SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It’s crunch time for high school football as the playoffs are just nine days away for class 11B and 9-man, while the state championships are now just a month away.
#1 Harrisburg 62 – Rapid City Central 12
The Tigers raced out to a 28-0 lead in just the first quarter and from there, number one cruised to a 50 point win over Rapid City Central.
Harrisburg sits unbeaten at 7-0 with just two games to go and they won’t be easy. The Tigers are set to host SF Jefferson this week and then they travel to #2 Brandon Valley, a game that appears to be a battle for the top-seed in the 11AAA playoffs.
#2 Brandon Valley 54 – 11AA Mitchell 0
#3 Lincoln 38 – #4 Jefferson 18
#5 Roosevelt 40 – Washington 27
O’Gorman 62 – Rapid City Stevens 14
WHAT WE LEARNED
It appears there are two types of races in 11AAA. The race for the top-seed in the class, between Harrisburg and Brandon Valley. Then the race to see which team can upend the Tigers or Lynx. Lincoln and Roosevelt are red hot, but Jefferson, Washington and O’Gorman have shown flashes this season.
Brandon Valley looked sharp again and this win moves them to 7-0, setting up a winner take all ninth game of the season between the Lynx and Harrisburg. No matter their week nine outcome, the Tigers and Lynx will meet in week ten in Brandon. The winner will claim the top-seed in 11AAA.
How good has Lincoln looked this season? They’re now 5-2 with their lone losses to Harrisburg (35-28) and Brandon Valley (25-22). In their five wins, they’re averaging an 18.2 point victory, including three wins of 20 points or more. The Patriots are a true threat in class 11AAA. Whether it’s Harrisburg or Brandon Valley, they’ll have their hands full with Lincoln on their side of the playoff bracket.
You can’t talk about teams that are heating up without mentioning Roosevelt. After losing three close contests, Roosevelt has won three of their last four games with their lone loss coming to Harrisburg, 38-34. The last two games have been tough, in-town rival tests and the Rough Riders have passed those tests with wins over Jefferson and Washington. However, Roosevelt will get a tough test this week as two of the hottest teams in the 11AAA cross paths… Lincoln vs. Roosevelt.
O’Gorman earned a 14-12 win over Roosevelt to open the season… then they lost four straight contests. The last two weeks, the Knights have gotten their offense back on track by scoring 123 points. The Knights will play Jefferson to close out the season, but first, they’ll host Huron this Friday.
#1 Tea Area 42 – Aberdeen Central 20
Tea Area was nearly unstoppable in Class 11A a year ago, in fact, last year’s team may have been one of the top teams Tea has ever seen… however this year’s team has been very impressive.
Credit has to be given to Aberdeen Central, they played the Titans tough and scored the second most points on the Titan defense, while also falling by just 22 points, which is the closest game for Tea Area this season.
However, the Titans were just too much. Tea Area is now 7-0 on the season and they’ve outscored their opponents by an insane 258 points this season (36.9 points per game).
Tea Area has the state’s top scoring offense (47.3 PPG) by nearly 10 points above Yankton (37.9 PPG). Defensively, they’re the best their as well as they are allowing just 10.6 points a contest.
#2 Pierre 52 – #5 Watertown 42
#3 Brookings 42 – Huron 14
#4 Yankton 48 – Sturgis 7
Spearfish 24 – Douglas 6
11AAA #2 Brandon Valley 54 – Mitchell 0
WHAT WE LEARNED
Pierre is the four-time defending state champions, which means 11AA is still their class until someone can dethrone the champs. The Governor offense remains impressive as they own the third best scoring offense in 11AA. However, their defense is giving up more than 20 points per game and that was evident this week. Watertown’s loaded offense gave the Governors some challenges. Don’t be surprised if we see some changes from coach Steve Steele. He always seems to make a few changes late in the year to prepare the Govs for a playoff run.
Brookings looks to be a contender in Class 11AA again. They sit third in the standings and rankings, which means, as of now, they’d be facing Huron in the first round and a potential state championship rematch in the semis. The Bobcats have a defense. Expect Brookings to challenge any team they face going forward with their strong defense.
Yankton’s three losses are a 12 point loss to Aberdeen Central, a three point loss to Jefferson and a 14 point loss to Pierre. The Bucks are yet another team that adds to the fun in class 11AA, but we’ll see how good the Bucks are this week. They have two narrow losses to ranked opponents, but they have zero ranked wins. Friday they’ll play in Brookings against the third-ranked team in 11AA. This will be a true test for both the Bobcats and Bucks.
Watertown’s offense can do some damage… we’ve seen four games this season where the Arrow offense has gotten into gear. 38 points at Sturgis, 26 points at Lincoln, 30 against Aberdeen and now 42 at Pierre: these games prove that the Arrows can score in bunches. Drew Norberg is a talented QB and he may have one of the state’s top wide receivers in Cole Holden. Watertown is a team that could make some noise!
#1 Madison 35 – #5 Dell Rapids 7
7-0… Madison is rolling in 11A. The Bulldogs defense slowed down a talented Dell Rapids offense this past week as they still own the top scoring defense in the class.
Madison is allowing less than 9 points per game. Dell Rapids is now the Bulldogs fourth victim to score less than ten points in a game this season.
Plus, the Madison offense is really coming into form scoring 105 points in the last three games, which includes two ranked wins.
#2 Canton 35 – Chamberlain 7
#3 Vermillion 28 – #4 West Central 26
Tri-Valley 20 – Lennox 14
11B Deuel 42 – Sisseton 0
Sioux Falls Christian 21 – Dakota Valley 20
11B St. Thomas More 35 – Belle Fourche 13
11B Lead-Deadwood 26 – Custer 6
Milbank 41 – 11B Webster Area 3
11B Hill City 26 – Lakota Tech 24
WHAT WE LEARNED
Canton and Vermillion appear to be two possible threats to Madison, but who will fill out the rest of the 11A bracket?
Dell Rapids, West Central, Sioux Falls Christian, Lennox, Tri-Valley and Milbank are fighting for five spots in the playoffs. They are separated by less than 1.4 seed points with two games left to play.
The Tanagers from Vermillion have been impressive over the past few games as they’ve picked up some nice wins. After suffering back-to-back losses to Madison and Canton, the Tanagers have rattled off three straight wins over ranked teams in Lennox, Dell Rapids and West Central.
There are some interesting games coming up this week for sure as #1 Madison plays at #4 West Central and Sioux Falls Christian hosts #2 Canton.
#1 Winner 66 – Miller-Highmore-Harrold 14
Winner is now 8-0 as they have pretty much locked up the top-seed in the class 11B playoffs.
The Warriors’ bye week is this week and so they’ll have plenty of time to get healthy if necessary and prepare for the postseason.
Winner outscored Miller-Highmore-Harrold by 52 and that has been a trend this season. The Warriors are outscoring their opponents by an average of 43 points per game.
The defending champions own a 46.25 seed point average which is by far the best in 11B. They’ll be the top-seed in the playoffs.
#2 Sioux Valley 48 – Flandreau 14
#3 Groton Area BYE
#4 Elk Point-Jefferson 38 – Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan 21
#5 McCook Central/Montrose 44 – Parker 7
Deuel 42 – 11A Sisseton 0
Clark-Willow Lake 20 – Aberdeen Roncalli 19
St. Thomas More 35 – 11A Belle Fourche 13
Beresford 28 – Baltic 0
Lead-Deadwood 26 – 11A Custer 6
11A Milbank 41 – Webster Area 3
Jim River 52 – Tripp-Delmont-Armour-AC-DC 27
Mobridge-Pollock 57 – Dakota Hills 7
Hill City 26 – 11A Lakota Tech 24
Woonsocket-Wessington Springs-Sanborn Central 40 – Rapid City Christian 0
Mt. Vernon Plankinton 54 – Wagner 26
WHAT WE LEARNED
Sioux Valley suffered a four-point loss to Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan in the season opener, but have since rattled off six straight wins. The Cossacks are tied for second in the 11B standings and they’ve got a tough Beresford team on the schedule this week. It’s a big game for Sioux Valley as a win could set them up as the number two team in 11B.
Groton Area was off this week, but the Tigers are one of the three times tied for second in the standings. The Tigers have also won six straight and they’ll play at Sisseton on Friday. Sisseton sits at 0-7 and that will actually hurt the Tigers in the standings. They’ll need some help from Mt. Vernon/Plankinton and Sioux Valley if they want the two seed.
Mt. Vernon/Plankinton is a team to keep an eye on. They’re also 6-1 this season and they could easily end up as a top-four seed. They’ve got their hands full this week though as they’ll play Woonsocket/Wessington Springs/Sanborn Central. That’s a big game as W/WS/SC is very close to MV/P.
It’s hard to mention every team, but there are a lot of teams to still keep an eye on in 11B. Elk Point-Jefferson, Beresford and Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan are some teams to watch.
#1 Hanson 32 – Canistota/Freeman 24
Hanson is now 7-0, following yet another battle for the Beavers. In back-to-back games, Hanson has needed a late score to knock off Chester Area and now Canistota/Freeman.
With another close contest, these Beavers will certainly be battle-tested as they prepare for the playoffs… but they’re not done yet.
Hanson has to face 9A #2 Howard this week and that game will certainly be a fun battle.
#2 Parkston Bye
#3 Chester Area 42 – 9A Irene-Wakonda 14
#4 Florence/Henry 34 – Elkton/Lake Benton 20
9A Gregory 28 – #5 Platte-Geddes 8
9A #2 Howard 42 – Garretson 35
Stanley County 56 – 9B Sunshine Bible Academy 6
Ipswich 62 – Leola/Frederick Area 20
Bon Homme 24 – Viborg-Hurley 18
Hamlin 28 – 9A Oldham-Ramona/Rutland 20
Lyman 50 – 9A Phillip 0
Arlington/Lake Preston 44 – Deubrook Area 12
White River 50 – 9B Jones County 0
Timber Lake 52 – 9B Faith 0
Lemmon/McIntosh 52 – Dupree 0
WHAT WE LEARNED
Despite setbacks last week, #3 Chester Area and #4 Florence/Henry each got much-needed wins this week to get back into the win column. They join Parkston as three teams that are certainly poised to give the Beavers a tough run as the favorite in 9AA.
Platte-Geddes suffered their second loss of the season as they were beaten 28-8 by Gregory. The defending 9AA champions have fallen to the eighth seed in the standings. If the playoffs began today, they’d meet Chester Area in the first round… and what a matchup that would be.
Keep an eye on Lyman, Canistota/Freeman, Hamlin and Garretson are just a few teams to watch for in 9AA.
#1 De Smet 60 – Castlewood 7
De Smet continues to impress in class 9A. They are now 7-0 on the season and they are earning an average victory of 44.7 points per game.
While their offense has been impressive, it’s the De Smet defense that has been off the charts this season as they are allowing less than four points per contest.
That talented offense, paired with a lockdown defense certainly has a lot of attention on De Smet.
#2 Howard 42 – 9AA Garretson 35
#3 Herreid/Selby Area 56 – 9B #4 Potter County 20
#4 Wall Bye
#5 Wolsey-Wessington 48 – Kimball/White Lake 13
Burke 61 – 9B Corsica/Stickney 18
9B #3 Faulkton Area 50 – North Central 14
9B #5 Hitchcock-Tulare 48 – Great Plains Lutheran 23
Britton-Hecla 62 – 9B Waverly-South Shore 7
Gregory 28 – 9AA #5 Platte-Geddes 8
9AA Hamlin 28 – Oldham-Ramona/Rutland 20
9AA Lyman 50 – Phillip 0
9AA #3 Chester Area 42 – 9A Irene-Wakonda 14
Colman-Egan 52 – 9B Estelline-Hendricks 20
9B Harding County/Bison 66 – Newell 14
Warner 44 – Northwestern 0
9B #1 Avon 76 – Centerville 42
Kadoka Area 30 – 9B New Underwood 16
WHAT WE LEARNED
Howard looked sharp again in week eight as they were in a battle with 9AA Garretson. The Blue Dragons are a talented team, but the Tigers were able to earn the narrow seven-point win. Howard is on the prowl and can be considered one of the best teams in the state with the loaded schedule that they’ve had to play. They now face 9AA #1 Hanson this week.
Herreid/Selby Area sits atop the standings in Class 9A. The Wolverines are 8-0 with a seed point average of 46.625, and they are still set to play at Phillip this week. Herreid/Selby Area is known as a team with a winning tradition and this year, they are looking to carry that tradition to the dome and if they do, they’ll do so in scoring fashion. The Wolverines are posting more than 53 points per game offensively.
Wall is another team that sits undefeated, one of four in class 9A. The Eagles have been impressive, especially defensively as they are allowing their opponents to score just 7.7 points per contest. Defense is something that can help get teams to the dome and the Wall Eagles certainly hope that is the case.
Outside of the top four, there is a load of talented teams to watch for. Warner, Wolsey-Wessington, Kadoka Area and Castlewood are a few to keep an eye on, with just one week of regular season play left.
#1 Avon 76 – Centerville 42
There is one unbeaten team in Class 9B and they’ve had some tough games, but they’ve found a way to stay unbeaten.
Avon is allowing more than 26 points per game defensively, which can be problematic, but their offense is second to none in the class.
The Pirates are posting 54.9 points per game offensively this season, which is more than 7 points better than the second place team, Hitchcock-Tulare.
The Pirates are playing some inspired offense and they are certainly a team to watch, if not the favorite in 9B.
#2 Gayville-Volin 58 – Colome 8
#3 Faulkton Area 50 – 9A North Central 14
9A #3 Herreid/Selby Area 56 – #4 Potter County 20
#5 Hitchcock-Tulare 48 – 9A Great Plains Lutheran 23
9A Burke 61 – Corsica/Stickney 18
9A Britton-Hecla 62 – Waverly-South Shore 7
9A Colman-Egan 52 – Estelline-Hendricks 20
Harding County/Bison 66 – 9A Newell 14
9A Kadoka Area 30 – New Underwood 16
9AA Timber Lake 52 – Faith 0
9AA Stanley County 56 – Sunshine Bible Academy 6
Sully Buttes 22 – Langford Area 8
9AA White River 50 – Jones County 0
WHAT WE LEARNED
If Avon isn’t the favorite, many would say that Gayville-Volin could be that team as they are playing some strong football as well. The Raiders are 5-1, with their lone loss coming to #1 Avon. Gaville-Volin is allowing just 18 points per game defensively while scoring 44. That scoring margin will certainly be a factor as they make a push for the dome.
Faulkton Area is in a similar category as Potter County. They haven’t played a loaded schedule, but they are each 6-2 and own a seed point average of over 43.
From there, Class 9B has a lot of questions about some teams. Dell Rapids St. Mary, Hitchcock-Tulare, Harding County, Sully Buttes, Alcester-Hudson are just some of the teams that make up the middle of the road in the 9B standings. 9B has had a lot of questions this year and with the depth that has been created, I think this class is as wide open as any other class in the state.