PIERRE-For fans of quarterbacks that can run and pass, they saw two of South Dakota's best on Friday night.
Mitchell's Kanin Nelson and Pierre's Brevin Kaiser combined for 646 yards of offense and eight touchdowns in Pierre's 41-26 Class 11AA semifinal win over Mitchell at Hollister Field in Pierre.
Kaiser scored five touchdowns to push Pierre into the state championship game. He finished with 122 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns, while passing for 219 yards and one touchdown.
"Brevin Kaiser did a great job," Mitchell head coach Kent VanOverschelde said. "Even in good coverage, he was able to make some plays."
The Pierre signal caller set the tone for the Governors throughout the game with both his arm and his legs.
"It starts with their line and he's able to do things because they're fundamentally sound," Nelson said. "He's a good buddy of mine and he's a good football player. I wish him the best."
Nelson-a South Dakota State commit-has been the Kernel quarterback for the past four seasons and led the team to its first playoff win since 2011 this season. Against Pierre, Nelson finished the game with 160 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
"Kanin is a great player but it doesn't come down to me versus him," Kaiser said. "It was Pierre versus Mitchell. We wanted to slow him and (Spencer) Neugebauer down and we were able to."
Nelson completed 8 of 14 passes for 145 yards and one touchdown in the loss. VanOverschelde said his senior quarterback may not have got enough credit throughout the season.
"There isn't any doubt he's one of the top football players to come out of Mitchell High School and I don't think you can argue that," VanOverschelde said. "His ability to make plays and his leadership is something we needed all season. He's got a future in football and he gave us some memorable performances."
Both quarterbacks look to have futures playing the game of football at the Division I level and in the same Missouri Valley Football Conference. Nelson at SDSU and Kaiser is receiving offers from D-I schools.
"I would never trade our quarterback for anything. Brevin is a special athlete and a special kid," Pierre head coach Jayson Poppinga said. "We are obviously going to miss him, just like Mitchell will miss Nelson."