North Dakota Semifinals
R3 #1 Shiloh Christian (10-0) at R1 #1 Richland (10-0)
Saturday, November 7 2:00 pm - Richland, ND
What You need to know
This season’s Skyhawk team has been one of the most balanced teams in recent memory. Zac Martin leads an offense that has rushed for 2,676 yards and passed for 1,273 yards. Martin has been the reason they’ve been able to stay balanced. He’s rushed for 569 yards and 9 TDs and when the situation calls for passing he’s been brilliant 68/123, 1273 yds, 25 TD. Alex Delzer has been the mainstay on the ground with 878 yards and 7 TDs. Shiloh Christian played several tough teams throughout the season but even their coach Funnon Barker thinks the competition level will keep rising.
“I certainly think it helps our kids having played against so many good teams throughout the year. We haven’t seen a team this year that is a diverse and can hurt you in as many ways as Richland.”
Funnon Barker, Shiloh Christian Head Coach
The Colts may have just gotten through the toughest playoff schedule through two rounds. They first discarded the state champion Cavalier Tornadoes 52-22. Then they beat the #1 team in the state in Thompson 48-32. Give credit to Jake Ihland who has rushed for over 1500 yards and quarterback Brady Heyen who has taken the lid off of defenses finding Travor Flaa for big plays in the passing game.
R4 #1 North Prairie (10-0) at R5 #1 Hettinger-Scranton (8-2)
Saturday, November 7 - 1:30 pm – Hettinger, ND
What you need to know:
The most surprising unbeaten team left in North Dakota is probably North Prairie who went 6-4 a year ago. This season the 17 juniors and seniors on the Cougars have cashed in on potential. Jalen Pfeifer has been one of the most efficient passers in the state. He is 63/92 for 1,064 yards and 18TDs compared to only 2 interceptions. Scott Tayler has taken advantage of some great blocking to the tune of 1,236 yards and 9 TDs. Terry Motl is focused on winning the battle up front.
We need to win in the trenches on both sides of the ball and take care of what we can control. They have a tough group of running backs, but their line play has been solid in the film we have watched. It will be important to keep their lineman off our linebackers and allow them to fill. Same goes offensively. We need to communicate so that we can offset their pressure and different line schemes.
Terry Motl, North Prairie Head Coach
Despite the two regular season losses the Nighthawks took to Lemmon/McIntosh (SD) and Richardton-Taylor-Hebron, they still get to host a semifinal game. That home field advantage should help, they haven’t lost to a team in their class at home this year. The Nighthawks are unique in that they feature three different players who have double-digit touchdown totals (Isaiah Kludt, Tanner Sanford, Brandon Pierce). And they put the special in special teams with 4 kick return touchdowns and Tanner Sanford has brought back three interceptions for TDs.