As the South Dakota prep playoffs move to the second round, 10 unbeaten teams put up their perfect marks as they seek a trip to the next round. All remaining playoff teams are looking to avoid the pitfalls that mark the championship road to the DakotaDome.
In South Dakota this year, 10 (four in 11-man, six in 9-man) schools concluded the regular season without tasting defeat. The 11-man unbeatens include 11AAA #1 Lincoln (8-0), which will be tested by a suddenly hot O'Gorman team; 11A #1 Madison (9-0), which faces surprising Vermillion for a semifinal berth; 11B #1 Aberdeen Roncalli (9-0) and #2 Winner (9-0). Roncalli faces one of the biggest tests of all the unbeatens with a home date with Canton, which has five shutouts in six games. Winner will face a battle with Tri-Valley, a team they beat in the finals a year ago. 9AA doesn't have an unbeaten team but feature numerous tough matchups, including Arlington (8-1) vs. Elkton-Lake Benton (7-2), which led the Cardinals in an earlier battle before falling 36-28. 9A includes unbeaten teams in #1 ranked Howard (9-0), #3 Wolsey-Wessington (9-0) and #2 Leola-Frederick (9-0), which is the top seed in the class. The toughest battle in 9A may be Potter County (8-1) which faces Herreid/Selby (7-2) for a second time this year. The Battlers won a 15-12 decision earlier but serve as host in this evenly matched contest. 9B has three ranked teams without a loss, including #1 Hamlin (9-0), #2 Avon (9-0), and #4 Wall (9-0). All three face tough battles, with Avon hosting a talented Dell Rapids St. Mary team. Four of the 2012 champions remain in the hunt for the title including 11A Dell Rapids, 11B Winner, 9AA Deubrook, and 9B Harding County.
Round 1 Picks Breakdown – So, how did we do in the 1st round? After the first round, I have the overall lead with a 42-6 mark, followed by sports director Eric Thorstensen at 41-7 and Matt Peterson at 40-8. Here is a breakdown. I was perfect on three classes while Thor hit two classes perfectly. In three years of picking playoff games, I sit 200-20 or .909. This is the first go-around for Thor and Matt. My 11-man mark this year (1st Rd.) was 23-1 and the best (let the cheering abound) of the picking KSFY Sports trio while Matt had the 9-man edge with a 20-4 mark (our Virginia native knows 9-man). In 11-man picks, Genz – 23-1; Thor, 22-2; Matt, 20-4. In 9-man picks – Matt, 20-4; Genz, 19-5; Thor, 19-5. By Class – 11AAA – Genz, 4-0; Thor, 4-0; Matt, 3-1. 11AA – Dan, 4-0; Thor, 4-0; Matt, 3-1. 11A – Genz, 7-1; Thor, 7-1; Matt, 7-1. 11B – Genz, 8-0; Thor, 7-1; Matt, 7-1. 9AA – Genz, 7-1; Thor, 7-1; Matt, 7-1. 9A – Genz, 8-0; Thor, 6-2; Matt, 7-1. 9B – Thor, 6-2; Matt, 6-2; Genz, 4-4. It seems I'd better study up on the tough 9B class, which with 11B, may be the most difficult for teams to navigate. So, we move on. Here is a playoff profile of each class followed by our picks. Enjoy.
SD Prep Playoffs – 2nd Round Matchups
11AAA, Friday, Nov. 8
#5 SF O'Gorman (4-5) @ #1 SF Lincoln (9-0), HWF
Notes – Sioux Falls O'Gorman comes in with two straight wins and need a victory over #1 Lincoln to salvage a .500 season and gain a berth at the DakotaDome, which they have done 14 times. The Patriots are 9-0 for the first time in school history (8-0 in 1972 but lost in game nine, finishing 10-1) and the class's most dominant team in 2013. The Knights are led by the rushing duo of sophomore Luke Fritsch (140-779-9 TDs; 24-56-261) and Matt White (171-795-6 TDs). Eion Donelan (57-226-4 TDs) provides a spark on the perimeter. Lincoln is led by running backs Caden Quintanilla (199-1,530-23 total TDs), who has 19 100-yard rushing games, 3,369 yards and 50 TDs in his career, and Matt Wagner (27-239-5 TDs). QB Connor Burchill (75-146-1,098-12 TDs) will try to shake off a bruised knee in the opening round. Burchill, who has had a week to prepare and heal, will throw to an electric group of receivers in Trevor Naasz (25-383-2 TDs). Dylan Bartow (16-235-5 TDs) and Nickel Meyers (13-203-5 TDs). Lincoln, which averages 418 yards per game in total offense, has a 382-to-122 point edge over opponents. The Pats, which are seeking a second playoff title (2008), defeated O'Gorman, 51-20, in week two. O'Gorman, which has won eight 11AA titles, has been outscored by opponents, 190-to-171.
Our Picks – Thor: Lincoln Matt: Lincoln Genz: Lincoln.
#3 Brandon Valley (7-2) @ #2 SF Roosevelt (8-1), HWF
Notes: #2 SF Roosevelt picked up a sixth straight win with 28-20 first round playoff win over a stubborn SF Washington as Taryn Christion (110-912-14 TDs rush.; 125-181-1,637-16 TDs) threw for 356 yards and the emerging WR David Mulbah (31-744-7 TDs) had 233 receiving yards. Roosevelt's win ended a run of six straight big class championship appearances (three titles) by defending champion SF Washington. Seth Bjordal (82-514-6 TDs) is also a factor in the backfield. Receivers Chase Vinatieri (38-504-2 TDs) and Tanner Hennings (24-426-5 TDs) offer other weapons for Roosevelt, which owns a 320-to-102 scoring differential. For a second trip to the Dome and the top class title game in three seasons, the Rough Riders must turn back Brandon Valley, a team they beat 30-0 in the season opener. BV, which has 264-to-143 scoring margin, has made substantial improvement since that opening week of play. The Lynx are led by QB Jake Comeaux (145-231-1,652-20 TDs), and a talented receiving corps, including Drew Reinschmidt (40-576-7 TDs), A.J. Garrow (43-309-5 TDs; tied for 5th all-time with 128 career receptions), and Alex Wilde (25-455-6 TDs). Cam Holmes (105-631-6 TDs), one of the state's fastest players, leads the rushing attack. This sets up as a shootout Friday night at Howard Wood Field. Can the defenses be a factor? The two met in the semis a year ago when BV advanced to the Dome with a 34-20 win in Brandon.
Our Picks – Thor: Roosevelt. Matt: Roosevelt. Genz: Roosevelt.
11AA, Friday, Nov. 8
#4 Harrisburg (4-5) @ #1 Pierre (8-1), 7 p.m.
Notes: Harrisburg will be a long-shot on the road against top-ranked Pierre with a title game berth at stake. However, Brandon White's crew play tough defense and have a strong rushing attack led by Christian Trainor (72-363-4 TDs) and Joseph Kabambi (179-787-5 TDs), who had 119 yards rushing and two TDs, including the game-winning OT score in the 27-20 win over Huron in the opening round of the playoffs. QB Shaye Slaughter (83-181-943-5 TDs) runs the Tigers offense. The Tigersbhas won 3-of-5 games, and scored 125 points this season. This is Pierre's first meeting with Harrisburg. The Governors have been Class A's top team all season in rolling up an 8-1 record. Senior Alex Gray (114-196-1,762-18 TDs passing; 94-432-9 TDs) directed Pierre to a 59-19 opening round win over Brookings by throwing for 216 yards with two TDs and a TD run. Gray is one of the state's top players and is the team's resilient leader, fighting off a stress fracture to play (earlier this year) and lead every week. Ethan Case (76-585-6 TDs' 30-395-TD rec.) had 142 yards and two TDs runs in the opening round win.. Other key personnel for Jayson Poppinga's Pierre team include Garrett Pochup (23-584-6 TDs rec.), Shay Reinke (18-303-2 TDs rec.), Jace Jerome (86-428-2 TDs rushing) and the dynamic Austin Christopherson (26-476-8 TDs), who has 10 total TDs, including both a punt return (41) and a kickoff return (95) for a score. The Govs, which only have a 29-26 loss to Yankton, own a 310-to-140 point differential and have three straight wins. A win over Harrisburg sends the Governors to their second-ever playoff title game (44-6 loss to O'Gorman, 1988).
Our Picks – Thor: Pierre. Matt: Pierre Genz: Pierre
#3 Yankton (5-4) @ #2 Watertown (6-3), 7 p.m.
Notes: Yankton, which has won 4-of-5 games after a 1-3 start, will head to Watertown for a showdown with the Arrows and a championship game berth at stake. On Oct. 4, Yankton, which owns six playoff titles in 11 appearances, rallied for a 17-7 win over Watertown. Like that one, this game is in Watertown. The Bucks, which own a 255-to-221 point edge, opened the playoffs with a 48-12 win over Mitchell. Yankton's big-play pass-oriented offense is directed by QB Mason Strahl (90-163-1,350-12 TDs), who has a connection with senior wide receiver J.J. Hejna (55-1,034-9 TDs), who is being watched by FCS school while putting together one of the best seasons by a receiver ever. Yankton will look to Jordan Lightner on the ground after losing Levi Davis to injury earlier this season. Lightner had two rushing TDs against Mitchell. A key weapon for the Bucks is kicker Reed Sawatzke, who has made 9-of-13 field goals and 23-of-25 extra points. Watertown will look for a little revenge with Yankton after the earlier loss. The Arrows, which own a 250-to-176 point differential, have won four straight games since the loss to Yankton. In the opening round of the playoffs, they ousted Douglas, 54-7. Senior Shay Bratland (216-1,304-15 TDs; 12-320-4 TDs rec.) along with Gray of Pierre and Hejna of Yankton are prime candidates for offensive player of the year in 11AA. Bratland, who has the attention of FCS schools, is fast, strong and a big-play weapon for Steve Svendson's team. Under center will be QB Logan Gabriel (64-139-1,036-11 TDs), whose favorite target is Jess Poppen (21-344-5 TDs). Poppen is also a weapon with his leg, hitting 4-of-5 field goals and 26-of-29 extra points.
Our Picks – Thor: Watertown. Matt: Watertown. Genz: Watertown.
11A, Monday, Nov. 4
#8 Vermillion (2-7) @ #1 Madison (8-0), 7 p.m.
Notes: Top Class A seed Madison, which has a 365-to-97 point edge, come into the game as a huge favorite. The Bulldogs, which averaged 206.6 rushing yards and 155.8 through the air, defeated Vermillion, 44-8, earlier this year. The Bulldogs are chasing their first ever state playoff football title. With rushing and passing combined, total yardage amounts to 3,263 yards or 362.6 per game. Jacob Giles is a southpaw-slinging QB (75-1371,386-11 TDs), who leads the offense. The ground game is keyed by senior Rush Milne (164-1,005-25 TDs; 7 rec., 160 yards, 2 TDs). Preston Nordling (27-601-5 TDs) leads the receiving corps. Madison, which has 14 interceptions, has allowed just 184.7 yards per game, including only 105.1 rushing yards. Nordling, who has two interception returns for TDs, is dangerous on punt returns with 11 returns for 251 yards and two TDs. Vermillion, which ended a seven-game losing streak with a 8-0 win over Dakota Valley, is the #8 seed. They moved on as senior linebacker Alex Osborne willed them to victory with 14 tackles, a safety, and a school-record seven sacks. The Tanagers, which missed the playoffs a year ago, average 123.2 yards (1,109) rushing yards. They are led by running backs Regan Bye (108-430-2 TDs; 16-163) and Tyler Madsen (101-355-4 TDs). Another Tanager weapon is kicker/WR Ethan James (14-282-TD rec., 6-9 on field goals).
Our Picks – Thor: Madison. Matt: Madison. Genz: Madison.
#5 Belle Fourche (5-4) @ #4 Dell Rapids (7-2), 6 p.m.,
Notes: Belle Fourche will look to extend a three-game winning streak when the Broncs face 3-time defending champion Dell Rapids, which is seeded #4. The Broncs, which own a 230-to-163 scoring edge, have recorded consecutive shutouts when they own an 87-0 scoring edge. One of those wins was the 38-0 playoff win over Pine Ridge. This is the first meeting between the two teams. QB Jarret Pesch and running back Tucker Chyka are among the leaders for the Broncs. Dell Rapids owns a 13-game winning streak in the playoffs and are 35-2 in the playoffs since 2010. The Quarriers, which have a three-game winning streak on the season, have a 218-to-123 point differential. Dell Rapids, which defeated Sisseton, 34-12 in the opening round, have generated 2,616 yards in total offense with 2,266 rushing yards (226.6 per game), led by Brett Nichols (76-711-11 TDs) and Riley Schmidt (104-695-6 TDs; 8-154-TD receiving, TD pass). Tanner Solberg (16-56-255-6 TDs) leads the offense at QB. The Quarriers get it done at the start of the game (95-to-34 point edge in the 1st Q) and after halftime (65-to-7 points edge in third quarter).
Our Picks – Thor: Dell Rapids. Matt: Dell Rapids. Genz: Dell Rapids.
#7 Chamberlain (5-4) @ #2 Hot Springs (8-1), 6:30 p.m.
Notes: Hot Springs, which received a forfeit from Little Wound in the opening round, is on quite a run with eight straight wins. The Bison are led by Jake Oberpriller (128-1,167-15 TDs) on the ground. Senior Justin Harkless (18-63-283-5 TDs) is under center. Chamberlain, which has a 214-to-205 scoring margin, face Hot Springs on a four-game winning streak, including the 12-6 win over Todd County in the opening round of the playoffs. In those four wins, they have a 166-to-26 margin. The Cubs are led by QB Chris Schwartz and running back Hunter Hallock.
Our Picks – Thor: Hot Springs. Matt: Hot Springs. Genz: Hot Springs.
#6 Tea Area (5-4) @ #3 West Central (7-2), 7 p.m.
Notes: With a trip to the 11A semifinals on the line, West Central will try and defeat Tea Area for a second time in three weeks. In the regular season finale, the Trojans took a 46-9 decision. West Central, which owns a 364-to-75 scoring margin this year, has won four straight when they own a 191-16 scoring edge, including the 54-0 win over Cheyenne Eagle Butte in the opening round of the playoffs. West Central, which has won a state-best 11 playoff titles, are directed on offense by Jace Hanisch (12-28-202-2 TDs), who has stepped in at QB for Noah Matson, hurt in week four. The team has a dynamite trio of backs include Cody Bussell (78-607-8 TDs), Cole Tirrel (69-637-13 TDs) and Cody Miller (79-501-9 TDs). Tea Area, which opened the playoffs with a 34-14 decision over Lennox, will look to advance despite losing their QB Taylor Roeman two weeks ago. The Titans own a 252-to-149 scoring edge. They are led by Gunnar Ensz (750753-13 TDs) and Cooper Hansen (54-556-7 TDs) on the ground and Jordan Fechner at QB. Tarin Smallfield (15-285-4 TDs) is the main receiver.
Our Picks – Thor: West Central. Matt: West Central. Genz: West Central.
11B, Monday, Nov. 4
#8 Tri-Valley (4-5) @ #1 Winner (9-0)
Notes: When #1 Winner meets Tri-Valley in the quarterfinals, it will match the two teams that played for the 2012 championship with the Warriors prevailing 13-6. Winner, which has won five playoff titles, also defeated Tri-Valley, 12-6 in the 2009 title game. Winner will try and win a 22nd straight game, matching the run of the 1980-82, a mark that ranks 15th on the all-time 11-man consecutive wins list. The Warriors, which have a 186-to-20 margin over the last four opponents, have a 341-to-68 points per game differential. They advanced with a 34-8 win over Bon Homme. A program that is defined by power running and shutdown defense, Winner is led by Trace Meyer (113-1,046-16 TDs), Sam Naasz (68-585-6 TDs) and QB Nathan Galbraith (52-388-6 TDs; 10-32-272-3 TDs). Jay Brandis (8 sacks, 14.5 TFLs) and Kray Krolikowski (6.5 sacks) lead the defense. Tri-Valley, which has struggled through a 4-5 season, found success in the playoffs - a 20-14 win over Beresford in the first round of the playoffs. After being outscored 141-to-115 this season, the Mustangs will look to move into the semifinals by trying to defeat an old nemesis in Winner. Tri-Valley has won three playoff titles and appeared in five 11B championships in six seasons. They are led by the running back group of Nick Buchmann (132-765-7 TDs), Austin Van Asselt (139-627-4 TDs) and Derek Eldeen (65-313-5 TDs). Clark Haugen leads the team under center. Logan O'Hara and Joseph Newman are solid defenders. This game sets up as a tough defense, run-oriented battle that favors the defending champion Winner, which also gets the game in the friendly confines of its home field.
Our Picks – Thor: Winner. Matt: Winner. Genz: Winner.
#7 Redfield/Doland (7-2) @ #2 St. Thomas More (8-1), 7 p.m.
Notes: Matt Eastmo (87-150-1,513-20 TDs) leads an explosive St. Thomas More squad, which has only a 30-13 loss to Winner on the road. Riley Scherr (50-485-13 TDs rushing; 16-353-5 TDs) and Caleb Skinner (52-384-9 TDs rushing; 17-202-2 TDs) are dual threats out of the backfield while Jacob Henderson (35-768-11 TDs) is one of the state's top receivers. STM, which has a 347-to-83 scoring margin, has won four straight. They averaged 212.2 yards rushing and 175 yards passing. Redfield-Doland has had a resurgence in 2013 with Keith Gall's team going from 1-7 a year ago to 7-2 and a second round playoff berth. It is a squad, which owns a 306-to-136 point differential, led by the running of Landon Rohlfs (143-894-13 TDs) and Jake Baloun(78-632-5 TDs) with QB Kyle Stover (24-61-527-7 TDs) running an efficient offense and wide out Ephram Albrecht (15-389-7 TDs rec.) providing big plays. Redfield-Doland will look to do what Winner did to the Cavaliers - pound the ball relentlessly and slow down STM's dynamic pass offense.
Our Picks – Thor: St. Thomas More. Matt: St. Thomas More. Genz: St. Thomas More.
#6 Custer (7-2) @ #3 Parkston (8-1), 6 p.m.
Notes: Parkston, which has a 212-to-48 scoring margin and five shutouts, will do what they always do, pound the rock and play tough defense. It has worked in eight of nine games this season. The Trojans are led by the dynamic QB/WR Wes Dvorak (57-312-5 TDs) along with a powerful running group that includes Mitch Heisinger (94-564-4 TDs), and Miles Semmler (92-512-8 TDs). Custer is led by QB Chase Glazier (73-127-1,271-14 TDs), RB Kenneth Myers (135-885-10 TDs) and WR Clayton Wahlstrom (32-388-4 TDs) run a balanced attack with 142 passing yards and 154.8 rushing yards. The Wildcats, which have won 3-of-4, have a 275-to-88 scoring margin.
Our Picks – Thor: Parkston. Matt: Parkston. Genz: Parkston.
#5 Canton (8-1) @ #4 Aberdeen Roncalli, 6:30 p.m.
Notes: When Canton meets Aberdeen Roncalli tonight, it will match up two of the hottest teams in South Dakota prep football. Top-ranked Roncalli, which has won two titles (2005, 2006) stands 9-0 and unbeaten through the regular season for a second straight year. The Cavaliers, which has a 404-to-50 scoring differential, has recorded four shutouts (state-high 50 since 2004). In the last six games (since Sept. 20), Roncalli has a 329-to-23 margin with three shutouts. The Cavaliers, which opened the playoffs with a 42-10 win over Groton, are led by Dalton Cox (91-992-19 TDs; 19-310-8 TDs rec.), Brayden Hilton (65-545-7 TDs), Lucas Lorenz (15-253-4 TDs rec.) and QB Zach Lundquist (62-95-887-17 TDs). Canton, which owns a 354-to-76, scoring differential, has recorded five shutouts in six games, making the C-Hawks one of the most dominant teams in 11B. Canton, which has only a 21-14 loss at Parkston in week two, has a 263-to-20 scoring margin since Sept. 27. In the opening round, they rolled past McCook Central/Montrose, 50-0. The C-Hawks, which seek a first title since 2006, are led by QB Cody Majeres (79-545-13 TDs; 25-40-495-5 TDs), running backs Gabe Dolen (101-721-10 TDs; 58T), Jake Ablett (72-563-6 TDs; and Tanner Broughton (63-409-6 TDs), along with tight end Eli Ripley (13-247-2 TDs). Canton advanced to the quarterfinals with a 50-0 win over McCook Central/Montrose. It is hard to fathom that these two teams meet in the quarterfinals as the #4 (Roncalli) vs. #5 (Canton) seeds. It will be a physical battle in a survival of the fittest. Don't miss this one.
Our Picks – Thor: Canton. Matt: Canton. Genz: Canton.
9AA, Monday, Nov. 4
#8 Menno/Marion (5-4) @ #1 Gregory (8-1), 7 p.m.
Notes: Nick Gortmaker and Menno-Marion opened some eyes with a 40-36 upset win over Garretson in the playoff's first round. For the Razorbacks, it was the biggest win of the season, when they have built a 309-to-245 scoring edge. Now they face the #1 seed Gregory, which is on a roll with seven straight wins. Gortmaker (153-1,667-20 TDs) had 45 carries for 333 yards and four TDs. He is joined by Chet Petersen (162-960-11 TDs), a hard-running RB who could be the second Razorbacks over 1K. Gregory is led by Kurt Braun (110--735-10 TDs), who leads the Gorilla offense. Brady Boes, Paul Taggart, Gavin Thomas, and others key the #1 Gorillas, which owns a 182-to-20 scoring edge over the last four straight wins. Overall, they own a 369-to-114 scoring edge over opponents.
Our Picks – Thor: Gregory. Matt: Gregory. Genz: Gregory.
#7 Elkton-Lake Benton (7-2) @ #2 Arlington (8-1), 7 p.m.
Notes: This is a rematch of an earlier game won by Arlington, 36-28. However Elkton-Lake/Benton led the game by double digits near halftime. E-LB is led by QB a Trevan Farnham and standout receiver Heath Schindler. E-LB has a 168-to-26 scoring margin in five straight wins, three by shutout. Arlington, which owns a 341-to-178 scoring edge, has been involved in three straight tough games, including a hard-fought 22-20 win over Webster Area. The Cardinals are led by Andrew King (97-602-15 TDs; 44-72-876-12 TDs), a dual threat. Luke Weber (85-823-5 TDs) and Tanner Lemme are other weapons for Arlington. Expect this to be another hard fought, north eastern SD battle.
Our Picks – Thor: Arlington. Matt: Arlington. Genz: Arlington
#6 Kimball/White Lake (7-2) @ #3 Deubrook Area (8-1), 6 p.m., White
Notes: Kimball/White Lake is nearly always a factor in the playoffs, led by head coach Dale Taylor, The WiLdKats are led by Ethan Gaulke, who had 26 carries for 273 yards and 3 TDs in a first-round playoffs win, and Riley Talbott, who led a 36-8 win over Woonsocket/Wessington Springs/Sanborn Central. Kimball/White Lake has a 303-to-171 scoring differential as they meet one of the most explosive 9AA teams. Deubrook, which has a 417-to-192 scoring edge over opponents, has won eight straight games after a season-opening win. Deubrook, the defending 9AA champ, averages 359.1 yards rushing per game, rolling up 339 carries for 3,232 yards and 49 TDs. Directed by HC Adolph Shepardson, the Dolphins feature the state's top rusher in Riley Hanson (179-2,024029 TDs). QB Dusty Trooien (44-86-700-10 TDs; 79-569-9 TDs rushing) directs the offense, which has had over 400 yards rushing three straight weeks (408, 444, 476).
Our Picks – Thor: Deubrook. Matt: Deubrook. Genz: Deubrook.
#5 Hill City (8-1) @ #4 Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan (8-1), 6 p.m.
Notes: This game hinges on who wins the battle upfront. Both Hill City and Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan like to pound the rock. Hill City, coached by Chad Ronish, is led by the tandem of Dylan Thomas (QB) and Gage Skillingstad (RB). Hill City, an 11B team a year ago, has transitioned to 9AA with success. The Rangers, which has won eight straight, advanced with a 36-8 win over DeSmet/Iroquois. Hill City has 395 carries for 2,869 yards and 38 TDs on the ground. They are 14-of-40 for 200 yards passing. As you can see, they are a run-oriented attack led by Skillingstad (141-1,124-16 TDs) and Thomas (109-1,080-13 TDs), both 1,000-yard rushers this season. While Hill City is a run-based attack, Thomas has over 1,300 yards passing in his career. Jeff VanLeur, whose 221-100 career record ranks second among active coaching leaders nationally, brings in an 8-1 BEE team that already has five titles and is on a six-game winning streak, including three shutouts. In that run, the Seahawks have a 257-to-42 scoring edge and own a 359-to-113 overall ppg edge. BEE, which averages 318.4 rushing yards, has outscored foes 243-to-50 in the first half. They are led by Wade Miller (172-1,407-24 TDs), Jordan Grosdidier (126-853-15 TDs) and QB Blake Bartscher (34-48-418-2 TDs; 67-440-3 TDs).
Our Picks – Thor: BEE. Matt: BEE. Genz: BEE.
9A, Monday, Nov. 4
#8 Lemmon/McIntosh (6-3) @ #1 Leola/Frederick (9-0), 6 p.m., Frederick
Notes: Brody Peterson, who ran for 252 yards vs. Faith earlier, is the key weapon for Lemmon/McIntosh, which looks to knock off to upset the top-seed. The Cowboys have a 272-to-119 scoring edge and are hot with a 170-to 18 ppg differential in four straight wins, including two shutouts. Marty Morlock's Titans are unbeaten, led by running back Logan Weisser (76-791-11 TDs), QB Dane Campbell (41-83-795-15 TDs) and wide receiver Dereck Podoll (18-341-6 TDs). Leola-Frederick has a 258-to-18 scoring margin over the past five weeks. Overall, they own a 421-to-55 margin in a season in which they have scored 56 TDs and rushing for over 2,400 yards and total offense of more than 3,200.
Our Picks – Thor: Leola/Frederick. Matt: Leola/Frederick. Genz: Leola-Frederick.
#7 New Underwood (7-2) @ #2 Howard (9-0), 6 p.m.
Notes: Howard, the top-ranked team in 9A but the #2 seed, face a challenge from the explosive team from New Underwood, which has a 343-to-213 overall scoring edge, including five games of 40 points or more. New Underwood won its initial six games of the season before falling to 9B #3 Wall, 47-26, and Kadoka Area, 46-0. They opened the playoffs with a 64-12 win over Newell as Travis Smith accounted for seven TDs, including four on the ground. He had 205 yards rushing while Clint Stagle added 107 yards and three TDs. Brandon Koch is the team's QB. Howard, the 9AA runner-up a year ago, has rolled up 3,629 yards in total offense, including 3,279 rushing yards with 56 TDs, 53 on the ground. Howard, which survived a first round scare from Hanson (22-16), has generated 7,377 yards and 109 TDs rushing over the past two seasons. Howard, which owns a 390-to-141 scoring edge in 2013, is led by junior running Luke Loudenburg (194-1,901-33 TDs), who has rushed for 200 yards or more in 4-of-5 playoff games over the past two years. In his career, Loudenburg has 403 carries for 3,696 yards and 51 TDs and is just 36 yards from setting the Howard record and passing Doug Carlson (543 carries for 3,731 yards and 42 TDs in 2000-04). Other key Howard players include Jordan Kuhle (70-750-10 TDs), Isaiah Glanzer (22-308-5 TDs) and QB Gunner Gilbertson (21-41-322-3 TDs).
Our Picks – Thor: Howard. Matt: Howard. Genz: Howard.
#6 Herreid/Selby Area (7-2) @ #3 Potter County (8-1), 7p.m.
Notes: In a rematch of regular season opponents, look for another tight contest between Potter County and Herreid/Selby. Potter County won the earlier matchup, 15-12, on the road. It was one of eight wins by the Battlers, which has lost only to top seed Leola-Frederick, 12-7. Chayce Hall (41-80-680-11 TDs passing; 70-600-8 TDs rushing) leads Potter County's attack, which produces 238.4 rushing yards per game. Others who contribute include Colton Hall (55-352-3 TDs), Hayden Simon (59-328-4 TDs) and Luke Vogel (13-227-5 TDs receiving). Overall, the Battlers, which have played in seven 9-man championship games, own a 298-to-76 scoring margin, including the 42-0 win in the opening round over Corsica-Stickney. Herreid/Selby, which owns a 295-to-115 scoring edge over opponents, opened the playoffs with a 42-0 win over Tri-State. Austin Iverson led the way with 163 yards rushing and an 80-yard kickoff return for a score. Other leaders on this squad include Cooper Schaefbauer, Logan Schaefbauer, Dakota Thorstensen, and Brady Fieldler. They have lost only to Potter County and Eureka-Bowdle (36-8).
Our Picks – Thor: Potter County. Matt: Herreid/Selby. Genz: Potter County.
#5 Alcester-Hudson (8-1) @ #4 Wolsey-Wessington (9-0), 6:30 p.m., Wolsey
Notes: Wolsey-Wessington, which is led by 1,000-yard rushers QB Lorenzo Williams (25-46-470-7 TDs; 119-1,436-17 TDs) and RB Ryne Johnson 146-1,660-22 TDs), has been dominant this season in rolling to a perfect record and a #3 ranking in the polls. The Warbirds, directed by head coach Gordon Hooks, have rolled up a 411-to-84 points scoring differential with eight games of 40 points or more. Wolsey-Wessington, which has 328 carries for 3,574 yards and 44 TDs rushing, has seven games of 400 yards rushing or more this season. Defensively, they have rolled up 39 sacks, including 11 by Alex Babcock, and four by Cole Mcgehee, who has 138 tackles, 17 TFLs and four sacks on the season. They will meet upstart Alcester-Hudson, which is enjoying the school's best season in history under the direction of Brian Hauk. The Cubs sit 8-1 with a 364-to-126 scoring differential. The Cubs have won four straight, including a 57-12 win over Chester in the playoffs first round. In the four straight wins, they have a 190-to-38 scoring margin. The squad is led by a talented sophomore QB in Grant Johnson (108-826-15 TDs rushing; 68-132-1,127-10 TDs passing). In the backfield is Erik Barnes (95-671-11 TDs) and Colin Walth (66-645-7 TDs), who has missed the last two games. The key receiver is Lyle LaFramboise (19-329-4 TDs).
Our Picks – Thor: Wolsey-Wessington. Matt: Wolsey-Wessington. Genz: Wolsey- Wessington.
9B, Monday, Nov. 4
#8 Hitchcock-Tulare (7-2) @ #1 Hamlin (9-0), 7 p.m.
Notes: After defeating Eureka-Bowdle, 30-14, in the opening round, perennial playoff power Hitchcock-Tulare have their eyes on another upset - #1 Hamlin, which is 9-0. H-T is led by Cole Chaplin (173-1,221-16 TDs), who has cracked 1,000 yards for the second straight season, and QB Chase Bixler (62-121-842-13 TDs) are leaders of Hitchcock-Tulare. Hamlin has been one of the most dominant defenses. Hamlin, which has been top-ranked all season, features a strong rushing attack with arguably 9B's top defense. In rolling up a 407-to-50 scoring margin, Hamlin has recorded five shutouts. Led by 11.5 sacks from Alex Holzwarth and 10 from Tristen Leiseth, Hamlin has 35 sacks along with 73.2 TFLs, 12 fumble recoveries and 16 interceptions. The offense averages 283.3 yards rushing and 339.8 yards in total offense. QB Brody Grantham (34-68-508-7 TDs; 102-914-12 TDs) and Dusty Quiram (135-986-19 TDs) both could go over 1K rushing on Monday night. Quiram, who will try for a second straight 1,000-yard rushing season, has 986 and Grantham, 914 yards.
Our Picks – Thor: Hamlin. Matt: Hamlin. Genz: Hamlin.
#7 Dell Rapids St. Mary (8-1) @ #2 Avon (9-0), 6 p.m.
Notes: This game sets up as one of the best matchups of the second round. Avon, which has won four 9-man titles, faces Dell Rapids St. Mary, which has been impressive this season, including knocking off former #1 Arlington, 38-30 in week eight. Josh Brown (150-1,476-25 TDs) and Ben Bunkers (104-766-12 TDs) lead a powerful St. Mary rushing offense. The Cardinals, directed by head coach Ross Flemmer, have built a 437-to-170 scoring margin with only a loss to 9AA #2 Deubrook, 40-38. Seeking their first-ever playoff title, the Cardinals have scored over 40 points in 8-of-9 games with 45 or more three of the last four contests. Avon, which has a 417-to-83 scoring edge (46.3-to-9.2 ppg), features a potent rushing attack. This season they have 340 carries for 3,277 yards and 45 TDs, led by Brandon Kocmich (75-1,532-24 TDs), Devin Tolsma (66-836-10 TDs) and Logan Mudder (46-365-5 TDs). Avon, led by head coach Tom Culver, owns four 9-man titles and seven overall championship appearances. Culver, who has called this one of his best teams ever, also makes plays in special teams, including three punt return and one kickoff return for TDs. Expect a shootout in what will be a short game as both teams power up their rushing attacks and the clock rolls.
Our Picks – Thor: Avon. Matt: Dell Rapids St. Mary. Genz: Avon.
#6 Faulkton Area (7-2) @ #3 Wall (9-0), 7 p.m.
Notes: Faulkton Area, which has won 3-of-4 will try to cut down one of 9B's most prolific offenses in Wall, which comes in unbeaten. Faulkton Area, which defeated Waverly-South Shore, 58-22 as Darin Wieseler had 274 yards rushing and five TDs, averages 249.1 rushing yards and 333 yards in total offense. QB Kurt Beidler (54-116-737-7 TDs) directs the offense which includes the explosive Wieseler (154-1,039-16 TDs), who has cracked 1K rushing for the second straight season. Faulkton Area, led by HC Shayne Geditz, also feature Riley Potter (15-241-TD rec.; 56-332-7 TDs rushing), Cory Baloun (15-21-3 TDs) and Eric Thomas (54-337-3 TDs). Wall, directed by HC Kent Anderson, is explosive with a 435-to-106 scoring differential, scoring 45 points or more in seven of the nine wins. Wall, which won titles in 1990 and 1994 under Anderson, have accumulated 4,138 yards in total offense, including 2,428 rushing and 1,710 passing. QB Lane Blasius (90-136-1,597-21 TDs) is an efficient QB. His top target is Trevor Anderson, who is having one of the best seasons in 9-man history with 55 receptions for 1,023 yards and 15 TDs. On the ground, Carston Johnson (134-1,373-22 TDs) and Cade Kjerstad (67-441-4 TDs) are explosive and powerful backs.
Our Picks – Thor: Wall. Matt: Wall. Genz: Wall.
#5 Burke/South Central (7-2) @ #4 Harding County (7-2), 6:30 p.m.
Notes: Harding County, the defending champs, will look to advance to the semifinals after a hard-earned 24-22 first round win over Kadoka Area. HC Jay Wammen's team, which has a 324-to-109 scoring differential, is led by QB Harvey Mollman (38-74-884-11 TDs; 24-153-2 TDs rushing; 5-84-2 TDs rec.), who can catch, run and pass it. Running back Reece Jensen (107-705-13 TDs) is the leading rusher followed by Steve Koch (69-477-5 TDs) and Windom Hewsom (47-326-8 TDs). Clayton Koch (20-506-7 TDs) is the primary weapon in the pass game. Burke-South Central continues to soar after knocking out the 3-time 9-man champ Canistota, 42-32, in the first round. This squad is led by the electric Turner Serr (173-1,513-24 TDs) and QB Zach Sebern (28-63-521-5 TDs). Serr had 217 yards rushing and five TDs in a first round win. The Cougars, which have won four straight games, own a 322-to-138 overall scoring edge.
Our Picks – Thor: Harding County. Matt: Harding County. Genz: Harding County.