South Dakota Class 11AA Semi-Final Preview

Sioux Falls O’Gorman at Sioux Falls Washington 2:00 PM

Washington has been dominant this year especially on defense. Dan Marlette leads the team in tackles, Sam Johnson leads the team in sacks and Nate Gerry leads the team in interceptions. Overall the defense has given up just 58 points in ten games and teams have come up with just 1.7 yards per carry. This Warrior defense will have the Knights working hard for any scoring they can muster, but head coach Brian Hermanson respects O’Gorman and their abilities,

“O'Gorman has a very physical team.  Their upfront people are as good as anybody in the state and their skilled kids play extreemely hard.  Nic Steffl is a beast!  We need to slow him down and not give up any big runs.”

O’Gorman has very little depth compared to the other Sioux Falls schools and they’ve been plagued with injuries all season. Tanner Schulte made a couple of big plays against Yankton last week but is not yet 100%. Nic Steffl will have to move the chains for O’Gorman. But it’s their defense that has been the star this year. Ryan Erickson, Mark Haiar and Isaac Althoff have been leaders on the defensive side.

I expect a similar game to the one that was played at the President’s Bowl on September 8th in which Washington won 24-0. O’Gorman’s defense was the most successful of any team against Washington’s offense this year. They’ll need another great performance like that but their offense will struggle to come up with multiple scores. Washington wins 27-7


Sioux Falls Roosevelt at Brandon Valley 7:00 PM

Roosevelt and Brandon met last year in the quarterfinals and the young upstart Lynx almost pulled off a big upset. Roosevelt made a late field goal to secure a trip to the semis and eventually won the state title. This year Brandon Valley is the favorite and hopes to hold off the young upstart Roosevelt Rough Riders.

When I asked Roosevelt Head Coach Kim Nelson what challenges the Lynx present he didn’t focus in on  the obvious choice, Brandon Valley’s potent passing attack, he said he was also worried about the Lynx tough defense,

“Brandon Valley has a great offense and a very tough defense.  Their kicking game is deep and talented.  They have few weaknesses and that's why they are undefeated.”


Brandon Valley has the senior combination of Chase Marso and Matt Vandeberg in the passing game, but if Vandeberg gets double and triple teamed, A.J. Garrow, Adam Bauer and Nate Winter have been known to make big plays. Tony Tripp shoulders the load at running back for the Lynx and will likely need a big day to keep the ball out of the Riders hands.


Roosevelt just finished playing their most complete half of football last Monday night against Lincoln. Taryn Christion looked smooth passing the ball and kept the defense off balance with his running ability. Lucas Wilbur returned to action and caught a few passes but senior running back Mikal Smith was lost for the season with a knee injury.


Look for a close game late but Brandon Valley will pull it out in the end 35-28




Filed Under Football | Varsity Sports