus 4.
Passing: MHS - Murphy 2-8-1, 37 yards; Steinwand 1-2-0, 4; Micah Holmen 1-2-0, 3. BHS - Thorton 8-10-0, 94.
Receiving: MHS - Steinwand 1-33, Jarid Hoffman 2-7, Smart 1-4. BHS - Nick Jolliffe 4-59, Winkels 1-25, Calvin Krueger 1-7, Miller 1-4, Alex Deyle 1-minus 1.
Interceptions: BHS - Thorton.