SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — 28 teams were eliminated from the 2022 South Dakota high school football playoffs last week. The remaining 28 teams will take to the field Friday with 14 spots in the state championships up for grabs.

The semifinal round of the playoffs is scheduled for Friday, November 4. Here’s a look at each class and the matchups:

CLASS 11AAA

11AAA saw a lot of offense in the first round, especially from the winning teams. The four winners tallied a total of 155 points.

All four of the top seeds advanced.

#1 JEFFERSON VS. #4 LINCOLN

The first semifinal will pit Jefferson against Lincoln in a rematch of this year’s President’s Bowl.

The Cavaliers are averaging a 33-point victory per game this season. They defeated every opponent by at least 24 points, except Lincoln who lost by 17 points.

Jefferson owns the top scoring offense (44.9 points per game) and defense (10.5 ppg) in 11AAA.

Lincoln sits fourth in scoring offense (34.1 ppg) and third in scoring defense (22.8 ppg).

The battle that’ll be fun to watch should be the two offenses. Both offenses are rolling right now and they each have multiple weapons.

That is the thing I’ll be watching for. This game will feature two great quarterbacks in Tate Schafer and Taylen Ashley, a couple good running backs in Nelson Wright and Dreavin Hodge and two of the state’s best wide receivers in Jack Smith and Griffin Wilde.

#2 O’GORMAN VS. #3 HARRISBURG

The second semifinal will feature a couple of explosive teams who met just two weeks ago.

O’Gorman is set to host Harrisburg in the semifinals.

The Knights scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to storm back and defeat Harrisburg 24-20 on October 20.

The Tigers controlled that game for three quarters, but that’s when the O’Gorman offense got going.

O’Gorman is coming off a narrow nine point win over Rapid City Stevens last week. Now the Knights are looking to carry that into the semifinals.

Harrisburg has running back Gavin Ross back in the back field after his first game injury.

I think the key for this game will be which team can establish balance. Both teams can score in a hurry, but the majority of the success stems from a balanced attack on offense of running and passing.


CLASS 11AA

Similar to 11AAA, the four winners in 11AA posted plenty of offense. They combined for 166 total points as the four top seeds moved into the semifinals.

#1 PIERRE VS. #4 YANKTON

The first semifinal features the favorite in the class as Pierre hosts Yankton.

The Governors are looking to win their sixth straight 11AA state championship and they’ll need a semifinal win to do so.

Pierre owns the top scoring offense (47.9 ppg) in 11AA. Their 13.5 points per game allowed defensively is the second best in the class.

Yankton has been strong offensively this year, as they’re posting more than 30 points per game.

This contest will feature two of the top quarterbacks in the class with Washington commit Lincoln Kienholz leading the Govs, while Rugby Ryken takes the snaps for Yankton.

The Bucks will need to find a way to slow down the Govs’ offense, while also posting some points.

Pierre has scored at least 35 points in every game this season.

#2 TEA AREA VS. #3 ABERDEEN CENTRAL

The second semifinal features the Tea Area Titans and the Aberdeen Central Golden Eagles.

Tea Area sits second in 11AA in scoring offense (42 ppg) and first in scoring defense (12.3 ppg).

That defense will be key for the Titans as they look to advance to the state championship for the second straight year.

Aberdeen Central has played well defensively this season, but they’ll need one of their best performances to keep this Tea Area offense in check.

The two teams met back on September 3. It’ll be a two-month gap between their two meetings.

The first matchup saw the Titans cruise to a 35-0 win. However, the past two months have seen improvement from the Golden Eagles, who will need to play a really clean game on Friday.


CLASS 11A

The theme of offense in 11 man quarterfinals continued into 11A as the four winning teams posted an average of 35 points per game. Each top seed advanced in 11A as well.

#1 DELL RAPIDS VS. #4 SIOUX FALLS CHRISTIAN

Both the 11A semifinal contests feature some tough games to predict.

The first game is the top seed and the lone unbeaten, Dell Rapids. They’ll host Sioux Falls Christian.

This matchup will feature two very similar teams. The squads are separated by less than three points when you compare offensive and defensive points per game.

The battle to watch will be the Quarrier offense vs. the Charger defense.

Dell Rapids owns the top scoring offense in 11A at 34.4 points per game. Christian sits second in scoring defense at 14.3 point per game.

That matchup will be key.

Another key is the Quarrier run game.

When Dell Rapids can run the football, they’ve had incredible success. Mason Stubbe and the rush attack found plenty of success against Lennox in the quarters and they posted 41 points.

The two teams have not met this season.

#2 WEST CENTRAL VS. #3 BERESFORD

The best defense in 11A against the third best defense. The two teams are separated by 1.2 points per game, meaning we could see a defensive battle in Hartford.

West Central is set to host Beresford on Friday.

While the two teams have been strong on defense, I think the key difference will be the offensive ability of West Central.

Justin Zirpel is one of the top dual threat quarterbacks in the state and the Watchdogs will have problems trying to slow him down.

On the flip side, Beresford will need a great performance from QB Tate VanOtterloo and his trusted running back, Jack Stenen.

Both of them had a big game against Canton and they’ll need similar performances for the Watchdogs to advance to their first state title game since 1987.


CLASS 11B

11B is the first bracket with a little change as fifth seed and seventh seed have advanced to the semifinals.

#1 WINNER VS. #5 MCCOOK CENTRAL/MONTROSE

The favorite in 11B is the two time defending champ, Winner.

The Warriors have won 33 straight games, dating back to 2020 when they started a run for back-to-back state titles with undefeated records.

Winner played a loaded schedule in 2022, yet they finished undefeated. That did effect their numbers, but the Warriors still possess the second-best scoring offense and third-best scoring defense.

While those numbers are impressive, there is still plenty to keep an eye on for the other sideline.

McCook Central/Montrose owns the fourth-best defense in the class and so far, it’s been apparent in the playoffs.

Over two games, the Cougars have allowed just 25 points.

That defense will face their biggest challenge of the year come Friday, when they meet Winner.

#3 ELK POINT-JEFFERSON VS. #7 HOT SPRINGS

The second semifinal in 11B pits Elk Point-Jefferson against #7 Hot Springs.

Hot Springs was tasked with a tough road to the semifinals, as they had to knock off Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan and Aberdeen Roncalli.

They did so with ease, as they now prepare for Elk Point-Jefferson.

The Huskies pounded their first two opponents and now they will host a semifinal. EPJ has been a team to watch for all season, as many picked them to be the potential team to knock off Winner.

Elk Point-Jefferson has the top scoring offense and scoring defense in 11B and they’re hoping that will be able to lead them to a semifinal win.

Hot Springs on the other hand will look to use a defense that has pitched back-to-back shutouts and is allowing just nine points per game.

The two teams have played a common opponent in Redfield, but they haven’t played each other this season.


CLASS 9AA

Three of the four top seeds advanced to the 9AA semifinals, with the lone exception being #6 Parkston.

#1 WALL VS. #4 HAMLIN

The first semifinal will feature Wall and Hamlin. 

The Eagles are one of two undefeated teams remaining in 9AA. Hamlin lost just one game this fall.

This game will feature the two top scoring defenses in 9AA as Wall is number one and Hamlin sits just three points back at 8.2 points per game.

Both teams are scoring more than 42 points per game, but it’s Wall who is scoring 49.6 points per game. That’s number one in 9AA.

Hamlin outlasted Hanson 26-20 in overtime to advance to the semis.

Wall is battle tested as well. They picked up a one score win over Bon Homme, 20-12. This game has a lot of outcomes possible. With two high-scoring offenses and two high-powered defenses, about anything is possible.

#2 ELKTON-LAKE BENTON VS. #6 PARKSTON

The second semifinal features another pair of extremely talented teams.

Elkton-Lake Benton is set to host Parkston.

The fun matchup to watch in this game is the Elks’ offense against the Trojans’ defense.

Parkston owns the fourth-best scoring defense in the class as they’re allowing just 9.8 points per game.

Elkton-Lake Benton sits third in scoring offense. They’re posting more than 42 points per contest.

Both teams relied on their strengths in the quarterfinals.

Parkston held #3 Howard to just seven points in a 34-7 victory.

Elkton-Lake Benton powered past Freeman/Marion/Freeman Academy, 52-14. 

The two teams have combined for a 19-1 record, but they haven’t crossed paths this season.


CLASS 9A

The four top seeds are the remaining teams in 9A.

#1 WARNER VS. #4 HARDING COUNTY/BISON

The favorite entering the playoffs was the lone unbeaten in Warner.

The Monarchs were tested in the quarters as they trailed Canistota 31-14 at halftime. That was followed by 34 unanswered by Warner, lifting them to a 48-31 win.

Harding County/Bison saw significantly less offense as they outlasted Philip 20-15.

Warner owns the second-best scoring offense and scoring defense. That offense is posting more than 42 points per game and they certainly hope to see that trend carry into the semifinals.

Harding County/Bison has also been strong offensively this season. They are posting nearly 40 points per game.

Warner’s defense may play a key in this, but a game featuring some points could certainly happen.

#2 LYMAN VS. #3 GREGORY

The second semifinal features two teams that are very similar as Lyman is set to host Gregory.

The Raiders are 9-1 this season with their lone loss coming to 9AA Wall.

Lyman is the team that sits above Warner in both scoring offense and scoring defense.

Gregory on the other hand has been strong this season as well. The Gorillas are scoring 39 points per game and allowing 12 points per game.

The two teams are separated by just five points when looking at total scoring.

It’s almost impossible to predict the type of game that we’ll see in Lyman on Friday.


CLASS 9B

9B has the lowest seed in their semifinals as they saw a 12-seed advance to the final four.

#1 HERREID/SELBY AREA VS. #12 IRENE-WAKONDA

There are two unbeaten teams in 9B and one of them is hosting the first semifinal as Herreid/Selby Area is set to play Irene-Wakonda.

The Eagles have raced to back-to-back wins where their offense scored plenty of points.

Irene-Wakonda has posted 97 points in their two contests, but their counterpart has found a way to score more.

The Wolverines have scored 100 points in their two games, though that’s not too surprising.

Herreid/Selby Area owns the top-scoring offense in 9B, as they’re scoring 52.6 points per game.

They’ve been led by Brenden Begeman who is one of the top rushers in South Dakota history. The senior has committed to play at SDSU.

#2 HITCHCOCK-TULARE VS. #6 DE SMET

The final semifinal to discuss is Hitchcock-Tulare and De Smet.

The Bulldogs have played well this season, especially on defense as they’re allowing less than 12 points per game. That’s third best in 9B.

Hitchcock-Tulare is the only other unbeaten team in 9B and they’ve done so in explosive fashion.

The Patriots are averaging a 46.9 point win this season. They’re scoring 52.3 points per game which is second best in 9B, but their true dominance has been on defense.

Hitchcock-Tulare is allowing 5.4 points per game defensively. That’s nearly six points better than every other team in the state.

De Smet has been strong on defense, but they’ll need to play their best game of the season in order to hang with Hitchcock-Tulare.


KELOLAND SPORTS COVERAGE

KELOLAND Media Group will have coverage of the semifinals both on-air and online.

You can see updated brackets and scores as they become available on Friday evening. Those will be on the sports page on KELOLAND.com.

This week’s KELOLAND SportsZone will feature highlights from 11 semifinals from across the state.

That show airs on Friday at 10:15 p.m. on KELO-TV.

You can also watch the KELOLAND.com Livestream Game of the Week as #1 Jefferson meets #4 Lincoln at Howard Wood Field.

Kick-off is set for 6 p.m. CT on KELOLAND.com.