VERMILLION, S.D. (KELO) — Championships are earned and Friday night, the four-time defending 11AA State Champion Pierre Governors needed a dramatic second half comeback, capped off by Cole Peterson’s 40 yard field as time expired to give Pierre the 30-27 victory, as the Governors earned their 5th straight 11AA State Championship.
Things couldn’t have started worse for the Governors as they fumbled the opening kickoff and Tea Area quickly capitalized on that with a Cael Lundin touchdown to take an early 7-0 lead.
The Titans would continue to click early as Lundin would double up their lead with a 32 yard touchdown pass to Gabe Grant.
Pierre’s deficit would grow larger as Lundin would tally his 3rd touchdown of the half on a 12 yard run with 3:12 left in the 2nd quarter as the Titans led 21-0.
The Governors would gain a little momentum heading into halftime as Lincoln Kienholz punched it in from 3 yards out as Pierre trailed 21-7 at the half.
Tea Area would take the opening drive of the second half 58 yards for another touchdown, but the extra point was no good, making it a 27-7 game.
That provided Pierre with just enough of an opening to make its run.
It started out with a Kienholz to Jett Zabel 48 yard touchdown to cut the lead to 13 with 5:54 to go in the 3rd quarter.
The Governors would inch closer as Zabel hauled in his 2nd touchdown of the game, a 35 yarder to make it a one-score game late in the 3rd quarter as they trailed 27-21.
For much of the 4th quarter neither team could get much going as it remained a 6 point Titan lead with 6:31 to play. That’s when Kienholz shined brightest, putting together a 9-play, 66-yard drive and capping it off with a 2 yard touchdown run to tie the game at 27, with the go ahead extra point pending.
But the Titans would rise to the challenge and block the point after, keeping the game tied at 27.
Tea Area would get the ball and get all the way to the Governor 35 before Jacob Mayer made a spectacular interception 0:37 left. The call was initially ruled incomplete but replay overturned the call.
Kienholz and company would drive all the way to the Titans 23 to set up the game winning field attempt for Cole Peterson.
And the senior drilled it.
As Peterson’s kick gives Pierre its 5th straight 11AA Championship 30-27 over Tea Area.