PARKSTON — Anticipation was high and the crowd was ready for the matchup of undefeated Class 11B teams for homecoming Friday night in Parkston, but Mother Nature had a different plan.
After a nearly two-hour lightning delay, officials called the game between the Trojans (4-0) and the Winner Warriors (3-0) with the score tied at 0-0.
The game will restart at 5 p.m. today and will pick up with 4:17 remaining in the second quarter.
“With the amount of rain, the safety of the kids becomes a concern,” Winner coach Dan Aaker said as he stood in the Parkston gym trying to plan out his team’s trip back to Parkston today.
The National Weather Service’s Brad Adams estimated that a half-inch of rain fell in Parkston during the two-hour delay. The delay came as a surprise, as only light rain had fallen during play to that point.
As of 9:45 p.m. Friday night, the Winner team was still getting ready to head back home. The Warriors made a two-hour drive home Friday night, and Aaker said his team plans to leave at 12:45 p.m. today for their return trip.
“They got a taste of it tonight,” Aaker said. “The emotions don’t change. We just need to go home, get a good night’s sleep and come back prepared.”
The teams battled through a little more than 20 minutes Friday with defenses for both teams refusing to give up an easy yard.
“It was what most people expected. It’s ground and pound,” Parkston coach Eric Norden said just moments after the game was suspended.
Neither team was able to drive deep into opposing territory. After a series of quick drives by both teams which saw six punts combined in the first quarter and a half, the teams exchanged fumbles on consecutive plays leading up to the delay.
When play resumes, Parkston will have a 1st-and-10 at Winner’s 49-yard line.
“Playing a great team like Winner is all the motivation that’s needed,” Norden said when asked how he plans to keep his team fired up for the completion of the game today.
The officials and coaches waited as long as they could to attempt to get the game in, knowing Winner would have another two-hour bus ride to come back.
The officials stood in the rain evaluating the possibility of restarting at 9 p.m., but a few flashes of lightning and a couple crackles later, the game was suspended.
Postponed area games
Wagner vs. Beresford: To continue at 3 p.m. today in Wagner.
Tripp-Delmont/Armour vs. Marty Indian: To continue at 6 p.m. Monday in Tripp.
Avon vs. Canistota: To continue at 2 p.m. today in Canistota.