Potter County Wins 1st Ever Title as Hall Throws for a Record 8 TDs
It was a “Crazy Eight” sort of day for the Potter County Battlers.
In their eighth appearance in the 9-man championships, this time in 9A, the Battlers won a title with a 60-22 win over top seed and previously unbeaten Leola-Frederick. As Gettysburg, the Battlers had appeared in seven previous 9-man championships, five in 9A. It was the first title for veteran coach Vern Smith (105-29 in his career).
Senior QB Chayce Hall, who wears #8, had one of the best performances regardless of class in SD Prep Championship history. Hall threw for eight TDs, a mark previously reached by only two other QBs – Matthew Raba of New Underwood in 1996 and Corey Jacobsen of Viborg-Hurley in 2010. No QB in any class had thrown for eight TDs in a championship setting.
Hall, who was the Joe Robbie MVP and the SD FB Coaches Association Back of the Game, threw for 464 yards, which not only set a 9A championship record but is the highest total ever by a prep QB regardless of class (Chase Marso, Brandon Valley, 454, 2012). His yardage total is the third best ever by a 9-man QB regular season or in championship play. Hall, who ended the year with 1,448 yards passing and 24 TDs, finished with 522 yards in total offense.
Also for the Battlers, Tanner Heuer broke the 9A record for receiving yards in a game with five catches for 214 yards and three TDs, including an 80-yard pitch-and-catch from Hall. Heuer broke the mark of Nick Hofer of Canistota, who had 195 yards in 2012. Other records for the Battlers was Hall’s 31-yard field goal and team passing of 464 yards. Potter County’s Carson Kirby, who was the anchor for the offensive front, was named the SDHSFB Coaches Association Lineman of the Game.
In this “Crazy Eight” championship, the Battlers were able to score 60 points against a team that had allowed just eight points per game and had beat them earlier, 12-7 at Hoven. In fact, the Battlers were able to exact a little revenge for a 34-15 loss to Fredrick 31 years ago (1982 championship). In total, Potter County rolled up 637 yards in total offense, which ranks fifth all-time in prep 9-man ranks.
Leola-Frederick, which had rallied from a 25-0 deficit to 38-22 at halftime, generated 362 yards in total offense. They were led by Dane Campbell who completed 14-of-32 passes for 228 yards and two TDs as well as a rushing score. Derreck Podoll had six receptions for 78 yards and a TD while Logan Weisser, who rushed for over 1K during the regular season, had four catches for 104 yards and a TD.
Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan Wins 7th Title, 6th in 9AA, with 36-6 Verdict over Arlington
Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan (11-1), led by Joe Robbie MVP Wade Miller, captured their third 9AA title in four years with a 36-6 win over Arlington on Thursday. BEE won their seventh overall title in ninth appearances, six of those titles at the 9AA level. Head Coach Jeff VanLeur pushed his career record to 224-100 as he ranked second nationally in 9-man wins. Just like 2011, BEE had a pair of 1,000 yard rushers, one of them was Wade Miller, who finished with 24 carries for 107 yards and three TDs while adding a 54-yard reception. His backfield mate, Jordan Grosdidier added 20 carries for 122 yards. In a classy move at the game’s end, Van Leur put in former Joe Robbie MVP Jace Connor for a couple of plays. Connor, who was hurt in a summer work accident, did not play all year until the fourth quarter when he took a snap and then split out wide as a wide receiver. BEE also received 55 yards and a TD rushing from QB Blake Bartscher, who was 3-of-3 for 64 yards. For Arlington, which finished 10-2, Andrew King was 8-of-16 for 120 yards with 17 carries for 82 yards and a TD rushing. Luke Weber, who had 51 yards rushing, caught five passes for 86 yards. Miller finished the season with 243 carries for 1,742 yards and 29 TDs while Grosdidier had 164 carries for 1,153 yards and 15 TDs. King, a junior, had 1,372 passing yards this season while Weber finished with 1,224 yards rushing as a sophomore.
West Central Rallies past top-ranked Madison to Win 12th State 11A Title
West Central (10-2) rallied with a late TD to win their state-best 12th 11A title with a 28-21 win over top-ranked and previously unbeaten Madison (11-1). It was the Trojans first title since going 12-0 in 2007. Head Coach Kent Mueller’s team rallied from a 21-7 deficit to win the championship. After losing two games in midseason, the Trojans, who were playing in their 14th championship game, closed the season with seven straight wins. The 12 titles is the most by any team regardless of class. West Central scored two second half TDs, including the game-winning 39-yard TD pass from Jace Hanisch to Cody Bussell. The pair had also hooked up for a scoring play earlier in the game. Bussell, who had 15 carries for 63 yards, added two receptions (both TDs) for 59 yards. Hanisch threw three passes in the game, two for scores, even though he wasn’t playing QB. Senior QB Noah Matson (7-17-36 yards) had an outstanding game for the Trojans as did Cole Tirrel, who rushed for 90 yards on 13 carries and two TDs, including the one that tied the contest early in the fourth quarter. Tirrel finished the season with 1,076 yards and 18 TDs. Bussell was just short of 1K, totaling 976 on the year. As for Madison, which was making its first-ever state championship appearance, Rush Milne had 20 carries for 58 yards and a TD along with two receptions for 89 yards and a TD. Milne finished 2013 with 37 combined TDs (34 rushing) along with 1,422 rushing yards. Jacob Giles, who was 12-of-22 for 234 yards and both a rushing TD and passing TD, concluded his senior season with 1,936 yards passing.
Avon Rallies to Defeat Hamlin, 24-22, in 9B Championship; Record 3rd Unbeaten Championship Season
Avon (12-0) rallied from a 14-point deficit to claim a 24-22 9B title game victory over Hamlin (11-1) in a battle of unbeatens. For Avon and head coach Tom Culver, the win enabled the Pirates to record their third unbeaten team in school history and their fifth title overall. They were also state champions and unbeaten in 2002 and 2005. Hamlin and head coach Jeff Sheehan finished 11-1 with a two-year mark of 19-2. Avon junior RB/LB Devin Tolsma was named the Joe Robbie MVP after recording 16 tackles and 1.5 TFLs while rushing 16 times for 94 yards and a TD. He finished the season with 115 carries for 1,296 yards and 18 TDs while racking up 156 tackles (274 in his career). With a season to play he has 2,316 career rushing yards. His teammate senior Brandon Kocmich was named the SDHSFBA Back of the Game after totaling 21 carries for 99 yards and a TD. He also had a 42-yard reception, returned a punt 36 yards and completed a 31-yard pass. Kocmich ended his senior campaign with 1,928 yards and 28 TDs, pushing his career totals to 2,840 yards and 44 TDs rushing. After opening an 8-0 lead after a 20-yard TD run by Tolsma, Avon was outscored 22-8 as Brody Grantham of Hamlin had two TD passes (10, 25). Kocmich’s TD with 7:09 left in the third quarter cut the deficit to 22-16. Then with just 1:08 on the clock in the fourth quarter, Logan Mudder, who threw for 80 yards, completed a 38-yard game-winning TD down the left sideline to Kole Beeson. For Hamlin, senior Alex Holzwarth, who had eight tackles, was named the SDHSFBA Lineman of the Game. Grantham, a junior QBwho completed 4-of-12 passes for 79 yards and two TDs, had a game-high 154 yards rushing and a TD. Backfield mate Dusty Quiram had 18 carries for 97 yards while also picking off a pass and making a key fourth quarter defensive stop. Grantham has completed 78-of-165 passes for 1,423 yards and 20 TDs in his career, including 43-of-91 for 656 yards and 11 TDs this year. He also has 242 carries for 1,617 yards and 27 TDs in his career. Quiram had 186 carries for 1,330 yards and 21 TDs in his senior campaign, finishing his career with 388 carries for 2,819 yards and 40 TDs on the ground. He had 3,656 all-purpose yards.
Canton Wins 3rd Title; Turns Back Parkston, 20-14, in Tough, Physical Battle
Canton, led by Joe Robbie Award Winner Cody Majeres, won their third state title with a hard-fought 20-14 win over Parkston (10-2) in the 11B championship at the DakotaDome on Friday. Majeres, who completed 5-of-6 passes for 102 yards and rushed for 11 yards, led his team to a championship as Canton became the second school, joining Winner, to win both an 11A and 11B championship. Majeres also led the team with seven tackles. Canton, which finished the season with 10 straight wins, won the 11A title in 2006 (Dell Rapids, 27-20) and in 1986 (Winner, 14-7). The C-Hawks, 4-5 in an injury plagued 2012, finished 11-1 with their only loss to Parkston, 21-14, in week two on the road. Parkston, which had a five-game winning streak snapped, finished runner-up for the third time (2002, 1991). Canton outgained Parkston, 296-to-242, including a 194-to-164 edge in the ground. The C-Hawks were led by Gabe Dolen, who was named the SDHSFCA Back of the Game, with 16 carries for 97 yards while Tanner Broughton had 43 yards and a TD. Austin Schuers had 22 yards and a TD while Kyler Kniffen added 21 yards and a TD. Parkston, which had defeated Canton, 21-14, in week two, was led by Wes Dvorak, who had six carries for 66 yards and 54 yards in punt returns. Mitch Heisinger finished with 11 carries for 51 yards while Miles Semmler had seven carries for 39 yards. Austin Bertram scored a TD for Parkston. For his career, Majeres finished with 285 carries for 2,071 yards and 40 TDs. He completed 65-of-119-1,114 yards and nine TDs. Dolen completed his career with 250 carries for 1,576 yards and 13 TDs.
Pierre Riggs Wins 1st-Ever State Championship
Pierre Riggs has become championship central in South Dakota. By rolling to a 34-7 win over Watertown (7-4) in the 11AA title game, the Governors won their fifth straight game and the school’s first ever state football playoff championship in their second title appearance (1988, loss to SF O’Gorman, 44-6). The Governors also earned mythical titles in 1909 and 1914. During this calendar year, Pierre has won boys titles in wrestling, basketball and football. Over the last two years, the school has won five total state titles. Leading the way for the senior-laden Governors (22 seniors) was Joe Robbie MVP Alex Gray, who completed 15-of-23 passes for 251 yards and two TDs while adding 18 carries for 44 yards and a TD on the ground. Gray also earned the SDHSFCA Back of the Game honor while senior Kyle Veitz was the SDHSFCA Lineman of the Game. Senior Ethan Case, who rushed for 690 yards on 91 carries with 10 TDs this season, had five carries for 28 yards and a TD against Watertown, a team swept by Pierre this season (35-24 win in the opener). In the title game, Gray’s primary target was senior wideout Austin Christopherson, who had five catches for 149 yards and 2 TDs. In addition, Garrett Pochop had six catches for 51 yards. Watertown, which had a five-game winning streak end in the loss, was led by Shay Bratland, who rushed for 91 yards on 20 carries and had a 95-yard kickoff return. It was the third kickoff return of 95 yards or better in 11AA this season. Gray, who was named the SDHSFCA Back of the Game, concluded his career by completing 146-of-243 passes for 2,329 yards and 23 TDs in 2013 while rushing 120 times for 462 yards and 10 TDs. Gray, who took over as starting QB for Pierre late in his sophomore season, had career totals of 285 carries for 1,195 yards rushing and 19 TDs while completing 237-of-451 passes for 3,963 yards and 43 TDs. Pochop finished the season with 49 catches for 822 yards and seven TDs. Christopherson had 37 receptions for 720 yards and 11 TDs in 2013 and finished his career with 67 catches for 1,368 yards and 20 TDs. As for Bratland, he concluded a standout senior campaign with 272 carries for 1,568 yards and 17 TDs while totaling 425 carries for 2,265 yards and 23 TDs in his career. Logan Gabriel wrapped up his career hitting on 161 passes on 357 attempts for 2,158 yards and 18 TDs. Watertown finished second for the second time (1992). They won titles in 2001 and 1996.
SF Lincoln Completes First-Ever Unbeaten Season with 47-24 Win over Roosevelt; Quintanilla Ties Season Rushing TD MarkSioux Falls Lincoln, led by Joe Robbie MVP Caden Quintanilla, completed a perfect season at 11-0 with a 47-24 win over Sioux Falls Roosevelt in the 11AAA title game on Saturday at the DakotaDome. Quintanilla recorded one of the greatest performances in 11-man championship game history with 30 carries for 244 yards and four TDs. With 11AAA a new class, Quintanilla’s total set a new record and would bettered the 11AA 233-yard mark of Roosevelt’s David Sturdevant in 2007. Quintanilla’s rush total was part of Lincoln’s 417 yards rushing and 502 total yards which bettered the big class (11AA) championship game marks of 361 rushing and 469 yards in offense by Sioux Falls O’Gorman in 2005. Lincoln head coach Aaron Beavers won his 70th career game at the school as he stands 70-48 with a 111-to-56 overall mark. Lincoln, the second straight big class school (SF Washington, 2012, 12-0) to go unbeaten, rolled to a 117-to-31 edge in the playoffs and totaled 457 points in 11 games or 41.54 per game. After trailing 10-0 just a few minutes into the game, Lincoln outscored the Rough Riders, 47-14, the rest of the way. The title was Lincoln’s 2nd ever, joining the 2008 crown while the unbeaten season was the first in school history. Quintanilla’s 244 yards was a career-high, bettering his total of 243 vs. Roosevelt in the earlier Lincoln victory (35-28) in the President’s Bowl. Lincoln’s Adam Belhaj added four carries for 75 yards. Junior Isaiah Roach, who stepped in for an injured Connor Burchill, as a starting QB for Lincoln completed 7-of-13 passes for 86 yards and a TD, although his first pass was turned into a pick-six by Austin Atwood and a 7-0 Roosevelt lead. After a short punt and a Chase Vinatieri field goal, Quintanilla went to work, scoring on an 80-yard TD run. After Roosevelt QB Taryn Christion lost a fumble, Roach hit Dylan Bartow on a 23-yard TD strike and a 14-10 lead. Then Roosevelt’s Christion, who completed 21-of-37 passes for 322 yard and 2 TDs, went to work. He connected with David Mulbah on an 11-yard TD throw and a 17-14 lead. Mulbah, who finished with 10 catches for 169 yards and a TD, had over 150 yards for the 2nd time in three games (233 vs. SF Washington, 1st Rd. playoff game). Trailing 24-20 at halftime, Quintanilla scored three second half TD runs (4, 1, and 6) to propel Lincoln to the title. In the second half, the Pats outscored Roosevelt, 27-0. As for Quintanilla, his four TDs pushed his career total to 29 for the season, tying three others (Gannon Moore, SF Lincoln, 2008; Mitch Breen, Wagner, 2009; and Mike Galligher, West Central, 2007) for the all-time season lead. Quintanilla, who had 257 carries (T-8th, Zach Joslyn, Canton, 2006) for 1,888 yards (9th all-time, season) and 29 TDs in 2013.. He finished his career in the top seven on the 11-man career rushing charts in all three running categories, including seventh with 517 carries, sixth with 3,728 yards and second with and 57 TDs. As for Christion, he finished with 165 carries for 926 yards and 19 TDs while completing 165-of-274 passes for an 11-man best 2,553 passing yards with 24 TDs and just nine picks. In terms of season rankings all-time in 11-man, Christion’s attempts and yards rank 11th while his completions are 9th and TDs, 16th. In his career, the junior has completed 255 passes (10th all-time) in 446 attempts (12th all-time) for 4,119 yards (12th all-time) and 36 TDs (18th all-time) with 305 carries for 1,573 rushing yards and 30 TDs. Mulbah finished the season with 39 catches for 906 yards and seven TDs. Roosevelt finished the season, 9-2, with only losses to Lincoln.