BRIDGEWATER-Preparation propelled the Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan Seahawks back into the Class 11B state title game.
The Seahawks topped Mount Vernon/Plankinton 41-6 and will now face Sioux Falls Christian in a rematch of last season's state title game at the DakotaDome in Vermillion.
On Friday, the Seahawks were clicking in every phase of the game and it started in practice leading into the contest.
"We had a lot of intensity during practice and when we have a lot of intensity, it carries over into the games and we just got that momentum," senior defensive lineman Carter Dye said.
The Seahawks (10-1) turned the highly-anticipated Class 11B semifinal contest into a rout early. BEE pounced on six MVP turnovers and held the Titans to just 169 yards of total offense.
"We capitalized and that was probably the biggest key of the game," BEE senior running back/defensive back Jamin Arend said. "They couldn't hold onto the ball and we recovered and we held onto it for a long time."
The Seahawks racked up 363 total yards and possessed the ball for almost 29 minutes. Quarterback Brady Hawkins finished with 171 yards and threw two touchdown passes to Sawyer Schultz. Arend rushed for 95 yards on 31 carries and scored two touchdowns.
"We were focused all week with all our kids and we had to be to put out a performance to beat them," BEE coach Jeff Van Leur said.
The Seahawks finished with 192 rushing yards on 49 carries and it all started at the line of scrimmage.
"Our line was key," Arend said. "They were huge today. They stepped up big time and I got all praise to them."
BEE set the tone early by chewing clock on the opening drive and Arend punched it in for a one-yard score. After Schultz intercepted a Hayden Haak pass, Hawkins scored another one-yard touchdown and it was 14-0.
"We came ready to go and we were really aggressive and we took it to them and that's exactly what we needed to do to get the win," said Dye, who finished with six total tackles.
The Seahawks grabbed control of the game in the second quarter. Schultz hauled in a 15-yard touchdown strike and Hawkins scampered 34 yards for a 28-0 advantage. The duo hooked up again for a 21-yard touchdown reception and it was 35-0 at halftime.
"We got some turnovers and made some plays and even some some fourth down plays when we needed to make a play," Van Leur said. "So I am proud of the kids. I thought we did a great job there and defensively I thought our kids really played well and very disciplined."
In the third quarter, Arend tacked on another four-yard touchdown to push it to 41-0. MVP's Weston Tobin scored a 56-yard run in the fourth quarter.
MVP's Jesse Hastings had been slowed by a shoulder injury leading into the game. The BEE defense bottled him up and he finished with just 27 yards on 13 carries.
"He is a great kid and a great running back," Van Leur said. "I thought we did a nice job. We tried to hold him down and he just kept coming. We knew there was no quit in him and so I thought our kids did a nice job of staying with him."
Tobin added 52 rushing yards, while Colton Tobin had 46 rushing yards for MVP. The Titans finish the season with a 9-2 record.
Up next, the Seahawks will get another crack at Sioux Falls Christian, which defeated Canton 38-20 on Friday. The Chargers defeated BEE 27-12 in last year's title game.
"We need to stay focused and keep on playing," Van Leur said. "It's time to forget about this one and move on."
BEE: Jamin Arend 1 run (Brady Hawkins kick)
BEE: Hawkins 1 run (Hawkins kick)
BEE: Sawyer Schultz 15 pass from Hawkins (Hawkins kick)
BEE: Hawkins 34 run (Hawkins kick)
BEE: Schultz 21 pass from Hawkins (Hawkins kick)
BEE: Arend 4 run (kick failed)
MVP: Weston Tobin 56 run (pass failed)