The 9A championship was set between a disciplined team with several recent titles in the Canistota Hawks, and a team that has come close several times in recent years in the Sully Buttes Chargers. This game was all Jerad Nielsen from the word go.
After Sully Buttes' initial possession was stalled by three straight incomplete passes, Canistota took over at their own 26 and drove the ball 74 yards in 13 plays, capped by the first of Jerad Nielsen's five touchdowns from 9 yards out. The conversion attempt failed, and Canistota had a 6-0 lead with 5:33 left in the first quarter.
Sully Buttes got a few nice carries from Brady Hill on their next possession, but the drive was thwarted by an untimely false start penalty, and they punted. Six plays later, Canistota found pay dirt again when Shay Jolley found Drew Seubert alone in the corner of the end zone for the 16-yard touchdown pass. The conversion again failed, and Canistota led 12-0 with 2:05 left in the opening stanza.
Canistota continued their tough defense, and Sully Buttes was again three-and-out on their next possession. On the next play, Shay Jolley found his brother Scott alone on a post route, and hit him in stride for the 60-yard TD pass. This time the conversion was good, and Canistota held a 20-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Sully Buttes had the ball to open the second quarter, and Shiloh Perkins gave the Chargers their first first down of the game, but the drive stalled at the Canistota 48 yard line, and Sully Buttes punted again. The Hawks took one play for Nielsen to score from 60 yards out to make the score 28-0 with 11:37 left in the second.
But Canistota was far from done. After another Charger drive stalled out, Canistota took the ball and drove to the Sully Buttes 32, before a Shay Jolley pass was tipped and intercepted by Perkins. Sully Buttes again was three-and-out, and Canistota again had a one-play drive, a 90-yard TD run from Nielsen. The conversion failed, and after an interception return for a TD by Seubert, Canistota led 42-0 at the half.
In the second half, it was more Canistota rushing. The Hawks took the halftime kickoff and took nine plays to score again on a 6-yard Shay Jolley keeper. The conversion was good, and Canistota led 50-0. A swing pass from Sully Buttes quarterback Scott Senftner was jumped by Nielsen, who intercepted the pass and ran 37 yards for another touchdown. The conversion failed, and Canistota led 56-0 with at the end of the third quarter.
Canistota ran out the clock from there – despite a 41-yard touchdown pass from Scott Senftner to Cody Nelson for Sully Buttes with 3:23 to play to put the Chargers on the board – to take home their fourth state championship in the last six years with a 56-8 win. Jerad Nielsen was named the Joe Robbie Most Outstanding Player scoring five total touchdowns, rushing 15 times for 255 yards and 3 TDs, catching two passes for 34 yards and another touchdown, to add to his interception return for a touchdown in the second half.
SCORE BY QUARTERS 1 2 3 4-FINAL
SULLY BUTTES 0 0 0 8- 8
CANISTOTA 20 22 14 0- 56
RUSHING: SULLY BUTTES: Hill 12-46-0TD; Perkins 4-15-0; Nelson 1-3-0; Kleven 2-1-0; Buckles 1-0-0; Senftner 2-(-3) Weinheimer 1-(-5)-0. CANISTOTA: Nielsen 15-255-3TD; Sh. Jolley 9-53-1; Kaufman 8-35-0; Rotert 1-8-0; Sc. Jolley 2-(-6)-0.
PASSING: SULLY BUTTES: Senftner 8-26-73-1TD-2INT. CANISTOTA: Sh. Jolley 6-10-134-2TD-1INT.
RECEIVING: SULLY BUTTES: Nelson 2-51-1TD; Hofer 3-20-0; Hill 1-2-0; Perkins 1-1-0; Feller 1-(-1)-0. CANISTOTA: Sc. Jolley 1-66-1TD; Nielsen 2-34-0; Seubert 1-16-0; Fairchild 1-10-0; Rotert 1-8-0.