South Dakota Semifinals
#4 Groton Area (8-2) at #1 Winner (10-0)
Saturday, November 7 at 6:00 pm - Winner, SD
Common Opponent “Parkston”
Groton lost 9-0 ; Winner won 43-0 and 46-0
What You need to know
The Tigers defense has kept them in games all season. They’ve allowed just 12.1 points per game. Shaun Wanner has done a great job getting Groton into the final four. They didn’t have a ton of experience back entering the season. It was Bennett Shabazz who threw a game winning touchdown to Hunter Lerew to defeat Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan on Monday night. Their reward is to hit the road and play unbeaten Winner.
Winner has taken on all comers this year and squashed them all. Defense is the name of the game in Winner. They’ve yet to allow two scores in a game this year. The average score is Winner 51 points per game, opponents 2 points per game.
We have been led by our defense all year. We have good team speed and our guys have done a really good job of swarming to the football this season. We are plus 21 on giveaway-takeaways which has certainly helped our cause. – Dan Aaker, Winner Head Coach
Krocket Krolikowski could be the MVP in this class for what he’s done on defense. He’s registerd 6.5 sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss as well as 3 pass breakups. The rest of the defense could be one of the best this class has seen in a long time. Offensively the Warriors spread the ball out to four different backs, Cameron Kuil (679 yds 12 TD), Windsor Barry (640 yds, 14 TD), Riley Frazier (636 yds, 12 TD), and Kayleb Brozik (461 yds 8TD). Drew DeMers (24/40, 567 yds, 11 TD) hasn’t had to throw the ball much this year but he definitely can if needed. The only question may be their strength of schedule. They’ve played just three teams with records above .500. But they’ve dominated even in those games.
#7 Tri-Valley (6-4) at #6 Sioux Valley (7-3)
Saturday, November 7 – 6:00 pm – Volga, SD
What you need to know:
The Mustangs may be the most boring team in the class, but that’s just how Coach Steve Bazata wants it.
We have developed good depth as the season has gone on. Our defense has played well against a tough schedule. Sorry, our team isn’t that interesting.
-Steve Bazata, Tri-Valley Head Coach
The backfield features sophomore Landon Freeman (126 att, 892 yds 6 TD) and senior Brenton Hanisch (153 att, 815 yds, 10 TD). They have a massive offensive line with tackles Brady Johnson (6-5, 270), Austin Leuning (6-3, 296) on each end and Austin Falor (5-10, 185), Alex Gonzales (6-0, 225) and Wilie Heiberger (5-10, 245) in the middle. Sophomore quarterback Noah Jewett (22/46, 337 yds, 3 TD) has really improved as the season has matured. He paces the offense with great misdirection execution but is able to hit some big plays in the passing game as an added dimension. If the Mustangs are to keep advancing they’ll have to keep playing great defense. Tye Klinnert, Alex Van Asselt and Alex Gonzales have been the leaders in tackles.
The Cossacks came into the season with big hopes and they’ve excelled all the way to the semis. Head Coach Dan Hughes knows it’s taken a lot of hard work to get where they are.
The strengths of our team this year have been our unity and mental toughness. We have been put through a tough schedule with outstanding opponents who have put our team in many challenging situations. Our players have excelled in these situations and have grown closer, tougher and more focused than ever.- Dan Hughes, Sioux Valley Head Coach
They hope that tough schedule pays off as they meet Tri-Valley Saturday. Sophomore Daymein Lucas (53/99, 743 yds, 9 TD) has given them some steady play which is more than you can ask from an underclassmen. Brock Swartos (197 rush, 1,164 yds, 15 TD) has been as good as advertised and he’s had help from junior Matt Larson (131 rush, 766 yds, 5 TD) in the running game. Those two running backs also lead the team in tackles on defense. Also look for future DWU basketball player Colin Kramer to make big plays on the d-line and in the passing game.