SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Thursday night was South Dakota’s high school football quarterfinals. One game that’s been getting a lot of attention is the 11AA game where the Pierre Governors took on Spearfish. Pierre won but the score is the most shocking — 103 to 0.
There are seven classes in South Dakota football, three classes for 9 man and 4 classes for 11 man. Classes 11A and below all have a mercy and running clock rule, but 11AA and 11AAA.
Thursday night the Colman-Egan Hawks took on the Irene-Wakonda Eagles. The game ended in a mercy rule, with the final score being 52-0 at halftime.
“There are two parts to it, it takes part in the second half, if a team is ahead by 35 or more it goes to a running clock and only stops for like a touchdown, or an official’s time out or a team time out and then if it gets to a 50 point game, the game is just over at that point,” assistant executive director for SDHSAA, John Krogstrand said.
What that means is if the score would have been below 50 by half time, a third quarter would have been played until Colman-Egan scored another touchdown.
These two teams are in class 9B, which have the mercy rule.
Krogstrand says it’s not in the 11AA and 11AAA classes because there is a lack of support for it.
“The 11AA and 11AAA classes who give a recommendation vote and share that vote with the board of directors, who ultimately makes those decisions, have been unanimously opposed to it for basically since the mercy rule came in, they’re just not in any support, we are a member organization and members govern themselves, so the schools and their elected board have not been in favor of it so that’s where we are at with mercy rule in those larger classes,” Krogstrand said.
Krogstrand says they’ve made proposals to include the rule in all classes to the advisory committee, but it has been unanimously opposed. He says one of the reasons that has been brought up for the opposition is length of travel time.
KELOLAND News also reached out to both the Pierre and Spearfish.
The Spearfish activities director says the football advisory committee would need to review the change in AA and AAA classes to add a mercy rule.
The Pierre athletic director sent us this statement:
Pierre School District values the SDHSAA and the rules/policies they have in place. We follow those rules both in season and out. This game was not different, as it was not a game or situation that anyone would want for their team, players, coaches or fans but we feel that we did the best we could by following the rules along with trying to control the tempo, pace and score of the game by ensuring we play every player as much as possible and removing our starters early in the game. We also encourage our athletes to grow and prosper both in the classroom and on the field. Extra-curricular activities is to help foster a work ethic and build character. The Pierre football players work very hard every day in practice and I don’t believe we should ask them to do any less on the night of a game.