Red beats Blue in SD All-Star game
ABERDEEN -- Whether competing for a Super Bowl or just simply trying to win an All-Star game, football comes down to making plays and on Wednesday night at Swisher Field, the Red squad made a few more than the Blue.
From scoring on extra points, to converting on key third-down situations, the Red came up big when it mattered most to fuel a 24-18 victory during the South Dakota High School All-Star Game.
Chase Marso had his fingerprints and his footprints all over the game. The former Brandon Valley standout passed for 55 yards and a touchdown, kicked three PATs, and booted a career-best 46-yard field goal.
"It must have been the long rest of the summer with not kicking," Marso tried to explain for the impressive field goal. "I even kicked a 55-yarder out here in walkthrough this morning."
Those six points off of Marso's foot proved to be the difference.
The Blue had an equal amount of touchdowns, but could not convert on any of its PATs.
Still, the Blue made a game out of it with 12 fourth-quarter points.
"We just had to get good field position," said Blue quarterback Lincoln Swenson of Deuel, who helped to fuel the comeback. "We kept our heads up and worked hard."
The Blue still had a chance, trailing by six when it forced the Red into a 3rd-and-12 with 3:44 left on the Red 23-yard line. However, Andrew McCuen, of Harrisburg, scrambled away from defenders and eventually spotted Erik Hiltunen, of Custer, for a first down that all but ended the Blue comeback bid.
"He's a good player," the Blue's Brady Brockel, of Eureka-Bowdle, said of McCuen. "He's harder than heck to tackle. We had him flushed and then I thought we were going to be good to go, but it just didn't work out for us, I guess."
McCuen also played a key role in the Red's victory by passing for 129 yards and a touchdown to his high school teammate Trevor DeSchepper.
Tyler Gerdes, of Viborg-Hurley, hauled in the Marso TD strike and Mason Leiseth, of Hamlin, also scored for the Red.
The Blue received touchdowns from Case Wiarda, of Castlewood, who caught a pass from Kaleb Vig, of Brookings, and on runs from Kodi Larson, of Bon Homme, and Blake Reynolds, of Parker.
While All-Star games are known for fun and camaraderie, Dakota Valley's Taylor Lambert also provided some pad-popping hits for the Red on the way to a game-high seven tackles.
"I guess that's what fun is to me," Lambert said. "You get out there and try your hardest and what happens, happens. If you end up hitting someone hard, I guess that's a good thing."
Still, Lambert and his teammates said the final outcome was secondary to the events of the week.
"It's always fun to win, but the real reason we came up here was the relationships we made," Lambert said. "It was really fun. I talked to kids from both Red and Blue. We all ate lunch together. I just made a lot of friends up here."
Brockel said just playing in the game provided plenty of memories for him.
"It's an honor. It's great to be chosen for this," Brockel said. "It's a loss, but you know what, we're all winners for being able to come here."
Red 6 17 7 0--24
Blue 6 0 0 12--18
Blue -- Case Wiarda 36 pass from Kaleb Vig (run failed), 9:10.
Red -- Tyler Gerdes 12 pass from Chase Marso (Marso kick), 10:46.
Red -- Mason Leiseth 1 run (Marso kick), 3:45.
Red -- Marso 46 field goal, 0:00.
Red -- Trevor DeSchepper 26 pass from Andrew McCuen (Marso kick), :51.
Blue -- Kodi Larson 16 run (run failed), 11:30.
Blue -- Blake Reynolds 1 run (run failed), 4:51.
RUSHING--Red, Jacob Patterson 9-44, Tanner Lambert 6-36, Andrew McCuen 7-24, Tyler Trask 5-19, Mason Leiseth 2-4, Logan Koopman 1-5, Chase Marso 1-(-6), Tyler Gerdes 1-(-7); Blue, Nicolas Steffl 14-63, Lincoln Swenson 8-34, Kodi Larson 3-18, Kaleb Vig 2-15, Blake Reynolds 5-14, Trevor Reinesch 6-12, Andrew Rithmiller 2-3.
PASSING--Red, Andrew McCuen 7-10-0 for 129, Chase Marso 5-9-1 for 55; Blue, Lincoln Swenson 1-3-0 for 60, Kaleb Vig 2-5-1 for 35, Kyle Bertram 1-1-0 for 7.
RECEIVING--Red, Tyler Gerdes 4-67, Trevor DeSchepper 2-45, Austin Opdahl 1-21, Erik Hiltunen 1-20, Mitchell Nissen 2-18, Matthew VandeBerg 2-13; Blue, Nick Larson 1-60, Case Wiarda 1-36, Kaleb Vig 1-7, Trevor Reinesch 1-(-1).
TACKLES--Red, Taylor Lambert 7, Cy Norton 5, Cody Bonte 5, Dominick Burggraff 5; Blue, Taylor Tol 6 (plus interception), Brady Brockel 4, Hayden Hooks 4, Zach Page 4.