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Cardiac Cowboys: Colome holds off Sully Buttes for 9B title in overtime

Colome's Calvin Ringing Shield (13) is tackled by Sully Buttes' Nick Wittler (10) after a reception during the Class 9B state championship game on Friday at the DakotaDome in Vermillion. (Matt Gade / Republic)1 / 2
Colome's Jackson Kinzer (6) breaks free on his way to the end zone for a score as Sully Buttes' Cameron Ogle (52) gives chase during the Class 9B state championship game on Friday at the DakotaDome in Vermillion. (Matt Gade / Republic) 2 / 2

VERMILLION -- Minutes after Sully Buttes scored a 96-yard touchdown with less than a minute left in the game to force overtime, Colome stopped three straight runs and Jaikob Week intercepted Nick Wittler on fourth down of overtime for the Cowboys to claim the Class 9B state football championship 48-42 Friday at the DakotaDome.

It is the second time in the last three years that Colome has won a state title, with it also winning in 2016. The Cowboys have won four state titles in the nine-man ranks.

Chase Dufek scored the eventual game-winning touchdown on Colome’s first play of overtime, sprinting straight up the middle on the Chargers’ defense.

With two minutes left, no one would have thought Dufek would need to score a game-winning touchdown for Colome (12-0). Layton Thieman’s 42-yard punt had pinned the Chargers at their own 8-yard line.

However, after a delay of game which backed Sully Buttes up to its own four-yard line, Wittler unleashed a bomb toward the right sideline and watched Grant Johnson snare it for a 96-yard touchdown to tie the game 42-42, completing Sully Buttes’ comeback after it fell behind 42-28.

The two-point pass failed and an onside kick recovery for Sully Buttes (11-1) led to no scoring before the end of regulation.

Johnson caught a game-high 10 passes for 185 yards and three touchdowns. While Sully Buttes had the momentum heading into overtime, Colome gained it early in the second half.

On the Chargers’ opening drive of the second half when it was called for holding on third-and-four, forcing third-and-18. Nick Wittler proceeded to throw a rare incompletion, leading to a Charger punt.

The Cowboys capitalized, with Jackson Kinzer, who was named the Joe Robbie MVP, connecting with Beau Bertram for a 77-yard touchdown on the next play. Then, Colome put together a 10-play drive after stopping Sully Buttes’ next drive, capping it with a seven-yard rushing score from Kinzer, giving Colome a 34-20 lead with 5:08 left in the quarter.

Sully Buttes didn’t go away, however, thanks in part to Wittler’s arm and legs allowing Sully Buttes maintain long drives, finishing with 359 passing yards, 63 rushing yards and six total touchdowns.

Wittler led the Chargers on another long drive and rushed for a 15-yard touchdown before the quarter’s end. The teams traded touchdowns with Chase Dufek running it for Colome and Cameron Ogle catching a 40-yard pass from Wittler, making it 42-36.

Neither team could capitalize on its final drives, though. Colome was forced to punt after four plays following a red-zone interception by Layton Thieman, while intentional grounding derailed Sully Buttes’ next drive as it put them in third-and-29.

Kinzer started the game fast on the ground, rushing for a 49-yard touchdown on the second play from scrimmage, but he struggled to find a rhythm through the air. His first completion didn’t come until the second quarter, though he finished 6 of 13 for 155 yards and a touchdown.

The Chargers’ answered Colome’s opening drive touchdown with two touchdown passes of 23 yards to Morris Hofer, who ran for 104 yards, and eight to Johnson to take a 14-6 lead into the second quarter.

Colome was able to tie things up before halftime thanks to goal-line touchdown runs from Beau Bertram. Johnson also caught his second touchdown in between the Bertram scores.

First quarter

C: Kinzer 49 run (run failed)

SB: Morris Hofer 23 pass from Nick Wittler (run failed)

SB: Grant Johnson 8 pass from Wittler (Hofer run)

Second quarter

C: Beau Bertram 1 run (Kinzer run)

SB: Johnson 9 pass from Wittler (run failed)

C: Bertram 2 run (run failed)

Third quarter

C: Bertram 77 pass from Kinzer (run failed)

C: Kinzer 7 run (Dufek run)

SB: Wittler 15 run (Hofer run)

Fourth quarter

C: Dufek 1 run (Kinzer run)

SB: Cameron Ogle 40 pass from Wittler (Hofer run)

SB: Johnson 96 pass from Wittler (pass failed)


C: Dufek 10 run (pass failed)