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Strong defensive effort propels Parkston past Custer

Parkston senior Mitch Heisinger (5) and junior Lane Konrad (22) break up a pass intended for Custer senior Paul Climenti during a Class 11B quarterfinal football game Monday night in Parkston. Parkston won 34–6. (Sean Ryan/Republic)

By OWEN REITZEL

The Daily Republic 

PARKSTON — Parkston’s defense once again came up big as the No. 3 Trojans defeated No. 6 Custer 34-6 in quarterfinal play in Class 11B.

Parkston held the Wildcats to 22 yards rushing on 26 carries and gave up 188 yards passing to Custer quarterback Chase Glazier.

“Our defense played great,” Trojan coach Eric Norden said. “It came against a really good team and their quarterback played a great game for Custer, and we’re happy with how we played.”

Parkston’s Miles Semmler came up with a big play, recovering a fumble on Custer’s first drive of the game.

The recovery sparked the Trojans, and it took three plays for Parkston to hit pay dirt as Semmler scampered 46 yards for a touchdown. With Wes Dvorak’s extra point, Parkston led 7-0 in the first quarter.

The Trojan defense forced another Wildcat turnover on the next drive as Mitch Heisinger intercepted a Glazier pass at the Parkston 23-yard line.

On the ensuing drive on fourth down, Parkston successfully ran a fake punt as Dvorak recorded a 32-yard run for a first down. Two plays later, Heisinger raced 34 yards for a touchdown, giving Parkston the 14-0 lead.

Custer’s best chance to score in the first half began with a kickoff return from Joel Thomsen to the 23-yard line. The Wildcats moved the ball to the Parkston 3-yard line, but the Trojans stopped Custer on a fourth-and-goal.

Parkston went on a five-minute drive that culminated with a 30-yard touchdown run by Dvorak. Parkston scored once more before the half on a 3-yard run by Semmler, taking a commanding 28-0 lead heading into halftime.

Semmler, a junior, led the Trojans on the ground with 13 carries for 99 yards and two touchdowns.

“They were keying off Mitch and in recent games sometimes I get the yards,” said Semmler. “Whoever they try to stop, the other guy gets it. We have a lot of people that can run the ball.”

Norden said Semmler’s effort was a big part of the win.

“Miles ran really hard tonight,” said Norden. “There were a lot of shirt tackles that brought him down and he was a step or two from popping a long one.”

Parkston (9-1) rushed for 348 yards and had 350 total yards.

David Voorhees led the Trojan defense with six tackles, while Heisinger had two interceptions and Semmler had a fumble recovery.

Custer head coach Russ Bailey said Parkston’s size was the difference in the game.

“They are big, fast and strong, and we were not as big as they are,” said Bailey, a former coach of the Mitchell Kernels. “If we were going to stay in this game, we knew that we had to play well. Their size and strength just overcame us.”

Custer was led defensively by Paul Climenti with six tackles.

Parkston travels to Rapid City to take on No. 2 St. Thomas More Saturday.

Notes: Parkston senior Chase Stoebner returned to action Monday after sitting on the sidelines after breaking his leg in the first half of the first game of the regular season. He came into the game in the second half and received a big applause from the crowd. He had a few carries in the win.

First Quarter

P: Miles Semmler 46 run. (Wes Dvorak kick)

P: Mitch Heisinger 34 run (Dvorak kick)

Second Quarter

P: Dvorak 30 run (Dvorak kick)

P: Semmler 3 run (Dvorak kick)

Third Quarter

P: Brady Reiff 3 run (kick fail)

C: Joel Thomsen 6 pass from Chase Glazier (pass fail)

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