As the South Dakota playoffs hits the quarterfinal round, the road to the DakotaDome gets a bit bumpier for some and a tad more comfortable for others.
Good matchups abound across the six classes. In 11AA, Roosevelt and Lincoln meet again in a quarterfinal contest that should provide plenty of excitement. In 11A, a rematch of Harrisburg and West Central will again go down to the wire. The 11B matchup of #1 Flandreau and St. Thomas More guarantees a lot of ground work and stout defense. In 9AA, arguably the best matchup of the night features #1 Kimball/White Lake and its pair of 1K runners against the powerhouse rushing attack of #4 Howard. In 9A, Arlington, which knocked off unbeaten and #3 Hamlin in the first round will try and advance against an explosive team from Faith. And, in 9B, will defending champion Waverly/South Shore handle the powerful Castlewood offense that features Lucas and Adam Ching.
Those games and all of the playoff matchups are profiled below. Check it out.
The winners of the games on Monday advance to semifinals games next Saturday, Nov. 3, with the state championship games set for Nov. 8-10 at the DakotaDome.
In this blog, I again pick all the games. In the first round, I was 40-4, .909. Counting last year's overall playoff record of 74-6, .925, I have a 114-10 record or .919 in picking SD prep playoff games. How will I do this week? Do you agree? If not, comment below.
But, before we get to the games, here are a few prep notes to digest.
1,000-1,000 Club Growing
Jaden Bartling of Gregory was the only South Dakota player to put together a 1,000-yard rushing and 1,000-yard passing effort during the regular season. With the first round win over Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan in the books, Bartling takes his Gorillas show against Leola/Frederick. Bartling has 98 carries for 1,259 yards and 17 TDs along with completing 60-of-101 passes for 1,225 yards and 22 TDs. Joining Bartling in the 1,000-1,000 club is Harding County's Jess Feist, who has 107 carries for 1,008 yards and 17 TDs while hitting 92-of-138 passes for 1,418 yards and 17 TDs. Between the two players, they have accounted 73 TDs. In the past two years, South Dakota prep football has four members of the 1,000-1,000 club. A year ago Nick Mears of Milbank, who had two straight 1,000-1,000 seasons, and Matt Thorson of Groton Area were the only two quarterbacks to reach the elite club.
Canistota's Win Streak Hits 33
Canistota's winning streak grew to 33 following a 50-0 win over Freeman on Friday. Coach Lenny Schroeder and the 9-0 Hawks, which defeated Hanson on Tuesday in the first round of the playoffs, have the second most consecutive wins in 9-man state history behind Freeman. The Flyers won 46 in a row from 1996-99. Canistota, which has won two straight 9-man titles (9B, 2010; 9A, 2011) is among nine schools (Arlington, White River, Freeman in 9-man; Milbank, West Central, Sioux Falls O'Gorman, Sioux Falls Washington, and Flandreau) that have won 30 or more games.
Wilmot's 1,000-yard Guys
How about some more 1,000 yards stuff? 9A playoff team Wilmot (6-3) is the only team in South Dakota that has a 1,000-yard passer, rusher and receiver. Quarterback Austin Hulscher is 110-of-199 for 1,900 yards and 23 TDs while Chase Bronson has 148 carries for 1,017 yards and nine TDs and Landon Hammer has 50 catches for 1,019 yards and 13 TDs. Hammer is just the third receiver ever with 1,000 yards receiving in 9-man football.
In Howard's 51-26 win over Elkton-Lake Benton, two backs rushed for more than 200 yards. Luke Loudenberg, who had scoring runs of 75 and 35 yards, finished with 239 yards on 23 carries. His backfield mate, Cole Potter was just as good with 206 yards on nine carries with TD runs of 31, 46, 47 and 47 yards. How about this one? Chase Bronson of Wilmot had both 139 yards receiving (four catches, TD) and 139 yards rushing (18 carries, 2 TDs) as well as a kickoff return of 80 yards for a score in the 40-34 playoff win over Irene-Wakonda.
#8 Brookings (5-5) at #1 Washington (9-0), 5 p.m. CST, Howard Wood Field
Preview - Brookings, which moved to .500 with a 22-6 win over Rapid City Central, is led by Mikey Daniel (144-885-6 TDs; 26-138-3 TDs; 24T, four interceptions) and quarterback Kaleb Vig (89-165-976-11 TDs; 100-426-5 TDs). The Bobcats, which has outscored opponents, 200-to-199, have won 3-of-4 games including the playoff win when Vig completed 15-of-19 passes for 194 yards passing (TD) and rushed for over 100 yards (10-114-2 TDs) for the third time in four games. Dayton Bender (39-245-TD) and Zach Page (39-319-4 TDs) are threats at wide receiver. Page has 66 tackles, three sacks and two interceptions to lead the Bobcats on defense. The Bobcats averaged 271 yards in total offense, including 169 on the ground. These two teams last played in 2010 when Washington took a 48-20 decision. Washington, which owns a 417-to-58 overall scoring advantage, finished the regular season unbeaten for the third time in four seasons. The Warriors have won 55-of-60 games since the 2008, including two state titles. They will try and advance to an unprecedented sixth straight AA title game. The Warriors, which averaged 387 yards and 46.3 points per game, is led by quarterback Jon Hander (73-129-1,356-17 TDs) and wide receiver/safety standout and Nebraska recruit Nate Gerry, who has scored 109 points, including 17 TDs, seven PATs, a field goal. Gerry has 19 catches for 524 yards and 20 carries for 167 yards rushing. He has had the ball in his hands 49 times and scored 17 TDs, including four interceptions all taken to the house. He also has a 90-yard kickoff return. Sam Cooke (123-770-11 TDs), Danny Marlette (41-287-4 TDs), and Luke Reiter (46-202-7 TDs) lead the Warriors' ground attack. Chris Parker (11-153), Ty Wiley (12-107-TD), Zach Lupica (5-158-2 TDs), Alex Powell (9-106) and Grant Larson (3-86) are featured in the passing game. Marlette (56T, FR, 2 FF, sack), Sam Johnston (47T, 4 FR, 4 sacks, 2 int.) and Gerry (46T, 4 int.) are the leaders for the best defense in AA. Through nine games, the Warriors defense has 14 sacks, eight interceptions and 16 fumble recoveries while limiting teams to 6.4 points per game.
Pick - Washington moves on with a 46-12 win.
#5 Yankton (7-3) at #4 Sioux Falls O'Gorman (6-3), 6:30 p.m. CST, McEeaney Field
Preview - Yankton, led by head coach Aaron Likness, advanced to the quarterfinals with a 44-20 win over Aberdeen Central. The Bucks, which rebounded from a loss to Brandon Valley in the season finale, have had a solid year under the direction of veteran coach Aaron Likness. They are 6-3 and were ranked in the polls earlier this season. On offense, Yankton is led by quarterback Michael Rucker (75-133-965-7 TDs; 56-115-7 TDs). Levi Davis (107-762-5 TDs) headlines the ground attack and is joined by Evan Schroeder (47-403-4 TDs), who has had an injury-plagued season, and James Hisek (46-413-2 TDs). JJ Hejna (20-344-3 TDs) has been the Bucks' go-to receiver. Overall Yankton has made 543 plays for 3,369 yards, including 2,371 yards rushing. Yankton has won six AA titles with the last one in 2002 (35-14 over SF Washington), Overall the Bucks have made 11 title game appearances plus own nine mythical championships. Fourth-ranked O'Gorman, which has won six straight games, will look to pound the ball when they face Yankton. The Knights, which own a 217-to-95 overall scoring advantage, is pretty healthy and have junior standout Tyler Schulte back. But, whether it is Schulte or Blake Hilmoe (12-26-257-6 TDs) under center, the Knights will run, run and run, just as they did in a 29-15 win over Lincoln in the regular season finale. In that game, O'Gorman had 58 carries for 236 yards, including 44 attempts for 213 yards by Nic Steffl (192-892-6 TDs), who scored three TDs. As a result of his effort, Steffl went over 1,000 yards (239-1,191-9 TDs) for his career. O'Gorman, directed by head coach Steve Keuter (265 career wins, second most ever in South Dakota prep history), has 2,328 total yards on 445 plays with 28 TDs. Most of that yardage has come by way of the ground game. The Knights have 2,050 yards on 432 rushing attempts. The Knights, who have 21 TDs on the ground, will look to get back Eion Donelan (48-353-6 TDs) with support from Ryan Erickson (37-159-3 TDs), Matt White (11-134) and Tyler Pals (27-129-TD). Pals (5-177-3 TDs) is a big-play receiver as he caught the only pass - a TD - against Lincoln (62 yards). The Knights feature a stifling defense which has four shutouts and not allowed more than 24 points (Washington, 24-0 loss) and otherwise have given up a high of 19 to Brookings. Ryan Erickson (65T), Isaac Althoff (59T, 4.5 sacks, FR), a transfer earlier from Yankton, Mark Haiar (55T, 4 int., FR) and Jake Neidringhaus (56T, 2 FR, int.) lead the O'G defense.
Pick - O'Gorman, which has eight AA playoff crowns (last in 2005), can run and stop the run, which will prove to be the difference as they defeat Yankton for the second straight season. Go with O'Gorman in a 34-14 decision.
#7 Pierre (7-3) at #2 Brandon Valley (9-0), 7 p.m. CST, Brandon
Preview - This matchup is a rematch of a 42-27 decision won by second-ranked Brandon Valley on Oct. 12 in Pierre. Brandon Valley, led by head coach Chad Garrow, is looking for a 10th straight win in a season when they own a 377-to-85 overall scoring advantage. A year ago in the quarterfinals, they lost a dramatic, 38-37, decision to Roosevelt and the year before fell to Yankton, 12-9, in another last second playoff setback. Those heartbreaking losses serve as motivation for the unbeaten Lynx, which averaged 351.9 yards in total offense, have passed for 257.7 per game and 94.2 on the ground in 2012. A quick starting team, BV has a 148-to-14 advantage in the first quarter and the margin is 262-to-38 in the first half. It is a team that has closed strong with a 54-to-6 fourth quarter margin. Chase Marso (151-225-2,130-23 TDs-3 int.) directs the offense. A quick note on his career, Marso has completed 341-of-619 passes for 4,709 yards and 54 TDs, all totals that place him in the top 10 all-time in SD prep circles. His main weapon is Matthew VandeBerg (52-813-14 TDs), who has 1,709 all purpose yards and 19 total TDs. A two-way player VandeBerg has six interceptions for 392 yards in returns, including three TDs (59, 105, 96). A.J. Garrow (45-563-3 TDs), Nate Winter (21-387-4 TDs) are other weapons in the pass game. Tony Tripp (104-641-13 TDs; 19-227-3 TDs) is the primary running back and has 19 TDs this season. The Lynx defense has 18 interceptions, 14 sacks and 14 fumble recoveries and is led by Lucas Lunstra (73T, 5.5 TFLs, 2 int.), Jacob Adams (52T, 5.0 TFLs, 1.5 sacks, 3 int., 4 FR) and Adam Guthmiller (33T, 10 TFLs, 2 FR, 3.5 sacks). Pierre has had a turnaround season with Joe Kramer at the helm. Pierre, which has outscored opponents 299-to-166, have made the second and third quarters count, outscoring foes 195-to-79, including 92-to-18 in the third. Pierre has generated 357 yards in total offense per game (577-3,570 yards) while allowing just 244.3 yards. This is a team that is focused on run, averaging 256.4 per game (463-2,564). The Govs, which have two mythical crowns (1909, 1914), are trying to reach its second playoff championship (runner in 1988 to O'Gorman, 44-6). Pierre advanced to the quarterfinals with a 28-6 win over Watertown as Austin Wagner had 154 yards rushing and three TDs while Austin Christopherson had six catches for 100 yards. Pierre held Watertown to a 113 total yards. Wagner (177-1,151-12 TDs) leads the rushing attack with Jace Jerome (107-514-5 TDs). Quarterback Alex Gray (89-440-4 TDs; 44-414-1,006-15 TDs) has had a solid season. Austin Christopherson (24-585-9 TDs) and Lane Severyn (14-290-4 TDs) are the primary receiving targets. Garrett Pochop has converted 33-of-36 PATs and 2-of-5 field goals. On defense, Anthony Dorscher (92T, 9 TFLs, 2 sacks, 2 int.), Wagner (50T, 5 TFLs, int., 3 FR) and Benjamin Leidholt (20T, 4 TFLs, 3 sacks) are lead a team that allows just 16.6 points per game.
Pick - Expect Pierre to give Brandon Valley a tough fight in the third quarter. Marso and VandeBerg will again make a difference. BV, which has six playoff championships (last AA title in 1998) and two runner-up finishes, will advance to the semifinals with a 44-31 win.
#6 Lincoln (7-3) at #3 Roosevelt (7-2), 8 p.m. CST, Howard Wood Field
Preview - Lincoln, directed by head coach Aaron Beavers, defeated Roosevelt, 36-35, at the President's Bowl on Sept. 7., as Caden Quintanillia had 174 yards rushing and three TDs while also throwing a TD pass. The Patriots advanced to the playoff quarterfinals with a 56-0 win over Douglas as Adam Belhaj had 13 carries for 174 yards and two TDs in place of Quintanillia, who was injured but will likely be back for Roosevelt. Lincoln totaled 329 yards and 472 yards in total offense. Dylan Bartow had three catches for 107 yards and a TD. The Patriots, which owns a 363-to-161 scoring edge over opponents, have averaged 210 yards rushing on the season (360-2,104). Lincoln, which has won four-of-five games, is led by Connor Burchill (72-172-1,176-15 TDs). Quintanillia (151-1,013 yards-18 total TDs, 17 by rush) is the primary guy in the backfield although Belhaj (28-418-2 TDs) adds another speedy dimension in the backfield. Burchill has two outstanding receiving targets in Dylan Bartow (26-393-6 TDs) and Trey Naasz (16-338-5 TDs). Lincoln is 3-7 in the past 10 games vs. Roosevelt. Interesting, the last time Lincoln was a #6 seed, they won the whole shooting match, winning a state title in 2008 over Washington, 27-20. In that run, they defeated Roosevelt, 21-7 in a quarterfinals matchup. Roosevelt, the defending AA champions (three overall AA titles), were the #2 seed a year ago and now are #3. The Rough Riders earned a first-round bye for the second straight season. Led by head coach Kim Nelson, Roosevelt is a junior-dominated squad, led by a standout sophomore quarterback in Taryn Christion (71-120-1,166-10 TDs; 109-511-8 TDs). The Rough Riders are led on the ground by Seth Bjordahl (111-632-5 TDs) and Mikal Smith (41-378-6 TDs). At receiver, Roosevelt is strong with Tanner Hennings (33-354-5 TDs), Jeremiah Clark (17-343-TD), Chase Vinateri (11-136) as well as Lucas Wilber, a dynamic player who has missed most of the season due to injuries. Roosevelt, which lost a 40-6 decision to #1 Washington in the regular season finale, has won five of six games since the loss to Lincoln. Seven times this season, they have scored more than 30 points. A fast and physical defense is led by linebacker John Wessel. The return of Lucas Wilbur will aid the receiving corps.
Pick - Roosevelt is the pick here in a close one, 31-28.
#8 Chamberlain (3-7) at #1 Dell Rapids (8-1), 7 p.m. CST, Dell Rapids
Preview - Chamberlain, which has been outscored 212-to-105, ended a string of four straight losses with a 27-0 win over Cheyenne-Eagle Butte in the first round of the playoffs. It was the Cubs first win since a 40-7 win over Todd County. Dell Rapids, which is going for its third straight 11A title and fourth overall, is top ranked under the direction of Steve Hansen. They cruised to a 57-22 win over Milbank, a team they also defeated in the first round a year ago. Michael McGee had 110 yards rushing and a TD along with a 28-yard TD reception. The Quarriers, which have a 373-to-153 scoring advantage against opponents, have started fast with a 108-to-47 scoring margin in the first quarter. They also own a 94-to-34 margin in the second and 84-to-21 in the third, which means the games are usually decided before the fourth quarter. Dell Rapids, which has not lost to an 11A team since 2009 (Milbank), is averaging 288.7 rushing yards behind Lane Lebrun (104-731-6 TDs), Cole Langer (82-639-10 TDs) and Ryan Nichols (47-329-5 TDs). Riley Schmidt, who has a team-high 11 TDs, has 279 yards rushing and seven TDs and has scored twice on kickoff returns. Quarterback Matt Kolbeck (34-68-691-11TDs) directs the offense. His main targets include Bryce Koch (13-302-6 TDs), and Schmidt (9-156-2 TDs). Despite missing a couple of games due to injury, Langer leads the team in tackles with 47.5 along with three forced fumbles. Koch has 28 tackles, 1.5 sacks and 7.5 TFls.
Pick - Dell Rapids rolls into the semifinals with a 56-6 win.
#5 Hot Springs (7-2) at #4 Todd County (8-1), 6:30 p.m. CST, Martin, S.D.
Preview - Hot Springs, which owns a 265-to-84 scoring edge, is won seven-of-nine games with a stout defense and a punishing rushing attack. Hot Springs is led by Jake Oberpriller (112-756-11 TDs) along with quarterback Justin Harkless (39-92-588-5 TDs; 53-187-2 TDs). Eriq Swiftwater (15-258-TD) leads the receiving corps Oberpriller has 73 tackles while Shane Hansen has 47 tackles and four picks. The Bison is 7-2 under head coach Ben Kramer and enjoying its best season since an 8-3 campaign in 2004. They have won four straight wins and Oberpriller's three TDs was the spark needed in the first round playoff win. Head Coach Bob Korneley's Todd County Falcons, which owns a 394-to-85 scoring margin, moved onto to the quarterfinals for the second straight year with a 57-6 win over Little Wound/Crazy Horse as Zach Cox had eight carries for 183 yards and three TDs and Clyde Colombe had 11 carries for 97 yards and two scores. Overall, they had 28 carries for 384 yards and seven TDs. The Falcons, which have won five straight, are led by Colombe (62-756-16 TDs; 10 rec., 195 yards, TD) and Cox (39-644-13 TDs), who has three straight 100 yards games. Cox also leads the defense (60T, sack, four interceptions and two FR), which has 13 interceptions, 18 fumble recoveries and 18 sacks. Others contributing on defense include Joe Clairmont (5 int., FR), Seth Novak (51T, 5 sacks, 4 FR), and Ryan Kornely (45T, sack, 2 FR). Todd County, which was 9-1 a year ago including an 8-0 regular season, has won 16-of-17 games.
Pick - Hot Springs is the choice in a 26-12 decision.
#7 West Central (6-3) at #2 Harrisburg (7-2), 7 p.m. CST, Harrisburg
Preview - Harrisburg has lost just one game in-state (27-7 to Tea Area) and is led by the dynamic quarterback Andrew McCuen (77-160-1,370-14 TDs; 117-663-9 TDs rushing). McCuen completed 12-of-18 passes for 235 yards and four TDs, two to receiver Trevor DeSchepper (32-714-10 TDs), as Harrisburg advanced to the state quarterfinals with a 63-29 win over Lennox. The pair has combined to make big plays all season, including an 83-yard score against Lennox. DeSchepper also has a 95-yard TD reception this season. Harrisburg also features Devyn Schriever (62-352-6 TDs; 19 rec., 259-2TDs) and Kyle Ackerman (65-321-5 TDs) in the backfield. The Tigers, which has 3,117 yards in offense on 428 plays, owns a 301-to-174 scoring advantage over opponents. They average 197.4 yards rushing and 152.2 yards through the air. Coach Brandon White's team are fast starters, owning a 74-to-35 advantage in the first quarter and 156-to-88 in the first half. They also perform down the stretch, commanding a 90-to-56 margin in the fourth quarter. The Tigers's late magic was in display when they defeated West Central, 26-20, in a game at Harrisburg earlier this season. McCuen's fourth quarter TD run spelled the difference. Harrisburg, which won 11B titles in 1984, 1993 and 1999, are eying their first 11A title. They also finished runner-up three others times. West Central, which owns the most playoff state titles (11 in 13 appearances), is a run-based option attack that has generated 2,263 yards on 317 carries and 34 TDs. The Trojans, directed by head coach Kent Mueller, are directed on offense by quarterback Noah Matson (40-69-462-7TDs). The Trojans running attack features Anthony Leuth (81-610-5 TDs), Cody Miller ( (81-494-7 TDs), Cody Bussell (51-252-2 TDs), Eric Krizan (63-359-9 TDs), and Cole Tirrell (26-243-5 TDs). Matson's receiving targets include Dylan Hagerty (16-197-5 TDs), Miller (7-69), Krizan (7-76) and Mitch Brockhaus (5-64-3 TDs). On defense, West Central is led by Cole Jorgenson (36T, 2 int.), Dylan Hagerty (29T, 2 sacks), Alex Voigt, 34T, 2 sacks), Tirrel (31T, 6 int., sack) and Brockhaus (29T, 2 sacks).
Pick - This will be another close one between two rivals. Harrisburg will emerge as McCuen makes a couple of big plays late. Tigers win, 24-19.
#6 Dakota Valley (7-2) at #3 Spearfish (7-3), 6 p.m., MST, Spearfish
Preview - Spearfish, led by head coach Bruce Bresee, averages 30.5 points and 326.5 yards in total offense, including 230 yards on the ground. In compiling three straight wins, they have scored 13 TDs rushing. Led by Nate Rotert's (107-1,118-13 TDs; 15 rec., 159; 111T, 2 sacks) eight carries for 140 yards and two TDs and Brandon Kemp's (48-141-2 TDs; 73-134-925-6 TDs) 97 yards passing and two TDs, the Spartans ended Pine Ridge's season, 46-0. On defense, Luke McFarland (41T) and Andrew Bressler (21T, 2 FR) each have record four sacks as Spearfish has 14 on the season. Overall the Spartans have a 305-to-72 scoring edge, including three straight shutouts after rebounding from two consecutive defeats. #2 Dakota Valley, led by head coach Jason Jund, moved to 7-2 with a 40-37 win in overtime over fourth-ranked Tea Area (5-4) as quarterback Aaron Likness threw a nine-yard TD pass to Andrew Reiff on third down for the win. Running back Tanner Lambert had 30 carries for 142 and a TD in the offensive shootout and best game of the opening round. Lambert is the leading rusher in 11-man ranks with 218 carries for 1,465 yards and 15 TDs and will be expected to carry the load against Spearfish. Also look for support in the rush game from Colton Mahler (31-255-3 TDs). Aaron Likness (58-102-676 yards, 7 TDs), DV's QB, had missed two straight games but rebounded with a big performance in the first round of the playoffs. Taylor Lambert, team's leading tackler with 100 tackles and five sacks, is a standout lineman on both sides of the ball and could be a key for the Panthers' rushing attack. Reiff, who has seven interceptions, is a threat at wide receiver (13-154-3 TDs) as are Brody Van Ginkle (14-273-3 TDs) and Trevor McCabe (14-143-2 TDs). ALso on defense Tanner Lambert has 48 tackles and four sacks while Jason Lupkes has 51 tackles and five sacks. Dakota Valley, which has won three of five games, own a 274-to-163 overall scoring advantage. The Panthers have been in one state title game, losing the 11B crown to Webster (16-15) in 2000.
Pick - Dakota Valley moves into the semifinals with a hard-fought and physical, 18-12 win over Spearfish.
#8 Custer (5-4) at #1 Winner (9-0), 6:30 p.m. CST, Winner
Preview - Winner, which has five shutouts on the season, rolled to a 51-6 win over Bon Homme as Kyle Bertram had seven carries for 191 yards and two TDs (59, 88) and Trace Meyer had 11 carries for 103 yards and three TDs (11, 9, 25). In the win, Winner had an 18-quarter scoreless streak on defense stopped when Bon Homme scored a third quarter TD. Overall, the Warriors, directed by head coach Dan Aaker, own a 394-to-528 point differential, including 240-to-6 in the past five games. If the Warriors defeat Custer, it will be the fifth straight season that Aaker's bunch has recorded 10 wins in a season. Against Custer, Winner, which owns four 11-man playoff titles, will go over 3,000 yards rushing as a team as they have total 2,980 on 392 carries with 46 TDs. The Warriors had a season-high 466 yards rushing (42 carries) in the first round, which marked the sixth time this season, they have gone over 325 yards rushing in a game. Winner, which averages 331.1 yards rushing, is led by a talented backfield including Bertram (85-843-12 total TDs), Ben Connot (89-741-9 TDs) and Meyer (80-549-9 TDs) at running back with Tanner Fritz (20-34-407-9 TDs) directing the offense. The Warriors defense, which allows just 6.4 points per game, is led by Meyer (67T, 4 sacks, 2 int.), Connot (47T, int.) Tate Novotny (44T, 4 sacks, FR) and Kray Krolikowski (32T, 4 sacks). Custer, which averages 20.6 points per game, handled Bennett County, 28-20, to move into the 11B quarterfinals. Custer has had 2,111 total yards in offense, including 992 rushing and 1,119 passing. In the playoff game, Chase Glazier (80-141-1,116-10 TDs) completed 6-of-13 passes for 101 yards and two TDs while Kenneth Myers (139-587-7 TDs; 13-85-TD) had 16 carries for 137 yards and two TDs. At wide out Cohl Wahlstrom (23-246-2TDs), Isaiah Parson (15-225-3 TDs) and Jared Thomsen (14-315-3TDs) can make big plays. The Wildcats' defense, which has 20 sacks, five interceptions and 11 fumble recoveries, is led by Paul Climenti (47T, 3 sacks), Wahlstrom (35T, two sacks, FR) and Thomsen (36T, 4 sacks, 3 int., 2 FR).
Pick - Winner is the top seed in 11B for a reason. They win by pounding the ball effectively on offense and employing a physical shutdown defense. They move to 10-0 with a 45-6 verdict over Custer.
#5 St. Thomas More (7-2) at #4 Flandreau (9-0), 6:30 p.m. CST, Flandreau
Preview - St. Thomas More, which owns a 337-to-104 overall scoring advantage, has won five straight games since a 13-10 loss to fellow playoff participant Hot Springs (7-2). In that run, STM has outscored teams, 244-to-28. The Cavaliers, which lost standout quarterback Jake Sullivan early in the season, is led by Newt Johnson at quarterback and he has 10 TDs in the past three weeks. The Cavs also feature Caden Skinner, who had 142 yards rushing two weeks ago, Witt Dobesh and Riley Scherr, are other parts of a physical, punishing running game. Flandreau, which is the #4 seed despite being ranked #1, moved to the quarterfinals with a 28-6 win over Canton. The Fliers, directed by head coach Chad Stadem, will try for a 10th straight win as they battle the Cavaliers in a game that should feature plenty of running and tough defense. Flandreau, which won its first state title two years ago, average 317.8 rushing yards per game and has six games of 300 yards or more this season. The Fliers, like Winner, focus its attack on the running game and have shut down nearly every opponent. They own a 352-to-56 overall scoring edge, as they have five shutouts and have allowed less than seven points per game. Jacob Patterson (137-996-14 total TDs), Mitchell Foster (75-750-17 total TDs), and David Parsley (50-571-7 TDs) lead the ground game for Flandreau, which has 344 carries for 2,860 yards and 40 TDs. The Fliers averages a combined 8.3 yards per carry. Flandreau's defense is led by Foster (72T, int.), Patterson (66T, sack, FR, int.), Kyle Scofield (76T), Jacob Scofield (73T), Dakota Peterson (37T, 3 sacks) and Gene Taylor-Bursheim (5 int., defensive TD).
Pick - In what will be a hard-fought and running-oriented affair, Flandreau will take a 24-14 win.
#7 Deuel (7-2) at #2 Tri-Valley (8-1), 7 p.m. CST, Colton
Preview - Deuel, which owns a 260-to-168 overall scoring advantage against opponents, has four straight wins since dropping a 27-6 decision to fourth-ranked Aberdeen Roncalli. The only other loss by Deuel was a 36-22 decision to #1 Flandreau. In the opening round of the playoffs, Deuel outlasted Webster Area, 30-23, as quarterback Lincoln Swenson connected with wide receiver Trevor Cassels on a two-yard scoring pass with only 36 seconds to play. Swenson completed 7-of-18 passes for 122 yards and two TDs while rushing for 105 yards on 22 carries with a five-yard run. Cassels had three catches for 62 yards and two TDs. Swenson (47-126-875-12 TDs; 187-1,181-12 TDs) leads an offense, which averages 28.9 points per game along with 188.7 rushing yards and 113.3 passing yards. He has had seven games over 100 yards rushing, including six straight. Deuel also features the explosive Trevor Cassels (23-536-12 TDs; 4 interceptions, two FR, 94-yard kickoff return for TD) along with Lance Eide (53-172-3 TDs; 16 rec., 146-TD), and Sawyer Giese (53-260-4 TDs). Ryan Damm (62T, 4 sacks) and Curt Boeke (73T, sack) are a tough duo upfront for coach Matt Rosdahl. Bill Greber (64T, sack) Brent Krause (30T, 2 int.) and Eide (39T, 2 int.) are other key players for the defense. Deuel, which has never made an appearance in the state title game, is making its third playoff appearance in the past five seasons. Tri-Valley, which only has a 24-22 loss to top-ranked Flandreau, is the second seed in 11B (based on power points). The Mustangs, which have a 320-to-144 overall scoring margin over opponents, has five straight wins. The defending 11B champions opened the 2012 playoffs with a 42-14 verdict over Garretson, rallying from an early deficit to roll to a win. In the win, the Mustangs had 56 carries for 298 yards, led by Logan Koopman with five carries for 75 yards and a TD and Sam Mader totaling 11 carries for 54 yards and a TD. The Mustangs' offense is led by quarterback Brett Page (27-46-460-10 TDs), and running backs Koopman (103-1,027-13 TDs), Logan Otto (60-361-4 TDs) and Mader (108-457-6 TDs). Tri-Valley loves to run the ball but can throw it with tight end Dominic Burgraff, Koopman and Otto as primary receivers. Tri-Valley has rushed 400 times for 2,451 yards and 33 TDs and have 2,911 yards in total offense. This team is trying to advance to continue to make a play for a possible fourth 11B title with previous championships in 2011 (McCook Central/Montrose, 18-14), 2008 (Groton, 41-3) and 2007 (Groton, 20-14). The Mustangs have also finished runner-up three other times (2009, 2004, and 1986). This team, which has won 20-of-21 games over the past two seasons, hasn't missed a beat transitioning from Brad McDonald to Steve Bazata in a head coaching change. Bazata is focused on leading his team to its sixth championship appearance since 2004.
Pick - Deuel, which features a dynamic QB in Swenson, has had an outstanding season but the defending champions are tough, especially at home. Tri-Valley, led by Koopman and Page, will emerge with a 33-24 win.
#6 Parkston (7-2) at #3 Aberdeen Roncalli (9-0), 7 p.m. CST, Aberdeen
Preview - Aberdeen Roncalli, directed by head coach Terry Dosch, has won two playoff titles (2005, 20-14 over St. Thomas More) and 2006, 27-13 over St. Thomas More) plus a runner-up finish in 1987. The Cavaliers opened the playoffs with a school-record point total in a 64-19 verdict over Mobridge-Pollock (2010, 61). In the playoff game, the Cavaliers' 13-quarter scoreless string was snapped when the Tigers' Austin Borah returned a kickoff 75-yards for a TD. Those points were the first against the Cavaliers at home this season. Aberdeen Roncalli exploded for 408 yards in the first half and finished with 499, including 55 carries for 335 rushing yards. Lucas Lorenz had 12 carries for 115 yards and two TDs while Matt Swallow (82-748-13 TDs, 23 rec., 400-9 TDs) had three TDs rushing and 51 yards plus a TD receiving and 63 yards. Dalton Cox (99-4811-4 TDs, 12 rec., 138-2 TDs) rushed for 59 yards and a TD with 92 yards receiving and a TD. Sophomore quarterback Zach Lundquist (78-143-1,147-21 TDs) completed 10-of-14 passes for 164 yards and a pair of TDs. Roncalli, which has a 346-to-45 scoring advantage against opponents, has recorded five shutouts and allowed only 5.0 points per game, the best defensive scoring total in 11B. Roncalli's defense is led by Cox with 80 tackles, Tyson Mitzel with 45 and Nolan Schlosser with 35. Parkston, which is directed by head coach Eric Norden, has won seven straight games. In a 21-14 come-from-behind win over Wagner, the Trojans used a two-yard TD run by Jesse Thuringer to turn back Wagner. Thuringer had 10 carries for 92 yards while Henry Wegehaupt and Miles Semmler both added TD runs. Overall, Parkston now has a 234-to-111 scoring advantage over opponents. Parkston has only lost to Wagner and Winner. The Trojans, which are seeking a first-ever state football crown, has made two appearances in the finals, losing to Clark in 2002, 27-18, and falling to Hamlin, 38-6, in 1991.
Pick - These two teams have played twice with Roncalli winning both games including a 2007 contest, 10-0. The Cavaliers will move onto the semifinals with a 36-14 win.
#8 Howard (7-2) at #1 Kimball/White Lake (9-0), 7 p.m. CST, Kimball
Preview - The top-ranked Kimball/White Lake WiLdKats, which have a dominating 420-to-134 overall scoring advantage against opponents, have scored 38 points or more in every game except a 26-22 win over defending champion Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan. The WiLdKats, which advanced to the state title game in 9AA a year ago (lost to BEE, 36-24) advanced with a 41-14 win over Parker. In that opening round game, the WiLdKats had 43 carries for 369 yards as Jacob Kirsch had 226 yards rushing and three TDs while Trevor Reinesch had 137 yards, two rushing TDs, plus six receptions for 55 yards and a TD. Reinesch (119-1,002-17 TDs, 71T, 4 int.) and Kirsch (144-1,117-16 TDs, 59T, 3 int., sack), both went over 1,000 yards rushing on the season. K/WL is the only team in the state that has two backs each rush for 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons. Quarterback Jesse Taylor (26-167-6 TDs; 50-91-770-11 TDs; 34T, 3 int.) directs the explosive offense and the defense has been tough, holding five opponents to 14 points or fewer. Kyle Peters (37-310-2 TDs; 16 rec., 320 yards, 4 TDs) and Ethan Gaulke (11-177-4 TDs) are other offensive weapons for K/WL. On defense, Turner Blasius (74T, 5 sacks) and Hunter Dykes (40T, 5 sacks) are key players. Fourth-ranked Howard, which defeated Elkton-Lake Benton, 51-6, also did it on the strength of a big-time rushing attack. The Tigers had 501 yards rushing as two backs Luke Loudenberg (239-2 TDs) and Cole Potter (206-4 TDs) each had more than 200 yards rushing. Howard, which owns a 342-to-123 scoring advantage, is led by a powerful trio in the backfield in Evan Donahue (65-614-10 TDs), Luke Loudeberg (113-924-11 TDs), and Cole Potter (63-934-14 TDs), a group that has produced 2,528 yards on 254 attempts for 36 TDs. Pat Ruml's team is led by quarterback Landon Laible (40-59-496-10 TDs, 22-54-5 TDs). Howard, which has 3,471 total yards, has rushed for 2,967 and will go over 3,000 this next game. The Tigers have only lost to 9A #1 Canistota (20-16) and 9AA #2 Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan (28-26). In four consecutive wins, Howard has a 200-to-44 advantage. On defense, Donahue has 70 tackles while Jordan Kuhle has 65, Potter, 62, and Hunter Eggert, 55.
Pick - In one of the best matchups in the playoffs, Kimball/White Lake will remain unbeaten but not without a very tough battle. Howard will put up a fight in a 26-24 loss to the WiLdKats.
#5 White River (8-1) at #4 Clark/Willow Lake (8-1), 6:30 p.m. CST, Clark
Preview - White River had its undefeated season end in a 28-22 loss to 9B #2 Colome (8-1) in the Little Moreau Conference title game. White River owns a 349-to-186 scoring edge and have seven games in which they scored over 35 points. They are led by quarterback Wyatt Krogman and Nick Waln. Clark/Willow Lake, which owns a whopping 405-to-155 overall scoring differential, has eight straight wins since losing to 9A #3 Hamlin, 34-14, on opening night. This is a big-play squad led by senior running back Lane Hovde, who has had multiple 100-yard games and twice has had four or more TDs in a game. They also feature senior running back Rhett Florey who has made big plays on special teams and defense as well as offense. Quarterback Tyson Jenkins and wide receiver Torrey Kolden are two other C/WL players expected to play a big role in the playoff opener. C/WL advanced. In the win over Tri-State, Hovde rushed for 185 yards on 16 carries with two TDs (37, 53) as C/WL had 246 yards rushing on 28 carries. Jenkins completed 6-of-14 passes for 152 yards and two TDs plus a rushing TD. Kolden had three catches for 69 yards and TDs of 11 and 41 yards.
Pick - Clark/Willow Lake will move on with a 32-22 win over White Lake.
#7 Potter County (8-1) at #2 Deubrook Area (9-0), 6:30 p.m. CST, White
Preview - Potter County, which will look to make an eighth appearance in the 9-man championship in November, has rolled to eight wins in nine games, putting together a 382-to-82 points differential. The Battlers, led by coach Vern Smith, have won five straight when they own a 256-to-28 advantage. They have two consecutive shutouts and three overall and have held five opponents to eight points or less. Potter County is led by quarterback/running back Tate Nafziger (hurt early in the season), QB Chayce Hall, and running back Hayden Simon (95-768-16 TDs). Third-ranked Deubrook Area, which moved to 9-0 on the season, has rolled up a 449-to-110 advantage in putting together its first-ever unbeaten regular season in school history. The Dolphins, directed by head coach Adolph Shepardson, are led by Ryan Knutson (150-1,783-34 TDs), who averages 198.1 yards per game and 11.88 per carry. In a 55-0 first round playoffs win over Ipswich-Edmunds Central, he had nine carries for 192 yards and five TDs. As a result, Knutson went over 3K rushing for his career with 399 carries for 3,107 yards and 41 TDs. Knutson also has rushed for 100 yards in eight of nine games, including five games over 190 yards. Also for Deubrook, Riley Hansen (41-488-6 TDs, 4 rec., 95 yards, TD, 4 int., 83-yard KO return, 94-yard punt return) has 12 total TDs. Quarterback Taylor Olson (31-242-3 TDs, 46-93-691-9 TDs) directs the offense while Dalton Kruse (28-355-6 TDs) and receiver Dusty Trooien (20-307-2 TDs) are part of an explosive offense. Deubrook Area generates 344.7 rushing yards and 425.9 yards in total offense while scoring at a 49.9 points per game average. They have 3,102 yards on 292 carries on the ground, with eight games of 300 yards or more. Twice they have gone over 400 yards. Tyler Jensen leads the defense with 112 tackles and two fumble recoveries. Knutson and Trooien have three picks while Evan Sheffield and Kay Glatzer have three sacks each.
Pick - Deubrook Area will be too powerful offensively for a very strong Potter County team. The Dolphins take this one, 42-26, advancing to the 9AA semifinals for the second straight season.
#6 Leola/Frederick (8-1) at #3 Gregory (8-1), 7 p.m. CST, Gregory
Preview - This Gregory team has been one of the best in 9AA this season. Ranked fifth in the most recent KSFY-KWSN poll, Gregory owns a 444-to-168 scoring advantage over opponents. On Monday, the Gorillas upset the second-ranked and defending champions Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan, 36-34. In a game that went back and forth all night, Brady Boes TD reception with 57 seconds left gave Gregory the win. Boes had a career night with five catches for 159 yards and three TDs. Standout quarterback Jaden Bartling completed 9-of-14 passes for 201 yards and four TDs while rushing for 193 yards on 18 carries with a TD. Bartling, who had 407 all-purpose yards, continued one of the best seasons by a 9-man quarterback in history. Already in the exclusive 1,000-1,000 passing/rushing club, Bartling now has 2,649 all-purpose yards and 116 total points. His season totals include 98 carries for 1,259 yards and 17 TDs while completing 60-of-101 passes for 1,225 yards and 22 TDs. Jonah Beck (35-380-5 TDs; 46T, 8 TFLs) helps out in the backfield while Andrew Taggart (15 rec., 314 yards, 7 TDs) is another standout receiver. Leola/Frederick, which holds a 435-131 scoring advantage over opponents, has only lost to 9A #2 Warner (8-0). They advanced to the quarterfinals with a 53-6 win over Miller as Brian Sumption had 19 carries for 248 yards and five TDs, pushing his season totals to 104 carries for 1,146 yards and 23 TDs. Sumption has scored about every way possible, kick/punt and interception returns, passes, runs and throws. In the playoff win, Sumption had a 63-yard punt return and L/F totaled 390 yards on the ground. Dane Campbell is the quarterback (28-45-456-6 TDs) while Derrick Podall (17 rec., 302, 5 TDs) is a threat out wide. Tyler Hoffman and Evan Emery are dangerous running backs.
Pick - Tough one to call. Bartling v. Sumption. The pick is Gregory winning at home, 36-32.
#8 Wall (6-3) at #1 Canistota (9-0), 6:30 p.m. CST, Canistota
Preview - Canistota, which has outscored playoff foes, 500-to-14, over the past two plus seasons, have a 438-to-89 points edge in 2012. Since the start of the 2010 season, they have won consecutive titles (9B, 2010; 9A, 2011) with an overall point margin of 1,685-to-188. In 9A alone, they have a 1058-to-50 margin in two seasons. In the two years in 9A, they had a 42-point margin or greater in 16-of-21 games. With a first round playoff win, Lenny Schroeder's team has extended its winning streak to 33 games, which ranks second all-time. Senior quarterback Cody Bunger (82-517-13 TDs, 38-61-781-14 TDs) leads the offense which also features Alex Robertson (85-807-11 TDs), Eric Tieszen (60-616-9 TDs), and Nick Hofer (24-313-4 TDs; 16-351-5 TDs). Jason Van Winkle (84T) leads the defense with 11 sacks of the team's 23 sacks. In a 54-0 win over Hanson in the first round, Bunger had three TD runs (6, 48, 17) and two TD passes (35, 59), both to Nick Hofer. Bunger had 115 yards rushing and 103 yards passing. They also held Hanson to 58 total yards. Wall, led by head coach Kent Anderson, has gone 6-3 with a 226-to-218 scoring margin. Wall, who played Canistota (66-6 loss) in the 2011 9A championship, have four straight wins and are led by running back Tyler Trask, who had 25 carries for 341 yards rushing and three TDs in a win three weeks ago. Wall also features Trevor Anderson, a standout field goal kicker, who has a couple of kicks over 30 yards this year. In the opening round 37-26 playoff win over New Underwood, Trask had 130 yards rushing and three TDs while quarterback Lane Blasius was 10-of-20 with 162 yards passing and a TD.
Pick - Wall , which lost to Canistota in the 9A title game (66-6) in 2011, does not have the firepower to stick with Canistota. The Hawks cruise into the semifinals with a 53-12 win.
#5 Faith (8-1) at #4 Arlington (8-1), 6:30 p.m. CST, Arlington
Preview - Arlington, which own two 9A titles in 2004 (Stickney/Mt. Vernon, 39-14), and 2005 (Gettysburg, 30-28), has rebounded from a 4-4 season, with eight wins in nine games. The only loss by the Cardinals is to 9AA #3 Deubrook Area, 48-6 in the season finale. Arlington features an offense that is run-based, led by backs Lane Weber and Zach Warnke. Overall Arlington has a 365-to-155 scoring differential this season. In the playoffs first round, the Cardinals defeated previously unbeaten and 9A #3 Hamlin, 34-27, as Weber had 29 carries for 196 yards and four TDs. Arlington, which has 276 carries for 2,418 yards, is led by Weber, who has 130 carries for 1,041 yards and 17 TDs. His backfield mate Zach Warnke has 62 carries for 690 yards and 10 TDs. Quarterback Andrew King has 44 carries for 310 yards and five TDs while completing 29-of-46 passes for 835 yards with nine TDs and just one interception. Tanner Lemme leads the receivers with 10 catches for 433 yards and five TDs. Faith, which has a 414-to-110 points differential, has only a loss to 9B #1 Harding County (28-26). They have scored 48 points or more in seven of nine games. Faith has had five games or more with 50 points, including its 56-44 first round play win over Kadoka Area. Cody Trainer, who had three catches for 98 yards, scored three TDs, including a 74-yard TD reception and runs of 12 and 31 yards in the playoff win. Faith had 32 carries for 224 yards rushing while Gereth Bushong completed 5-of-9 passes 161 yards and a TD also against Kadoka Area. Also for Faith, Clay Bernstein had 11 carries for 108 yards and two TDS, a 35-yard run and a 39-yard pass. However, Faith showed some vulnerability to the run as Kadoka Area had 49 carries for 361 yards with Chandler Sudbeck finished with 36 carries for 249 yards and TDs of 70, 80, 2 and 18 yards.
Pick - Arlington advances to the semifinals with a 38-29 win over Faith.
#7 Wilmot (6-3) at #2 Warner (9-0), 6:30 p.m. CST, Warner
Preview - Wilmot, which opened 4-0 before losses to three playoffs team (Waverly/South Shore in 9B, Clark/Willow Lake in 9AA and Hamlin in 9A) has a big-time offense led by quarterback Austin Hulscher, who has accounted for 30 TDs (20 by pass). Hulscher (110-199-1,900-23 TDs) is also a force on defense with eight quarterback sacks and an interception. Chase Bronson (148-1,017-9 TDs; 18 rec., 139-2 TDs) leads the ground attack that averages 159.9 per game. The passing game, which averaged 222.5 yards, features Hulscher and senior wide receiver Landon Hammer, who has 50 catches for 1,019 yards and 12 TDs. Wilmot is the only team in the playoffs (11 or 9-man) with a receiver, quarterback and running back each with at least 1,000 yards in their respective positions. Hammer has been a big-play game on both sides of the game with 54 tackles, nine interceptions and two fumble recoveries. A couple of career notes, Bronson now has 244 carries for 1,732 yards and 21 TDs while Hammer's total are 56 receptions for 1,247 yards and 13 TDs. Hulscher has completed 121-of-228 passes for 2,139 yards and 27 TDs. Wilmot advanced to the quarterfinals with a 40-34 come-from-behind win over Irene-Wakonda. In the win, Chase Bronson scored four TDs and had both 139 yards rushing and 139 yards receiving. Hulscher threw for 238 yards and three TDs. Wilmot has never made an appearance in the championship game. Second-ranked Warner, which has simply ran over every opponent, except Wolsey-Wessington. They have outscored opponents, 367-to-49. Warner, which like Wilmot has not made a championship game appearance, have held every opponent to 14 points or less and recorded three shutouts, including a 50-0 win over Plankinton last Thursday. It was the seventh straight game that Coach Tom Kulesa's team had scored at least 45 points. This team is led by quarterback by Clay Rozell and Mitchell Boesl at running back. Derrek and Jarrod Tuszka are a pair of explosive ends. Jarrod Tuszka is used in a multitude of ways from receiving to running to even throwing.
Pick - This game will feature a lot of offense. Warner will defeat Wilmot, 46-28, in a wild offensive shootout.
#6 Corsica/Stickney (6-3) at #3 Herreid/Selby (9-0), 7 p.m. CST
Preview - Corsica/Stickney, which owns a 384-to-128 overall scoring advantage, has won 4-of-6 games. Two of those losses are to 9AA #1 Kimball/White Lake (38-12) and 9AA #2 BEE (34-24). In its six wins, Corsica/Stickney, directed by head coach Jason Broughton, has a 330-to-12 in point differential. The Jaguars, which reached the 9A semifinals a year ago, have won four playoff championships. This season, they have had a solid year and are hot heading into the quarterfinal round. The Jaguars have recorded five shutouts this season, including a 56-0 decision over South Central in the first round of the playoffs. In the win, Gunner Baan Hofman had eight carries for 134 yards and two TDs while quarterback Adam Borman had 12 carries for 95 yards and two scores. Lane Thomas led the defense with 10 tackles and an interception. BaanHofman was over 100 yards for the second straight week. Herreid/Selby has dominated its opponents in 2012. They have accumulated a 436-to-62 points differential after a 37-12 win over Eureka-Bowdle on Monday. The Wolverines, which has a 28-14 win over 9AA Potter County (7-1) has had 48 points or more in six games and recorded four shutouts. They have six games when opponents were held with no more than eight points. Jeff Koster's Herreid/Selby squad, jumped to a 28-0 lead in the first half against Eureka/Bowdle and cruised to the first round playoff win. On the night, Herreid/Selby finished with 36 carries for 237 yards, including 10 carries for 103 yards from Cooper Schaefbauer, who caught a 32-yard TD pass. Senior quarterback Nick Larson was 9-of-18 for 214 yards with two TDs. Schaefbauer pulled off the rare 100-100 double for passing and receiving as he had five catches for 115 yards. Dakota Houck, who had 11 carries for 57 yards, had TD run of one, 31 and three yards. Dakota Thorstenson had two catches for 42 yards and a TD. With the win, Kosters picked up career win 100. This Herreid/Selby team also received 37 yards rushing from Zach Gellar who had eight tackles.
Pick - Herreid/Selby will advance with a 32-25 win.
#8 Faulkton Area (5-4) at #1 Harding County (9-0), 6 p.m. MST
Preview - Faulkton Area, which is 5-4, has been outscored 215-to-209, opened the playoffs with a 56-20 win over Sully Buttes. The Trojans, under the direction of head coach Shayne Geditz, has made the quarterfinals in the playoffs for the second time in three years. Two years ago, they upset Waverly/South Shore, 28-8, in the first round before falling to Dell Rapids St. Mary, 36-22. Faulkton Area, which averages 268.7 rushing yards and 363 yards overall, has again reached the state quarterfinals. The Trojans will look to sophomore Darin Wieseler (148-1,230-9 TDs), William Edgar (58-422-5 TDs) and Carson Ortmeier (41-305-4 TDs) in the ground game. Quarterback Kurt Biedler (57-120-769-8 TDs) has played solid behind center. Zach Price (12-203-3 TDs), Kent Hall (12-91-TD), and Cole Baloun (10-183-2 TDs) are the primary receivers. The defense is led by Kyle Hall (60T, 5 sacks), Kent Hall (68T, 2 sacks) and Brandon Potter (109 tackles). Harding County, which has a 421-to-57 scoring differential, is the only unbeaten team in 9B. The Ranchers, led by head coach Jay Wammen, are gunning for the school's sixth appearance at the DakotaDome. They won their only title in 1993 with Ab Penn as head coach, 8-0, over Castlewood. They also were in the 9B title game in 1992 and advanced to four 9A title games in 1998, 1999 and most recently 2010 (34-16 loss to Hanson). In the last five seasons, Harding County has won at least nine games every season and have an overall 47-6 record. If the Ranchers defeat Faulkton, they will make their fourth semifinals appearance or better since 2008 in either 9A or 9B. Harding County, which averages 46.8 points per game, recorded its sixth shutout of the season in a 46-0 win over Jones County in the 9B opening round of the playoffs. In the win, quarterback Jess Feist had five total TDs, including two by rush as he had 14 carries for 113 yards while throwing for 87 yards. Dalton McCann had 10 carries for 126 yards and a TD for the Ranchers, which rushed for 286 yards on 34 carries. On the season, Harding County has averaged 265.4 yards rushing with another 160.1 passing for 425 yards per game in total offense. The Ranchers are led by quarterback Jess Feist (92-138-1,418 yards, 17 TDs; 107-1,008-17 TDs), who has 34 combined TDs. Steve Koch (76-576-11 TDs), Windom Hewsom (46-359-6 TDs) and McCann (56-352-4 TDs) form a talented backfield. In the pass game, Feist utilizes receivers Ckyler Floyd (39-608-5 TDs) and Harvey Mollman (21-440-9 TDs).
Pick - Harding County moves to 10-0 and into the 9B semifinals with a convincing 56-14 victory over Faulkton.
#5 Castlewood (6-3) at #4 Waverly/South Shore (7-2), 7 p.m. CST, Waverly
Preview - Waverly-South Shore, which has a 366-to-183 overall scoring edge, has five straight wins, including a pair of shutouts. During that run, they have put together a 256-to-74 scoring advantage over opponents. W/SS, the defending 9B champions, has won 27 of its last 30 games. The 2012 squad, led by first-year head coach Steve Hilgeman, is averaging 226 yards rushing and 83.1 yards through the air. Quarterback Sam Pond (60-109-82-17 TDs; 92-363-5 TDs) leads the offense. Gavin Kolden (18 rec., 264 yards, six TDs and 47 carries for 472 yards and seven TDs) along with Tyler Mundahl (100-757-10 TDs) are other key performers. Others involved in the W/SS offense include receivers Zach Stricherz (16-201-3 TDs) and Austin Comes (14-214-6 TDs). In the 56-28 win over Dell Rapids St. Mary, W/SS QB Sam Pond accounted for six TDs, including four TD throws (11, 18, 20, 24), a 75-yard kickoff return and a two-yard run. He was 8-of-14 for 178 yards passing. Gavin Kolden had eight carries for 92 yards and a TD along with two catches for 73 yards and two TDs. Castlewood, directed by veteran coach Doug Ruesink, has not played W/SS since 2004, a game won by the Warriors, 48-0. The Warriors, which won a 9B title in 1989 (27-0 over Wall) have also made three other title appearances in 1983, 1988 and 1993. Led by standout quarterback in Lucas Ching (81-148-1,254 yards, 23 TDs), Castlewood is an explosive offense, outscoring opponents, 328-to-117. The Warriors also feature big-play receiver in Case Wiarda (19 rec., 584 yards, 11 TDs) and Adam Ching (the twin brother of Lucas), who has five TD receptions in the last two weeks. The Warriors also feature a power runner in Carson Borer (130-901-17 TDs), who had 96 yards and two TDs in the 40-0 playoff win over Lake Preston. Lucas Ching was 10-of-18 for 146 yards and two TDs (both to his brother Adam, 4-81-2 TDs) in the win. Since a 36-8 loss to 9A Arlington (8-1), Castlewood has outscored three opponents, 148-to-6 with two shutouts. In five games this season, the Warriors have held opponents to eight points or fewer.
Pick - A year ago, Class 9B was treated to a special playoff performance from W/SS's Zemlicka (Tyson and Taylor) twins. This year, or at least in this contest, Castlewood's twin Ching brothers will rule the day. Castlewood ends Waverly/South Shore's bid for a second straight title with a 36-22 decision.
#7 Avon (6-3) at #2 Colome (8-1), 7 p.m. CST, Colome
Preview - Avon, which has a 291-to-204 overall scoring advantage against opponents, opened the playoffs with a 60-20 win over Centerville. Avon, which had 351 yards rushing on 33 carries, was led by Brandon Kocmich, who had 12 carries for 192 yards and a career-best 97-yard TD run. Devin Tolsma had eight carries for 115 yards and a TD. Head Coach Tom Culver's Pirates average 244.7 yards rushing per game, led by Kocmich (56-811-13 TDs) and Tolsma (78-607-8 TDs). Quarterback Logan Mudder (20-34-155-2 TD, 77-303-4 TDs) runs the offense. The Pirates, which advanced to the 9B title game a year ago and own four overall titles, have won 5-of-6 games. Tolsma leads the defense with 104 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries. Kocmich has 62 tackles and three picks. Second-ranked Colome, which has won two 9B championships (2007, 1988) and four title game appearances (2006, 1987) has won seven straight games, including a 52-0 win over Bison in the first round of the playoffs. In the game, Terrance Kinzer had three carries for 128 yards and two TDs, including a 79-yard run. Andrew Odden had 10 carries for 130 yards and a TD as Colome rushed for 347 yards on 26 carries. Kinzer (22-48-416-7 TDs; 117-953-19 TDs) has accounted for 27 TDs running and passing. Senior running back Andrew Odden (167-1,091-13 TDs) and Cohl Ratermann (13 rec., 243 yards and 5 TDs) are key weapons for the Cowboys, who are coached by Kevin Keizer. His team is averaging 272.1 yards rushing per game and scoring 38.7 points per game. With the win, they now have an overall scoring advantage of 346-to-145 with three shutouts in the last four games. The defense is led by Kinzer with 87 tackles and six interceptions while Brandon Hauf has 71 tackles and Ratermann, 65 tackles and 6.5 sacks. Lane Fawcett has 7.5 sacks.
Pick - Colome continues to roll with a 38-22 win over Avon.
#6 Hitchcock-Tulare (7-2) at #3 Viborg-Hurley (7-2), 7 p.m. CST, Hurley
Preview - Viborg-Hurley, which owns a 388-to-172 scoring advantage over opponents, opened the playoffs with a 64-14 win over Marion. The fourth-ranked Cougars, directed by first-year coach Eric Sommervold, has won the last two games by a combined 120-to-20 margin. In six of nine games, V-H has gone over the 50 point mark. In its history, the Cougars have won two titles, including in 2000 (42-6 over Faith) as Viborg and in 2008 as Marion-Hurley (over Ipswich, 42-28). They were runner-up in 9AA in 2010 (Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan, 48-34). V-H's explosive team is directed by quarterback Jack Huether (32-52-829-9 TDs). The Cougars also feature one of the state's top backs in Tyler Gerdes, who had a state-best 352 yards rushing two weeks ago. He has 97 carries for 1,227 yards and 19 TDs on the season. Other key offensive personnel include Trevor Jacobsen (51-483-5 TDs, 9-332-5 TDs) and Tyler Novak (67-400-6 TDs). In the playoff win, Huether completed 6-of-9 passes for 255 yards and three TDs while Gerdes had 142 yards rushing and a score. Jacobson recorded 134 yards receiving and two TDs while Andrew Hora had 54 yards and a TD. Third-ranked Hitchcock-Tulare, which is led by quarterback Dan Marshall and running back Cole Chaplin, has won six straight games in which they own a 234-to-30 scoring differential over opponents. In the opening round of the playoffs, Hitchcock-Tulare dispatched of Rapid City Christian, 30-0, a team in its first playoff game ever. In the playoff win, H-T had 41 carries for 334 yards as Chaplin had 16 carries for 202 yards and three TDs, including runs of 11 and 14 yards and a 25-yard TD reception from Dan Marshall, who completed 7-of-10 passes for 65 yards. The Patriots, which own a 300-to-99 scoring margin against foes, have won a pair of 9B titles, including in 2009. In that season, H-T, led by coach Kenny Huether, defeated Dell Rapids St. Mary, 32-28 at the Dome. They also own a 1992 title with a 28-6 win over Harding County. Hitchcock-Tulare was in the 2010, 2008, 1996, and 1986 title games and this year are gunning for a seventh appearance at the Dome.
Pick - Viborg-Hurley ends the Patriots' winning streak with a 28-24 verdict.