Fans knew they'd get a good game in the class 11B championship. After all, 11B is
usually the most wide-open class in terms of number of contenders each year, as well as
in overall talent levels. Parkston had won the regular season game these teams played
Sept. 6 21-14 in Parkston. That was Canton's only loss on the season, and had gone on
the road to knock off the top two ranked teams in the previous two rounds (Roncalli in
the quarterfinals, Winner in the semifinals). Now this pair of one-loss teams were
paired again in the Dakota Dome in Vermillion to play for the state championship.
Canton took the opening kickoff and surprised the masses when quarterback Cody Majeres
completed a 47 yard pass to Andrew Semmler. That put the ball at Parkston's 21-yard
line. But the Trojans' defense held Canton, and Bryne Ratcliffe attempted a 32 yard
field goal, which missed wide right.
Parkston then took the ball and drove to the Canton 32 before Josh Rands completed a
pass to Brady Reiff that went for a 32 yard touchdown to open the scoring. Wes Dvorak's
extra point was good, and Parkston led 7-0 with 6:26 left in the first quarter. Canton
was unable to solve Parkston's defensive size advantage, and punted. Parkston committed
their first turnover of the game on the next play when Miles Semmler fumbled, and Canton
recovered at the Parkston 25 yard line.
It took the C-Hawks four plays to score a touchdown of their own, when Kyler Kniffen ran
to the right, made a great cut up the field and scored on a 15-yard run. Ratcliffe's
kick this time was good, and the game was tied 7-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Parkston seemed poised to re-take the lead early in the second quarter, but Mitch
Heisinger fumbled on a handoff, which Canton recovered for their second takeaway of the
game. Canton wasn't able to move the ball from their own 7-yard line, and punted.
Parkston committed their third turnover of the game on their next drive when Dvorak
threw a pass that was intercepted by Eli Ripley. Neither team was able to solve the
other's defense and the half ended with the score deadlocked at 7.
Canton attempted an onside kickoff to open the second half, but Parkston's Dillon
Stadlman fell on the loose ball, giving Parkston possession at their own 48. The Trojans
were able to drive to the Canton 24 where the drive stalled. Dvorak attempted a 41-yard
field goal which had plenty of distance, but sailed wide left.
Canton decided to wear down Parkston's front line by pounding the ball inside for 3-5
yard gains. On 3rd and 8 from Parkston's 41, Majeres threw a screen to Gabe Dolen that
went for 35 yards. A facemask penalty on that play put the ball at the Parkston 3. Two
plays later, Schreurs cracked through the Parkston goal line defense to give Canton
their first lead of the game, 14-7 at the end of the third quarter.
Parkston punted to open the fourth quarter, and Canton took the ball at their own 49,
but couldn't do anything with the ball in three plays, and called a strategic timeout on
fourth down. Canton quickly lined up out of that timeout in standard formation, and ran
the ball for 28 yards for a first down on the Parkston 16. Six plays later, Canton had a
two-score lead when Tanner Broughton plunged in from a yard out. The conversion failed,
and Canton led 20-7 with 6:08 to play.
From there, Canton turned the defense level to 11. Parkston got the ball back on an
interception from Austin Bertram with 3:13 to play, and then Zach Scott completed a pass
to Reiff for 39 yards to make it first and goal from Canton's 7-yard line. On 4th down,
Bertram scored on a 3-yard touchdown run. The extra point from Dvorak made the score 20
-14 canton with 1:35 to play. The ensuing onside kick failed because Parkston touched
the ball before it went 10 yards. Parkston still had one timeout, but Canton had the
ball at the Parkston 49 yard line. Canton ran out the clock from there and captured
their second state championship, and first at the 11B class. Majeres was named Joe
Robbie Most Outstanding Player by hitting 5 of 6 passes for 102 yards.
SCORE BY QUARTERS 1 2 3 4-FINAL
CANTON 7 0 7 6-20
PARKSTON 7 0 0 7-14
RUSHING: CANTON: Dolen 16-97-0TD; Broughton 13-43-1; Schruers 4-22-1; Kniffen 4-21-1;
Majeres 11-11-0. PARKSTON: Dvorak 6-66-0TD; Heisinger 11-51-0; Semmler 7-39-0; Bertram
1-3-1; Scott 1-2-0; Stoebner 2-(-2)-0.
PASSING: CANTON: Majeres 5-6-102-0TD-1INT. PARKSTON: Scott 3-7-46-0TD-0INT; Rands 1-1-
32-0-0; Dvorak 0-1-0-0-1.
RECEIVING: CANTON: Ripley 2-56-0TD; Dolen 1-35-0; Jennings 1-6-0; Schruers 1-5-0.
PARKSTON: Reiff 2-71-1TD; Heisinger 1-7-0.