Fargo Shanley earns NDHSAA Division AA Football Title
November 9, 2018 6:00 pm
By Tom Mix
NDHSAA Media Specialist
FARGO – On its final day competing in Division AA, Fargo Shanley’s football team went out with a state title.
The Deacons defeated Bismarck St. Mary’s 28-21 in the North Dakota High School Activities Association Division AA football state championship game during Dakota Bowl XXVI on Friday, November 9 at the FARGODOME.
Shanley fell behind 14-0 early, but scored 46 seconds remaining in the second half when senior quarterback Cade Busek ran in a 1-yard keeper to cut St. Mary’s lead in half heading into the break.
The Deacons scored quick to open the third quarter getting a 5-yard touchdown run by senior running back Austin Manuel. After a extra point kick it was 14-14 and all the momentum was with with Shanley.
Shanley kept cruising. Later in the third quarter, Busek ran in another 1-yard keep for a touchdown giving the Deacons the lead. Manuel rumbled to a 42-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter to put Shanley up by two scores.
The Saints didn’t go out quietly. Junior quarterback Drew Dosch rushed for a 71-yard touchdown with seven minutes remaining to cut the Deacons lead to 28-21.
Shanley’s defense held the rest of the way.
The Deacons were led by Busek who passed for 90 yards, but did most of his damage on the ground rushing 41 times for 194 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Manuel finished with 140 yards rushing.
Since 1975, when official football championships were organized and sponsored by the NDHSAA, Shanley has now won nine state championships along with other unofficial state titles prior to the 1975 season.
In Division AA, it had been quite the run for Shanley since 2009. From 2009-2018, the Deacons had appeared in the title game eight times in that span winning championships in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2018. One of Shanley’s top rivals during that span was St. Mary’s. The two programs met in the Dakota Bowl three times in the last five seasons with the Saints winning in 2014 and 2017 and Shanley winning Friday’s 2018 Dakota Bowl meeting.
The Saints were led by Dosch, who finished with 166 passing yards and 67 rushing yards.
Shanley closed out an undefeated season finishing 11-0. St. Mary’s ended 9-2 with both loses coming against the Deacons.