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Steve Thomas / Bismarck Tribune, Published August 31 2013

Second-quarter spurt lifts St. Mary's over Fargo Shanley

BISMARCK – Yardage surrendered between the 30-yard lines is undoubtedly irritating for high school football coaches, but it doesn’t hurt much.

By that standard, the Bismarck St. Mary’s defense enjoyed a great season opener in Saturday’s 14-9 victory over Fargo Shanley at the Community Bowl.

Only twice did Shanley, the defending North Dakota Class 2A state champion, penetrate the St. Mary’s 30. Both times the Deacons came away with points, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Saints’ 14-point second quarter.

“It was a very good way to start. That was a great effort by our defense. They played hard and they played physical,” St. Mary’s coach Dan Smrekar said.

Junior safety-running back Dillon Reiner said the best is yet to come.

“Our defense can play a lot better,” Reiner said. “... We expected a lot of throwing. (Chase) Montplaisir is a good quarterback. He can sling the ball around the field.”

Montplaisir, a returning all-state quarterback, completed 23 of 40 passes for 218 yards and a touchdown. He was intercepted once. Tre Fort nabbed 10 of those aerials for 117 yards and a score.

St. Mary’s specialized in the big play on offense.

The Saints hadn’t made any serious dents in the Shanley defense when they broke through in their fourth possession. On third-and-8, wideout Brian Obritsch won a race down the right sideline and hauled in a scoring strike from Byrne Curl.

“We saw their defense making some adjustments,” said Obritsch, a senior. “They came up closer to stop the run, and the coaches called the right route to counter that. I stopped for a shorter route and then ran right past their defensive back.”

That 75-yard bomb and Nathan Vetter’s kick put the Saints up 7-0 one play into the second period.

St. Mary’s struck again in its final possession of the first half. A 14-yard kick by Shanley punter Alex Berg set the Saints up at the Deacons’ 40-yard line with 2:20 left in the second quarter.

On third down, Reiner popped through the left side and was gone for 36 yards and a score. Reiner shook off some contact at the line of scrimmage and was untouched the rest of the way.

“It all happened because of the left linemen – Austin Braunagel and Jackson Grad coming off the edge,” Reiner said.

Vetter converted with 1:34 to play in the half and the damage was done. St. Mary’s was up 14-0 and didn’t advance inside the Shanley 35 again.

The Deacons, who started four newcomers on the offensive line, were plagued by inconsistency.

“We were out of sync. We didn’t get into a rhythm,” Shanley head coach Rod Oksendahl said. “... We have to straighten out some things up front, but it’s early. It’s no time to panic.”

S 0 0 0 9– 9

BSM 0 14 0 0–14

BSM–Obritsch 75 pass from Curl (Vetter kick)

BSM–Reiner 36 run (Vetter kick)

S–Safety

S–Fort 38 pass from Montplaisir (Strom kick)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: S, Fort 11-36, Stasch 9-22, Simon 3-21, Montplaisir 7-(minus-52). BSM, Reiner 8-65, Heinert 9-20, Krebs 8-17, Sparks 1-1, Schwab 1-0, Curl 4-(minus-2), Smrekar 7-(minus-30).

PASSING: S, Montplaisir 23-40-1 218 yards. BSM, Curl 1-4-0 75, Smrekar 3-5-0 28.

RECEIVING: S, Fort 10-117, Berg 8-66, Caga 1-11, Stasch 1-10, McGovern 1-9, Leier 1-3, Simon 1-2. BSM, Obritsch 4-103.