Roughriders' front three put on sack attack show
04/01/02 Bismarck Tribune
Take three different styles, mix them together on a defensive line and head for cover.
The resulting recipe proved to be a great concoction for the Bismarck Roughriders Saturday, as the front three of Anthony Bonner, Roberg Gaines and Nikia Parson served five sacks in the Riders' 39-37 victory over River City Saturday.
"Nikia's got the speed, Gaines has the power and I'm the technician," said Bonner, who was responsible for three of the five sacks. "We're a good mix and we're getting more comfortable with each other. Great things are going to happen if this line keeps on improving."
The Riders controlled the line of scrimmage for the entire game, holding the Renegades to just 116 yards of total offense.
Virtually all of River City's offense came on two big plays -- with touchdown catches of 37 and 35 yards by Moses Regular accounting for 72 of the total. On their other 40 plays, the Renegades managed to gain only 44 yards.
"When you get pressure on the quarterback, it helps the whole defense," said Luke Shafer, Bismarck's defensive coordinator. "(The defensive linemen) are an unbelievable mix for us and that really helps us out. This whole defense was solid as a unit."
The biggest of Bonner's quarterback stuffs came late in the third quarter with the Roughriders holding a 30-22 lead.
With the Renegades on second-and-eight from their own 7, Bonner chased down River City quarterback David Little and stuck him to the turf.
Little somehow managed to avoid getting tackled in the end zone, and the ball was spotted on what appeared to be the two-inch line.
"That just gets the adrenaline pumping," Bonner said. "You know you're getting back there and plays like that get everybody pumped up. It's a rush."
The secondary also has to get some credit for the success of the defensive line, as River City receivers were blanketed much of the night with smothering coverage.
In the fourth quarter, a pressured Little tossed a hurried pass up for grabs. Kyle Sires hawked the errant toss and took it 12 yards in for the touchdown.
"This was just a solid game for the whole defense," Shafer said. "The defensive line got in on (Little) early and then they were in his head. He was hearing footsteps the whole night. There was just a couple of big plays they got us on.
"This defense is really starting to come together," Shafer added.