Parkston falls to Aberdeen RoncalliABERDEEN — Aberdeen Roncalli used the start it was hoping for to produce the finish it desired at Swisher Field Monday night. The unbeaten Cavaliers scored on their first three possessions, bottled up the Parkston running attack and claimed a 35-7 victory during the quarterfinals of the Class 11B football playoffs.
By: BY DAVE VILHAUER, Aberdeen American News
ABERDEEN — Aberdeen Roncalli used the start it was hoping for to produce the finish it desired at Swisher Field Monday night. The unbeaten Cavaliers scored on their first three possessions, bottled up the Parkston running attack and claimed a 35-7 victory during the quarterfinals of the Class 11B football playoffs.
“I thought defensively, we did a really good job up front, took away a lot of things that they wanted to do,” said Roncalli coach Terry Dosch.
After the Trojans got a first down on the first play of the game, the visitors could not muster another one until late in the second quarter. By then, Roncalli owned a 21-0 lead.
“What we’ve been doing all year is stopping the run and playing good ‘D,’ “ said Roncalli senior lineman Chris Hilzendeger. “We knew that if we just kept our heads in it, played smart and pulled together, that they couldn’t run on us.”
While Parkston’s offense had trouble moving the ball, Roncalli had no such issues when its offense took the field. The Cavaliers found a play that worked time and time again: a little pass out in the flats that produced the first touchdown of the game when Zach Lundquist hooked up with Lucas Lorenz for a 19-yard score.
Roncalli used that same pass for a 25-yard gain to fuel its second scoring drive that was capped by Cox on a 1-yard run.
“It’s something that we like to do and our kids executed well,” Dosch said of the short pass that often turned into big yardage. “You have to find something that will work when other things aren’t.”
Roncalli tacked on another TD on its third possession that included a nifty hook-and-lateral for 34 yards. The drive concluded when Lundquist spotted Layne Holzer on a 3-yard strike.
“We made some mistakes early. We just didn’t make the adjustments we needed to at the right time,” said Parkston coach Eric Norden. “One of the big things we had a problem with was getting off the field defensively. It puts you in a hole right away and that’s kind of where we were at.”
Roncalli began the second half with a methodical drive that chewed nearly eight minutes off the clock. While the Cavaliers did not score on that possession, it all but secured a trip to the semifinals.
Roncalli eventually tacked on another TD when Lundquist hit Lorenz on a pass to the flats again early in the fourth quarter for a 27-0 lead. Parkston got on the board when Wes Dvorak hauled in an 18-yard pass from Zach Scott with 9:37 remaining.
However, the Cavaliers showed it was definitely their night on the next possession. When the Trojans forced Roncalli to punt, Lorenz booted a beauty that appeared headed for the end zone before it took a hard left turn and went out at the 2-yard line.
Lorenz finished the night with 28 yards rushing, 118 yards receiving and three touchdowns. His last TD (another pass from Lundquist) was set up by that punt after teammate Tyson Mitzel intercepted a pass at the Parkston 4-yard line.
Lundquist passed for 181 yards and four touchdowns in the contest. Scott finished the night with 94 yards passing to lead Parkston, which had its seven-game winning streak snapped in the setback.
“The guys did everything they could. They fought all night long,” Norden said. “I have to give them credit for that.”
Roncalli, 10-0, now takes on Tri-Valley (9-1) at Colton in the semifinals on Saturday. The other semifinal pits Flandreau at Winner in a matchup of two unbeatens.
“(Class) 11B is loaded. The four teams that are in the semis are 39-1 and they wouldn’t have that loss if they wouldn’t have played each other,” Dosch pointed out. “As far as competition, top to bottom, there is no division like 11B this particular year.”