Fourth-quarter rally lifts Parkston over PGDCPARKSTON — With the aid of a strong wind, the Parkston Trojans scored 28 fourth-quarter points to defeat an upset-minded Platte-Geddes/Dakota Christian squad 28-14 Friday night in a high school football game.
By: Owen Reitzel, The Daily Republic
PARKSTON — With the aid of a strong wind, the Parkston Trojans scored 28 fourth-quarter points to defeat an upset-minded Platte-Geddes/Dakota Christian squad 28-14 Friday night in a high school football game.
“We really got the momentum in the fourth quarter,” Parkston coach Eric Norden said. “In the fourth quarter, we knew they had to pass, so we could really come after them.”
It was evident early that the wind was going to be a big factor. The Black Panthers received the opening kickoff and faced a fourth-and-2 on their own 28-yard line. On a normal night, a punt would be in order, but not on this night. The Black Panthers went for the first down but a pass fell incomplete and the Trojans took over on downs.
Parkston drove to inside the 5-yard line, but the PGDC defense held and took over on downs.
Both teams struggled and the game went into the second quarter scoreless.
The Black Panthers benefited from a 1-yard Parkston punt and opened a drive at the Trojan 28-yard line. Seven plays later, PGDC scored on a 13-yard pass from Coby Johnson to Jake Spoelstra to give PGDC a 6-0 lead at halftime.
The Black Panthers looked to take control of the contest in the third quarter, when Richard Sternberg hit Tate Van Zee on 24-yard scoring pass. When PGDC connected on the 2-point conversion, it led 14-0 with 2 minutes left in the quarter.
Parkston’s offense finally woke up.
The Trojans started the ensuing drive at their own 20-yard line. Just before the end of the quarter, Jesse Thuringer took a short pass from quarterback Zach Scott and raced to the Black Panther 13-yard line.
Parkston opened the final quarter with a 1-yard TD from Miles Semmler and pulled to within 14-7. Semmler finished with 49 yards on the ground and two touchdowns.
The wind came into play again as PGDC, on a fourth down and 20 yards to go, went for it and lost possession of the ball after an illegal man downfield penalty. The Trojans took over at the Black Panther 2-yard line.
Once again, the PGDC defense held Parkston out of the end zone and got the ball back on downs.
But on the Black Panthers’ first play, Parkston’s Andrew Semmler stole the ball out of Johnson’s arms and scored from four yards out. The kick conversion was good and the game was tied at 14.
On the next possession, Parkston forced the Black Panthers to turn the ball over on downs deep in their own territory.
Two plays later, Miles Semmler scored on a run from four yards out, and the Trojans led 21-14 with 3 minutes to play.
Parkston put the game away as Wesley Dvorak intercepted a Johnson pass and raced 30 yards for the touchdown to seal the game.
“It was rough all night long and the game was played at one end of the field,” Norden said. “Turnovers were a big part, too. We’d get a drive going and turn it over. But you have to give PGDC credit.”
The Trojans (5-2) had 134 yards rushing and 73 yards passing for 207 total yards. Parkston will be at Garretson Thursday in the regular-season finale.
Henry Wegehaupt led the Trojan defense with 6½ tackles.
“We had to be aggressive tonight and win tonight to go anywhere in the playoffs,” PGDC coach Darren DeNeui said after the game. “We had a good scheme and it worked for three quarters, but you have to play four.”
The Black Panthers (2-5) had 19 yards rushing and 120 yards passing for 139 total yards.
Drew Turnis led the PGDC defense with 10 stops. Johnson was 7-for-21 passing for 96 yards with one TD and one interception.
Platte-Geddes/Dakota Christian 14,
PGDC: Jake Spoelstra 14 pass from Richard Sternberg (run failed)
PGDC: Tate Van Zee 24 pass from Sternberg (PAT good)
P: Miles Semmler 1 run (Wes Dvorak kick)
P: Andrew Semmler 4 fumble recovery (Dvorak kick)
P: Miles Semmler 3 run (Dvorak kick)
P: Dvorak 30 interception return (Dvorak kick)