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Athlete of the week: Talbott's breakout game boosts WiLdKats to 2-0 start

KIMBALL -- Just two weeks into the high school football season, Riley Talbott had his breakout game.

The 6-foot-2 senior quarterback scored five touchdowns Friday to help the Kimball/White Lake WiLdKats to a 52-20 victory over Platte-Geddes and their second win of the season.

"I kind of found my own and I felt pretty good all night," said Talbott, who is a first-year starter at the quarterback position this year. "Our routes were crisp and we're meshing pretty well as a team right now."

Talbott, a Kimball native, scored two passing and two rushing touchdowns in the win and recorded an interception, which he returned 85 yards for a score. He was 3-of-7 for 86 yards and threw both touchdowns to Gavin Olson, while running 85 yards on five carries in the game.

For his efforts, Talbott has been named The Daily Republic's athlete of the week, an award that's voted on by the newspaper's sports staff.

Talbott moved into the starting spot after Jesse Taylor graduated last year.

"Riley has really stepped up and filled our starting spot at quarterback," Kimball/White Lake head coach Dale Taylor said. "He has strong leadership and last week made some real good decisions. He showed us his potential."

Taylor said he's not surprised Talbott is succeeding early in the season because he's been at quarterback with this group of players for several years.

"I knew that connection was going to be there," he said. "I think our kids have confidence in Riley. He's a good athlete and can do some good things."

Kimball/White Lake defeated Woonsocket/Wessington Springs/Sanborn Central 24-14 in the first week of the regular season, and moved into the top five of the South Dakota Sportswriters Association poll after last week's performance. The WiLdKats are the fourth-ranked team at Class 9AA this week.

Talbott and the WiLdKats look to stay undefeated Friday when they host Gregory at 7 p.m. in White Lake.

Brooke Cersosimo
Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.