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Thorton, Demons dominate Packers

Bismarck 42, W. Fargo 14 - The story: Esley Thorton runs for three TDs and tosses another one in leading Bismarck to a Class 3A quarterfinal win over West Fargo. BISMARCK - So, is Esley Thorton worth 35 points per game? That would seem to be the ...

Bismarck 42, W. Fargo 14

- The story: Esley Thorton runs for three TDs and tosses another one in leading Bismarck to a Class 3A quarterfinal win over West Fargo.

BISMARCK - So, is Esley Thorton worth 35 points per game?

That would seem to be the case in the wake of Bismarck's 42-14 quarterfinal playoff win over West Fargo on Saturday.

The Demons' four-touchdown verdict at the Community Bowl cancelled out a 22-15 loss at West Fargo eight weeks earlier, a game in which Thorton didn't play.

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Thorton was the hub of the Bismarck attack on Saturday. He scored the first three BHS touchdowns, ran for 67 yards and threw for 115 yards and a touchdown. All told, he accounted for 182 yards total offense.

"He's good by himself ... but one reason he makes all those plays is we're trying to stop all those other guys," West Fargo coach Jay Gibson said. "They've got quick receivers and that quick little tailback ... so we're just so spread out (on defense)."

Bismarck, 9-1 and the second-ranked team in the state, denied West Fargo any momentum whatsoever. The Demons scored on their first three possessions and then added a defensive touchdown for a 28-7 halftime lead.

Coming out of intermission, Bismarck added TDs on its first two offensive series to sew up the quarterfinal win. The Demons play host to Williston next Saturday in a semifinal game.

Thorton, a 6-foot-2,

190-pound junior who carried 17 times, said the coaching staff gave no indication he would become a primary ball carrier.

"The coaches never mentioned anything," Thorton said. "That's the most carries I've had by far. A few of them were called ... and on a few of them there was nothing open so I just kept it."

Bismarck's offense rolled and rolled and rolled some more, piling up 195 yards in the first half.

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The Demons received to start the game and immediately drove 66 yards in 14 plays, Thorton sneaking in from a yard out. Calvin Krueger's kick made it 7-0.

West Fargo quickly drew even, thanks to a 79-yard kickoff return by Luke Solum that set the Packers up at the Bismarck 2-yard line.

Alan Neer punched the ball into the end zone and Jay Gjestvang's kick tied it 7-7.

Bismarck's answer was a

54-yard scoring drive followed by a 52-yard march for a 21-7 lead. Thorton capped both drives with 1-yard scoring runs.

Then, before the smoke cleared, linebacker Carson Winkels scooped up a Packer fumble and ran 22 yards to paydirt for a 28-7 advantage.

Thorton fired a 45-yard scoring strike to Nick Jolliffe and Jake Miller ran for a five-yard touchdown to give the Demons a 42-7 lead in the third quarter.

Neer's 43-yard TD pass to Jacob Kaiser gave West Fargo its final score in the final minute of the third period.

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Bismarck limited West Fargo to 191 total yards, a total two-way lineman Eric Klein was more than willing to accept.

"We watched a lot of film, we had a good game plan and I thought we played great," said Klein, a 225-pound senior who was in on a team-high eight tackles.

West Fargo 7 0 7 0-14

Bismarck 14 14 14 0-42

B-Esley Thorton 1 run (Calvin Krueger kick), 4:46.

WF-Alan Neer 2 run (Jay Gjestvang kick), 4:22.

B-Thorton 1 run (Krueger kick), 1:14,

B-Thorton 1 run (Krueger kick), 4:51.

B-Carson Winkels 22 fumble recovery (Krueger kick), 3:50.

B-Nick Jolliffe 46 pass from Thorton (Krueger kick), 9:20.

B-Jake Miller 5 run (Krueger kick), 3:35.

WF-Jacob Kaiser 43 pass from Neer (Gjestvang kick), :46.

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: WF, David Schmidt 4-32, Zach Jorgenson 12-28, Alan Neer 8-9. B, Jake Miller 19-130, Esley Thorton 17-67, Channing Mann 9-29, Levi Kinnischtzke 4-17, Tyler Vogel 3-13, Carson Winkels 2-12, Tyson Gibson 2-minus 2.

PASSING: WF, Neer 5-7-0, 83 yards; Jorgenson 3-9-0, 29. B, Thorton 6-6-0, 115.

RECEIVING: WF, Luke Solum 4-32, Jacob Kaiser 1-43, Brady Schwartz 1-17, Alex Pribula 1-11, Brandon Kunze 1-9. B, Calvin Krueger 2-50, Nick Jolliffe 1-46, Winkels 1-11, Miller 1-7, Alex Deyle 1-1.

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