The Hillsboro-Central Valley Burros punched their ticket to the state Class 11B championship game with a dominating 49-12 win over Minot’s Bishop Ryan on Saturday in the state semifinals.
Burros head coach Scott Olsen’s club popped the Lions in the mouth from the get-go, picking off Bishop Ryan quarterback Jett Lundeen on his team’s first play from scrimmage.
Hillsboro-Central Valley senior running back Jace Leshuk scored on a 22-yard run two plays later to give his squad an early 8-0 lead.
The Burros tacked on 20 more in the first quarter on a pair of rushing touchdowns by quarterback Riley Olsen and a 16-yard touchdown pass from Olsen to senior wideout Gannon Limke.
Seeded No. 1 in the state entering the Class 11B playoffs, Hillsboro-Central Valley extended its lead to 41-0 before halftime on a 2-yard touchdown run by junior fullback Cole Hebl and another 35-yard scoring gallop by Leshuk.
The Burros played their reserves against the Lions for a majority of the second half in the 49-12 win, which sent Hillsboro-Central Valley to today’s (Friday’s) Dakota Bowl title game in Fargo.
The Burros (11-1) will play the Kindred Vikings (11-1) with kickoff tentatively slated around 11:45 a.m. inside the Fargodome.
Hillsboro-Central Valley beat the Vikings 26-20 in a nonregion matchup in Kindred on Aug. 27.
The No. 2-seeded Vikings and head coach Matt Crane beat No. 3 seed Bowman County 51-19 in a state semifinal matchup in Kindred on Saturday.
A full preview of today’s Dakota Bowl game between the Burros and Vikings can be found on Pages 10-11.