Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan repeats as champ with win over Kimball/White LakeVERMILLION — Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan withstood a second-half charge by Kimball/White Lake to defend its 9AA state title Friday.
By: Luke Hagen, The Daily Republic
VERMILLION — Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan withstood a second-half charge by Kimball/White Lake to defend its 9AA state title Friday.
The Seahawks got four first-half touchdowns and had enough late defense to beat the WiLdKats 36-24 at the DakotaDome in Vermillion.
Kimball/White Lake pulled within 14 points on two occasions in the second half after trailing by 30 points in the first half.
“A little too late,” Kimball/White Lake coach Dale Taylor said. “It was a good second half for us.”
The Seahawks, who won their fifth 9AA state title since the class’ inception in 1999, were outgained in total yardage 384-345.
“There’s never any quit in any of coach Taylor’s teams,” said Seahawks coach Jeff VanLeur, whose team finished its season 11-1.
Kimball/White Lake’s Trevor Reinesch scored on a 1-yard touchdown to open the second half and pull the WiLdKats to 30-16.
The Seahawks answered on their next drive, when senior running back Kendall Lindeman rushed for a 30-yard touchdown. Lindeman finished with 123 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries and was named the game’s outstanding back.
Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan led by 20 points for nearly the rest of the game, until Kimball/White Lake quarterback Jesse Taylor threw a heave to Trevor Reinesch in the back of the end zone with four seconds remaining.
Reinesch rushed for 71 yards on 14 carries, but his biggest play was the finger-tip catch for the game’s final score.
Lindeman returned the game’s opening kickoff to Kimball/White Lake’s 24-yard line, and Jace Connor threw an 18-yard touchdown to Seth Wethor on fourth-and-4 to put the Seahawks on top 8-0.
Connor was given the game’s Joe Robbie MVP award. The sophomore quarterback rushed for 127 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries and threw for 62 yards and a touchdown.
The Seahawks got their second touchdown on fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line in the second quarter. Lindeman used a second effort to punch through a row of Kimball/White Lake defenders for a 16-0 lead.
“We’ve been here three straight years and we kind of know how to come into these games,” Lindeman said. “We knew not to come in here all tense and to just play our game.”
Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan scored 22 points in the second quarter. After Lindeman’s score, the Seahawks’ defense forced a Jesse Taylor fumble, and linebacker Anthony Huber picked up the loose ball and returned it 60 yards for a score.
On the Seahawks’ next offensive possession, Connor hit Ryan Hanks for a 31-yard gain, setting up a 16-yard touchdown run from Connor for a 30-0 lead.
“We couldn’t withstand that second quarter,” Taylor said.
The WiLdKats, who finished 9-3 in their first year of a cooperative, finally got on the board with 19 seconds left in the first half. Taylor threw a perfect ball to Reinesch down the middle of the field to give the team some momentum going into halftime.
Seth Carsten led Kimball/White Lake in rushing with 21 carries for 84 yards and Taylor had 79 yards rushing and 145 yards through the air.
NOTES: Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan’s Adrien Heiter, a 5-foot-7 senior, earned the game’s outstanding lineman award. …Jace Connor’s older brother, Jordon, was the Joe Robbie MVP in last year’s state title victory for Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan, a 48-34 victory over Viborg/Hurley.
Bridgewater-Emery-Ethan 36, Kimball-White Lake 24
Kimball-White Lake 0 8 8 8 - 24
Bridgewater-Emery-Ethan 8 22 6 0 - 36
BEE-Wethor 18 pass from Connor (Lindeman run), 10:04.
BEE-Lindeman 1 run (Hanks pass from Connor), 10:43.
BEE-Huber 60 fumble return (Huber run), 6:51.
BEE-Connor 16 run (pass failed), 3:38.
KWL-Reinish 26 pass from Taylor (Taylor run), :19.
KWL-Reinish 1 run (Taylor run), 4:32.
BEE-Lindeman 30 run (pass failed), 2:25.
KWL-Reinish 33 pass from Taylor (Norwood run), :04.
First downs 23 15
Rushes-yards 48-239 40-283
Passing yards 145 62
Return yards 6-61 9-182
Passes 12-19-1 3-6-0
Punts 0-0 3-26
Penalties-yards 9-76 7-57
Time of Possession 29:01 18:55
RUSHING-KWL, Carsten 21-84, Taylor 11-79, Reinish 14-71, Konechne 1-5, Peters 1-0; BEE, Connor 13-127, Lindeman 11-123, Huber 13-36, Herrick 1-0.
PASSING-KWL, Taylor 12-18-1-145; Reinish 0-1-0-0; BEE, Connor 3-6-0-62.
RECEIVING-KWL, Reinish 3-56, Peters 3-31, Carsten 2-22, Konechne 1-16, Blasius 2-11, Schroeder 1-9; BEE, Hanks 1-30, Wethor 1-18, Herrick 1-14.