DEAL: Playoff fever reaches quarterfinal round
We can only hope the playoffs are as unpredictable as South Dakota’s weather.
Blizzard-like conditions altered Thursday’s first-round playoff action, forcing start times to be staggered and pushing games to Friday. But a flurry of football action across two days warmed everybody up.
Playoff pairings were still in limbo Friday night, but here’s a look at what we know and some notes before Oct. 29’s next slate of games.
Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan made it 21 straight wins, dominating Lead-Deadwood (53-0) on Thursday. Next up is Woonsocket/Wessington Springs/Sanborn Central, 33-0 winners on Friday against Sisseton. The Seahawks always gain steam as the season progresses, and they seem to be trending in that direction again. On the other half of the bracket, Winner will host McCook Central/Montrose in a battle of rushing-heavy teams. The Warriors, who racked up 268 rushing yards on Thursday, like to run the ball. Behind bruising running back Jacobi Krouse, the Fighting Cougars similarly favor running the ball.
Area teams -- Platte-Geddes (9-0) and Hanson (7-2) -- will square off in the quarterfinals. The Black Panthers are coming off a 36-0 win over Bon Homme, while Hanson topped Parkston 34-22 in the playoff opener. The teams didn’t play this season, but the Black Panthers edged Hanson (26-22) in last year’s playoff opener. Platte-Geddes then had its season ended by eventual state champs, Viborg-Hurley, in the quarterfinals. The Platte-Geddes vs. Hanson winner will likely face Viborg-Hurley in this year’s semifinals.
Perhaps the most intriguing matchup involves a pair of Lake Region Conference foes. Warner hosts Ipswich/Edmunds Central in what we can hope will be a repeat of the Sept. 18, which saw the Monarchs earn a 25-24 victory. It was Warner’s closest game of the season, while it was just Ipswich-Edmunds Central’s second defeat. The Tigers also lost to Class 9B No. 1 Herreid/Selby Area. Cornbelt Conference powers -- Howard and Canistota/Freeman -- scored impressive wins in the opening round, putting them perhaps on track for a semifinal clash on Nov. 6.
No. 1-ranked Wolsey-Wessington made a big statement in the first round, blanking No. 2 ranked Langford Area (44-0) on Friday. The Warbirds will now face Corsica-Stickney in the quarterfinals. Herreid/Selby Area and Colman-Egan both picked up wins in the first round, setting up a rematch of last year’s Class 9B title tilt. Last season, Colman-Egan defeated Herreid/Selby Area (58-6) in the state championship. But this year’s contest will be played on the Wolverines’ home field.