Bosch brilliant for Lions

He may not have been crowned Homecoming king — that honor went to teammate Jake Magnuson — but boy, did Bishop Ryan’s Brody Bosch ever turn in a performance fit for royalty.

The fleet-footed senior returned a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns, hauled in two passes for scores and snagged a pair of interceptions, and the No. 1 Lions pummeled Dickinson Trinity 59-13 on Saturday at Herb Parker Stadium

After Ryan (4-0, 2-0 West Region) forced Trinity (0-4, 0-2) three and out to begin the contest, Bosch displayed some nifty footwork to put the Lions on the board.

The 5-foot-10, 169-pounder fielded the Titans’ punt at his own 36-yard line, side-stepped a tackler, juked another and broke into a sprint. Bosch got a punishing block near the Titans’ 20 and tip-toed down the sideline to beat one last defender and cross the goal line.

“Once I caught the ball, I just looked up, there was a lot of open holes and everyone did their job blocking so it wasn’t too hard,” Bosch said.

Senior quarterback Austin Eggl pitched identical slot screens to senior Nick Berentson for 16 and 18 yards on the Lions’ first two offensive plays, then closed out their opening drive with a 7-yard strike to junior receiver Jared Will to post a 14-0 lead.

Eggl made good on 12 of 17 passes for 163 yards — including seven to Bosch for 77 yards — and rushed for 83 yards on 11 carries. Ryan coach Brad Borkhuis said the Lions had no need to introduce new plays or variations.

“Really, we opened the playbook but we didn’t really have to,” he said. “We didn’t run a lot of different plays, but the ones we ran we executed very well.

“(Trinity) just didn’t respond to the plays we were running, so we just kept running a lot of the same stuff.”

Ryan stymied Trinity’s next drive in the red zone — the only time the Titans threatened to score against Ryan’s starters — near the end of the first quarter and then tacked on seven more points to start the second frame.

Eggl capped a nine-play, 81-yard drive spanning 2 minutes, 39 seconds with a keeper from 4 yards out.

“Eggl’s just really evasive in the backfield,” Trinity coach John Odermann said, “and if you try to arm-tackle him, you can’t bring him down.”

Bosch picked off Trinity sophomore quarterback Willy Jahner at the Titans’ 41-yard line and four plays later sophomore tailback Drew Smith bulldozed in from 1 yard out for the Lions’ next score and a 28-0 buffer. Smith filled in for senior Braden Kalamaha, who hobbled off in the first quarter with a mild ankle sprain, because backup Brandan Backes is still sidelined with an MCL sprain.

Freshman kicker Eric Demchuk booted a 29-yard field goal and Bosch corralled a 1-yard score from Eggl for a 38-0 halftime lead.

The Titans turned the ball over three times in the first half — two interceptions and a fumble — allowing Ryan to score easy points.

Odermann said he preached to his players during pregame, “If we make mistakes, it’s gonna get ugly.”

It already was, but it got worse thanks to Bosch.

He returned the opening kickoff of the second half 70 yards to the end zone, made a leaping interception on Trinity’s first drive and then blew by the Titans’ defensive backfield to secure a 26-yard lob from Eggl for his fourth receiving touchdown of the year, which put Ryan ahead 52-0.

Borkhuis lauded Bosch’s awareness and speed.

“He’s so explosive and his speed is an elusive speed,” Borkhuis said. “He has a kind of next gear when he’s playing the field. You can see him kind of read the field and then boom, he’s gone.”

Freshman running back Cole Dauphinais — all 136 pounds of him — dashed 45 yards for Ryan’s final score before Trinity scraped across 13 points against the Lions’ backups.

Dauphinais carried three times for 71 yards.

Jahner was sacked nine times as Trinity accumulated 181 total yards. Ryan racked up 356 yards on just 43 plays.

The Lions’ locker room celebration was more subdued than usual. Borkhuis said Ryan plans to take little time to bask in its Homecoming victory.

“We’ve already turned our focus to Watford City,” he said. “We expect Watford City to be a good team and a good challenge for us next week.”

Said Bosch: “They’re ranked (No. 5), I think. They’re no joke.”

Ryan Holmgren covers high school sports and general assignments. Follow him on Twitter @ryanholmgren.