Bishop Ryan advances to ClasBishop Ryan advances to Class A semifinals s A semifinals

HAZEN – Cole Dauphinais and the Bishop Ryan Lions won’t accept anything less than a state championship appearance this season.

A senior running back, Dauphinais did his part to get his team one step closer to the Dakota Bowl by rushing for 136 yards on 24 carries while scoring three touchdowns in a 31-14 Class A playoff quarterfinal victory on the road over Hazen. Following the victory, the Lions (9-1) advance to the semifinals for a matchup against Des Lacs Burlington at 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 5 in Des Lacs.

“This is all just pretty surreal,” Dauphinais said. “We’ve just put so much work in this year. From the beginning, we’ve known what our goal is. Now we have an opportunity to go out there and take it.”

In last week’s playoff matchup against Heart River, Bishop Ryan couldn’t have asked for a worse start, quickly falling behind 19-0. Against Hazen, the Lions were the ones opening the floodgates early.

Dauphinais fielded the opening kickoff from the 20 yard line and weaved through Hazen defenders, taking the return 80 yards for a Lions touchdown 6 seconds into the game.

The Lions jumped out to a two-score lead on their next drive, as quarterback Eli Stewart found his go-to receiver Cody Feist for a 57-yard touchdown strike.

Bishop Ryan closed the half with two touchdown runs from Dauphinais (15 and 14 yards out) to take a 28-0 lead into the break.

“I’m just so proud of the guys for the way they started,” Bishop Ryan coach Chris Compton said. “The way they came out and performed today was just incredible.”

Hazen started to click offensively in the third quarter, as quarterback Wyatt Carr engineered a long drive that ended with a 20 yard touchdown pass to Matt Oestreich. Later, Carr trimmed the Lions’ lead to 14 points after hooking up with Jeremy Leintz for an 8-yard touchdown. That was as close as the Bison got to completing the comeback.

“I’m proud of our kids,” Hazen coach Bret Johnsrud said. “They work their tail off every week and I knew they wouldn’t come out and lay down in the second half. At halftime I had a feeling we were going to come out and play like I knew we were capable of in the second half and we did that. I couldn’t be more proud.”

Stewart finished 7-of-15 through the air for 141 yards and Feist hauled in six catches for 139 yards for the Lions. Carr was 13 of 30 passing for 205 yards for Hazen and amassed 84 yards on the ground. Lenitz caught 5 passes for 85 yards. The Bison end their season at 6-3.

Garrick Hodge covers Minot State athletics, the Minot Minotauros and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @Garrick_Hodge