GRAND FORKS - Briar Bornemann was in the open field with one last chance to show off.
Hazen High School's junior running back stutter-stepped away from a Westhope-Newburg-Glenburn defender, slipped under another one and galloped into the end zone for a 34-yard touchdown. The run put the finishing touches on the Bison's 55-28 win in the Class A state championship and put Bornemann into the Dakota Bowl record books.
Hazen coach Rick Philion smiled from the Alerus Center turf and said it was business as usual for his No. 1 weapon.
Hazen junior running back Briar Bornemann carries the ball during the Bison’s 55-28 win Friday against Westhope-Newburg-Glenburn at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks. Bornemann’s 286 rushing yards were the most in Dakota Bowl history.
"That's what he looks like when he plays," the Bison's 10th-year coach said. "He's good. He's darn good. Speed, elusiveness and power. He's tough to bring down."
Bornemann's 286 rushing yards is a total unmatched in Dakota Bowl history. The Bison's 55 points and 492 team rushing yards are also Dakota Bowl records.
Hazen (10-2) scored on eight of its first 10 possessions.
"We just knew that they'd make adjustments and they're going to make things tough (on) offense and defensively," Bison senior quarterback Stetson Carr said. "We just knew that we gotta score more points than them. That's pretty much the way it is. We just scored as many points as we possibly could."
Throughout the playoffs, W-N-G (8-5) made a habit of overcoming large margins. And after the Bison scored the game's first 29 points, the Sioux made a mini-run.
A 13-yard scamper by junior quarterback Hunter Braaten and a two-point conversion made it 29-8. W-N-G followed the score up with a forced fumble and recovery. But Braaten's fourth-down throw sailed past his receiver on the following drive, and the Sioux missed a golden opportunity to score.
"I think it stopped a little bit of their momentum," Carr said. "That stop right there helped us out, it really did. It killed all their energy."
The Sioux scored on their first second-half possession to close the gap to 29-14, but couldn't stop the Bison when they needed to.
Carr finished 8-of-10 passing for 177 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 106 yards and three scores to complement Bornemann's prodigious production.
"It's really tough to key them both," Philion said. "We just kinda watch what the defense does and take what they give us."
The state championship is the first for Philion and just the second in school history.
"It's the best feeling ever, honestly," Bornemann said.
Braaten was 20-of-35 for 210 passing yards, a touchdown and an interception. He also ran for 86 yards and two scores.