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Tom Mix, Published November 07 2012

Dakota Bowl preview capsules

Class 3A

Bismarck Century (9-2)

vs. Bismarck (11-0)

When: 6:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Alerus Center, Grand Forks

What you need to know: This marks the second straight year in which Century and Bismarck will play for the state championship. Bismarck will play in its sixth straight title game – winning it all in 2008 and 2009 and with last year’s 21-3 win over Century. Last year was Century’s first state-title appearance. … Bismarck defeated Century 28-7 in a Sept. 14 game. … Bismarck’s defense has allowed only 48 points all season. The Demons offense, led by Layne Johs’ 1,791 rushing yards, averages nearly 40 points. … Century quarterback Jared Fischer has passed for 1,458 yards while receiver Drew Wiseman has caught 32 passes for 775 yards.

Coach’s comments: Bismarck head coach Mark Gibson on surviving a scare from West Fargo in its 22-8 semifinal win: “It was good to have a close game. It helps us for (the title game) because that’s not going to be an easy game.” … Century, meanwhile, avenged a 34-20 regular-season loss with its 16-13 semifinal win over Fargo South last week. “To hold them to 13 points was outstanding,” said Century coach Ron Wingenbach.

Class 2A

Fargo Shanley (9-2) vs. Grafton (10-1)

When: 3 p.m. Friday

Where: Alerus Center

What you need to know: The No. 1-ranked Deacons and No. 2-ranked Spoilers locked up for the 2A title last season, with Grafton winning 22-6. … Shanley defeated Grafton 42-24 during the regular season at Sid Cichy Stadium on Sept. 7. … The Deacons will be playing in their fourth straight title game, winning state championships in 2009 and 2010. … Shanley senior wide receiver Dan Arnold has 44 receptions for 1,124 yards and 14 touchdowns this season. … Grafton quarterback Christian Lunde has passed for 758 yards and 12 touchdowns and has rushed for 1,824 yards and 23 touchdowns.

Coach’s comments: “Turnovers are always something you look at as a coach,” Shanley head coach Rod Oksendahl said. “We had three of them (against Beulah). We were just lucky we got five back. … If you turn the ball over to Grafton, they are going to do something with it. That is the thing we can’t do. When we have the ball we will have to take care of it and do something with it. We got to make sure we move the ball and keep the ball away from them as much as possible.”

Class 1A

Westhope-Newburg-Glenburn (8-4)

vs. Hazen (9-2)

When: 9 a.m. Friday

Where: Alerus Center

What you need to know: Both teams are making their first state-championship appearances. … From 2005 to 2011, Hazen reached the state semifinals five times. … W-N-G is competing at the

11-man level for only the second straight year. It will return to 9-man next season. … Hazen is led by all-state quarterback Stetson Carr, who passed for 108 yards and rushed for 72 in last week’s 14-0 semifinal win over Stanley-Powers Lake. Halfback Briar Bornemann rushed for 190 yards last week. … W-N-G quarterback Hunter Braaten has rushed for 1,300 yards and passed for 1,300 yards this season.

Coach’s comments: Fullback-defensive end Karlie Hancock is called the “heart of the team” by coach Tom Nesvold. The 6-foot, 235-pound senior has suffered from fibromyalgia (a chronic pain in the muscles) the last two years. “He has some good days and some bad days,” Nesvold said. “He plays through pain that isn’t normal.” …. Hazen coach Rick Philion says: “I can’t tell you how good this feels. It was a long time coming. I really feel good for the kids. They worked so hard and overcame so much to get to this point.”


Divide County (12-0) vs.

New Rockford-Sheyenne (11-0)

When: Noon Friday

Where: Alerus Center

What you need to know: Divide County is ranked No. 1 and New Rockford-Sheyenne is No. 2. … The Maroons are making their first appearance in the Dakota Bowl since 2005, while the Rockets are making their first trip to a title game since 2004. … Divide County won a state championship in 1998 while NR-S has never won a state championship. … NR-S junior quarterback Ethan Haley rushed for 108 yards and passed for 141 yards, accounting for three touchdowns in the Rockets’ 32-8 win over Cavalier in the semifinals. … Divide County is averaging 38 points in the playoffs this season. … The Rockets’ defense is allowing 15.6 points per game in three playoff games.

Coach’s comments: “We’ve got to find a way to keep them off schedule on offense,” NR-S head coach Elliott Belquist said of Divide County. “They are a ground-and-pound team and we will have to try to get them in some third-and-long situations.”