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Tom Mix, Published November 07 2012

Another Montplaisir behind center as Deacons enter state title game

Fargo - Fargo Shanley is back in the North Dakota Class 2A state football title game.

The No. 1 Deacons have qualified for the last four Dakota Bowl championships. For three of those years, a Montplaisir has been the quarterback.

Junior Chase Montplaisir will be under center when Shanley squares off against No. 2-ranked Grafton at 3 p.m. Friday at the Alerus Center.

His older brother Myles – now a redshirt freshman quarterback at Minnesota State Moorhead – knows a thing or two about playing in the Dakota Bowl, winning two state championships at Shanley in 2009 and 2010.

“It is something with him winning two,” Chase Montplaisir said. “He has the experience. … He has been able to relay some of that, some of the tricks to get there and to win it.

“He did it twice. I know he will say it is harder to win a second time than it is the first time.”

Chase Montplaisir, who was the junior varsity quarterback at Shanley a year ago, has had a standout season as a first-year starter.

He has thrown for 2,394 yards and 24 touchdowns.

“We did see the possibility of him developing into a decent quarterback,” Shanley head coach Rod Oksendahl said. “We had no idea he would end up the way he has played this year. … We saw the potential was there. We just didn’t realize he would develop as quickly as he has.”

Oksendahl credited Montplaisir’s development to plenty of summer workouts with his receivers to build his arm strength.

Montplaisir is averaging 217.6 passing yards per game and has completed 58 percent of his throws this fall.

“It doesn’t matter what time of the game it is or what the score is. He just seems so calm out there,” said Myles Montplaisir, who has been able to watch Chase play several games this season.

“He plays with a level head and puts the ball where it needs to be at the right time. That is really cool to see and I love to watch him do that.”

Chase and Myles are different quarterbacks.

When Myles ran the Deacons’ offense, the quarterback was a dual threat to both run and pass, while Chase is more of a pocket passer who throws off the play-action.

Despite the differences, Myles’ advice to his younger brother heading into the Grafton game is simple.

“When I talk to him, I just tell him to, ‘Play your game,’” Myles Montplaisir said. “You got to treat every game the same. Just because he is in the championship game doesn’t mean it is different than a regular-season game. That is how he has to treat it and come with the same intensity and preparation for it.”

Myles won’t be in Grand Forks on Friday due to practice at MSUM, but plans to watch the game on TV.

Chase Montplaisir has had back-to-back 200-plus yard passing performances in the playoffs entering the title game.

“Every game you get a little more comfortable,” Chase Montplaisir said.

Montplaisir and the Deacons defeated the Spoilers in the regular season, but Grafton is still the defending state champions after defeating Shanley 22-6 in the championship game last season.

“It has been a fun year so far,” Montplaisir said. “We are happy, but we are not satisfied. We got one left.

“I know especially for the seniors getting this last one is huge because of the way it ended last year.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562