These teams have been here before. St. Thomas More was trying to erase the bridesmaid stigma,
having been the runner-up in five previous trips to the Dakota Dome. Parkston was just here
last season, losing the title game to Canton, 20-14. This was also a rematch of last season's
semifinal in Rapid City, where Parkston stole a win in the final seconds of the game. So,
there was plenty of motivation on both sides of the ball heading into this Friday afternoon
clash for the 2014 class 11B championship.
Parkston won the coin toss and deferred, putting the ball in St. Thomas More quarterback
Matthew Eastmo's hands to open the game. The teams started by trading punts, but on their
second possession, Eastmo's third down pass was tipped and intercepted by David Voorhees.
Parkston then embarked on an 8 play drive that was capped by a 1 yard touchdown run from
Miles Semmler. The extra point kick was good, and Parkston held a 7-0 lead at the end of the
The defenses stood strong to begin the second quarter, with the teams again trading punts.
But St. Thomas More had two big plays on their next drive, a pass to Jake Aanerud for 28
yards, and a fake punt pass from Eastmo to Alex Keegan for 38 yards that kept the drive
alive. Three plays after the fake punt, the Cavaliers were on the board when Eastmo took a
keeper up the middle for a 1 yard touchdown, that tied the game 7-7 with 7:46 left in the
Not to be outdone, Parkston took the ball and went 59 yards in 10 plays, scoring on a Blake
Bietz 3 yard touchdown run. The extra point made the score 14-7 Parkston with 1:08 left in
St. Thomas More knew they had to move the ball quickly to score before halftime, and move
quickly they did. On their second play, Eastmo completed a pass to an open Aanerud for 53
yards. On the next play, coming out of a timeout, Eastmo threw a high ball to his left, but
Travis Mills went up and caught it for a 16 yard score. That tied the game 14-14 with 39
seconds before halftime.
Parkston used their timeouts wisely and moved the ball to the Cavaliers' 32 with 4 seconds
left. Wes Dvorak then came on and hit a 50-yard field goal, setting the class 11B
championship record, as time ran out in the first half, with Parkston leading 17-14.
Parkston took the ball to start the second half, but had some trouble moving the ball, so
Dvorak tried to make something happen through the air and threw down the sideline, but Cole
Thurness was there to intercept that pass and St.Thomas More took over at their own 33 with
9:01 left in the third quarter.
Neither team was able to move the ball efficiently, but Dvorak intercepted a pass at the
Cavaliers' 49, but came down a bit wrong and left the game for the rest of the quarter. The
third quarter ended with Parkston still leading 17-14, but with Parkston threatening another
score. Five plays into the fourth quarter Dvorak took the ball on a sweep left, and got to
the pylon just before the St. Thomas More defender did to score the 5 yard touchdown. The
kick was good, and Parkston led 24-14 with 9:31 to play.
St. Thomas More wasn't quite done yet, though. They took the ball from their own 25 and used
their strong passing game to move the ball to their 44, where they had 3rd and 15. Eastmo
then laid out a nice pass down the left sideline, where PJ Freidel made a circus catch and
ran the rest of the way for the Cavalier touchdown. The extra point closed Parkston's lead to
24-21 with 6:37 to play.
Parkston tried to grind away the clock at that point, and did wind 5 minutes off the game
clock, but a 3rd and 17 halfback pass was intercepted at the St. Thomas More 45 by Alek
Keegan with 1:40 to play, but the Cavaliers had only one timeout left.
Eastmo came through again in a tight spot for St. Thomas More, completing a 3rd and 15 pass
down the middle of the field to Jake Aanderud for 31 yards to give the Cavaliers 1st down at
the Parkston 18 with 0:55 left in the game. They gained one yard in three plays, then sent
Lincoln Feist on to kick a field goal. But St. THomas More broke out of field goal formation,
and Parkston called timeout. Feist's 33 yard field goal try sailed wide left, and Parkston
won their first state football championship 24-21. Dvorak was named the Joe Robbie Most
Outstanding Player, with 113 yards rushing, a touchdown, and an interception.
SCORE BY QUARTERS 1 2 3 4-FINAL
ST. THOMAS MORE 0 14 0 7-21
PARKSTON 7 10 0 7-24
RUSHING: ST. THOMAS MORE: Eastmo 9-9-1TD; Aanderud 4-7-0TD; Mills 2-7-0TD; Fees 1-(-1)-0TD.
PARKSTON: Dvorak 19-113-1TD; Bietz 14-60-1TD; Semmler 18-54-1TD; Reiff 2-19-0TD; Rands 1-2-
PASSING: ST. THOMAS MORE: Eastmo 16-31-303-2TD-2INT. PARKSTON: Rands 2-4-35-0TD-0INT; Dvorak
0-5-0-0TD-1INT; Konrad 0-1-0-0TD-1INT.
RECEIVING: ST. THOMAS MORE: Aanderud 6-134-0TD; Keegan 4-58-0TD; Friedel 1-56-1TD; Mills 3-
41-1TD; Thurness 2-14-0TD. PARKSTON: Reiff 1-29-0TD; Dvorak 1-6-0TD.