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Cougars deny Bon Homme repeat title

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Bon Homme's Noah Heesch (6) slips out of the attempted tackles of Viborg-Hurley's Cole Overgard (30) and Shane Harms (89) while carrying the ball during the class 9AA state championship on Thursday at Dana J. Dykhouse in Brookings.

BROOKINGS -- Viborg-Hurley gave Bon Homme a taste of its own medicine and it was bitter.

A year after the No. 2 Cavaliers captured the Class 9AA state championship behind 35 unanswered points and 369 total yards from quarterback Joey Slama, the Cougars scored 32 consecutive points behind Chase Mason’s Class 9AA title game record 416 yards and six touchdowns en route to a 50-24 win on Thursday.

Bon Homme was seeking back-to-back state championships for the second time in school history, but it was top-seeded Viborg-Hurley that left Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium with a 12-0 record and its first state title as a consolidated school.

“(Mason) is definitely a pretty special kid,” Bon Homme head coach Byron Pudwill said, “but we’ll look back at this as a pretty special two years. Any kid in South Dakota would love the opportunity to play in two state championship games and win 21 games. We’re going to try and focus on that and look at the positives.”

The first quarter was defensive-minded as Bon Homme led 2-0 after a bad snap on a punt led to a safety for Viborg-Hurley. The game opened up in the second quarter, as the teams lit up the scoreboard for five touchdowns in the second, but the Cougars took an 18-16 lead into halftime when Mason bolted 73 yards for a score with 1 minute, 8 seconds left.

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The Cavaliers regained momentum and the lead when Noah Heesch ran 74 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter, but that proved to be the final blow Bon Homme had to offer.

Mason led Viborg-Hurley down the field on the ensuing possession, and on fourth-and-goal from the 7-yard line, he weaved through the Cavalier defense and powered across the goal line. Mason connected with Angel Johnson in the corner of the end zone on the two-point conversion to give the Cougars a 26-24 lead and never looked back.

Mason finished 14 of 22 passing for 220 yards and three touchdowns, along with 14 rushes for 196 yards and three scores, including an 80-yard romp to put Viborg-Hurley up 34-24 with 3:29 left in the third that cemented winning the Jim Langer MVP and offensive back of the game awards.

"We knew they were wearing down and we just couldn't quit,” Mason said. “Once we started scoring on them, we knew they were going to quit and keep going back at them."

While the Cougars were humming in the second half, the Bon Homme offense began to sputter. Following Heesch’s touchdown run, the Cavaliers were limited to 85 yards and six first downs for the remainder of the game.

Bon Homme was forced to throw the ball more than preferred and Viborg-Hurley held quarterbacks Josh Crownover and Riley Rothschadl to a combined 6 of 18 for 71 yards and an interception in the final 24 minutes.

“We weren’t able to move the ball forward,” Crownover said. “We made stupid, bad mistakes here and there. Those little things can cause a play to totally erupt and it can also cause turnovers and negative yardage. That’s something we just can’t have.”

Crownover finished the game 12 of 24 for 177 yards and two interceptions, while rushing for a touchdown. He also caught a touchdown pass from Rothschadl and recorded nine tackles and two sacks on defense. Heesch added 109 yards and a touchdown on nine carries.

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Three of Shane Andersen’s four catches resulted in touchdowns, while accumulating 108 yards and two sacks on defense. Mason led Viborg-Hurley with 11 tackles on defense.

Bon Homme finishes the season 10-2.

Notes: Viborg-Hurley’s Ethan Engen was named the lineman of the game. … Instant replay confirmed Mason’s 7-yard touchdown rush in the third quarter.

Scoring summary

First quarter

BH: Safety

Second quarter

VH: Riley Rothschadl pass from Joshua Crownover (Crownover kick)

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VH: Shane Andersen pass from Chase Mason (pass failed)

BH: Crownover 8 run (Crownover kick)

VH: Mason 73 run (pass failed)

Third quarter

BH: Noah Heesch 74 run (Nate Scieszinski run)

VH: Mason 7 run (Angel Johnson pass from Mason)

VH: Mason 80 run (Andersen pass from Mason)

Fourth quarter

VH: Carter Gust 29 run (Johnson run)

VH: Andersen pass from Mason 1 (Mason run)

PASSING (C-A-INT-YDS): VH: Mason 14-22-0-220; BH: Crownover 12-24-2-177.

RUSHING (ATT-YDS): VH: Mason, 14-210, Gust 13-74, Angel Johnson 6-20; BH: Noah Heesch 9-109, Crownover 15-45, Scieszinski 2-9, Riley Rothschadl 2-0.

RECEIVING (REC-YDS): VH: Andersen 4-108, Gust 3-20, Johnson 3-14, Justin Harms 2-41, Tate Kessler 1-38. BH: Scieszinski 5-50, Heesch 3-67, Jac Conrad 2-34, Crownover 2-15, Connor Peters 2-5, Rothschadl 1-28, Cole Bares 1-9, Kaleb Kubal 1-7.

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