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Football season ends in Bismarck

The West Fargo football season drew to a close on Saturday with a 34-21 loss to defending champions Bismarck High in the first round of the playoffs.

“I thought we played pretty well, but, boy, are they a good football team,” Packers head coach Jay Gibson said. “They were really sharp and really physical, but we hung in there.”

The Demons made their presence felt in six plays, marching 66 yards down the field to score on the opening drive with an eight-yard run from running back Ricardo Galindo.

On their next drive, the Demons put the Pack in a 14-0 hole with a 69-yard touchdown pass, still in the first quarter.

Less than two minutes into the second quarter, Galindo had his second touchdown run of the game -- this time from 14 yards out -- and the Packers were down by three scores.

The Packers finally responded with roughly six minutes left in the second qurater, with senior quarterback Scott Cameron connecting with junior receiver Brady Heisler on a 28-yard touchdown pass, and the Packers went into halftime down 21-7.

The Demons went into the third quarter as strong as they did in the first. Galindo scored two more touchdowns in less than three minutes -- one from six yards out, and the other from 33 -- to give Bismarck a 34-7 lead going into the final quarter.

Galindo ended the game with 180 yards on 22 rushes and four touchdowns.

The Packers picked up momentum in the final five minutes of the game, but it was too litte, too late. Cameron ran in from the three-yard line with three minutes, 36 seconds remaining before throwing to senior Jacob Blotsky for a 73-yard touchdown pass with just over a minute left.

Typically, the Packers’ rushing attack has been its strongest asset, but the Demons defense held five different rushers to a combined 91 yards.

“I think the only way we could have competed is to move ball a bit more methodically, but their D is just so good,” Gibson said. “They have a bunch of top-quality kids, but we battled hard and put in a great effort.”

In a season where the Packers had almost 20 new starters, many with very little varsity experience, Gibson was very pleased to see his team compete for a conference championship in the final week of the season and stay within two scores of the best team in the state in the playoffs.

“It has been a real rewarding year,” Gibson said. “The guys surpassed any expectations I had. I had my doubts after our first game (a 27-0 loss to Minot), but the guys were really focused and got better and better. From where we came from, it has been extremely satisfying.”