Game of the Week: Three items to watch between Gregory and Platte-Geddes

Platte-Geddes' Kelby VanDerWerff passes the ball against Bon Homme on Aug. 21 in Tyndall. (Ryan Deal / Republic)

When/Where: 7 p.m. today in Platte.

Coaches: Gregory’s John King; Platte-Geddes’ Bruce Hanson.

Last year: Gregory defeated Platte-Geddes, 49-8.

Records: Gregory is 4-2 and honorable mention in the latest Class 9A poll. Platte-Geddes is 6-0 and No. 4 in Class 9AA.

Here are three items to watch for in tonight’s Mitchell Republic Game of the Week between Gregory and Platte-Geddes:


Playoff push

The game holds major conference and playoff implications.

With a win, Platte-Geddes can clinch a share of the Missouri Valley Conference. The Black Panthers could then win it outright next week against Parkston.

“It’s a big game,” Platte-Geddes coach Bruce Hanson said. “It’s always been a rivalry over here. It’s kind of been dominated by Gregory lately since Platte and them dropped to nine-man, but I think we are at the stage where hopefully we can make it at least competitive again and make it a rivalry again.”

It’s also a big contest for the playoffs, as both teams look to lock in home games in the first round. Platte-Geddes is one of five undefeated teams in Class 9AA and it sits fifth overall in seed points. The Black Panthers are tied with Parkston for No. 2 in Region 3.

Gregory, meanwhile, is tied eighth overall in Class 9A and No. 2 in Region 3.

“Every game is important to the seeding in the playoffs, especially with our schedule and this game will have a big influence on that for both teams,” Gregory coach John King said.

Similar squads

In some ways, the teams are similar on the field.

They both feature big, athletic quarterbacks in Gregory’s Coy Determan and Kelby VanDerWerff. Determan stands 6-foot-3, 180 pounds, while VanDerWerff is 6-5 and 200 pounds.


“Quarterbacks on both sides are both pretty good,” Hanson said. “They are both good pocket passers. Coy is obviously a lot better runner than Kelby is obviously, but we have running backs that can handle that for us.”

The quarterbacks also have some dynamic playmakers at their disposal. Gregory’s Kade Stukel and Owen Hansen carry a bulk of the offensive load. For Platte-Geddes, Jackson Neuman (546 rushing yards/5 TDs) and Grayson Hanson (260 rushing yards/7 TDs) pace a balanced attack.

“Platte has a lot of speed and size and making adjustments throughout the game will be important,” King said.

But coach Hanson said Platte-Geddes has the size factor on its side.

“We are probably a more physical, bigger team,” Hanson said. “They probably have the quickness edge. We’ve got the physicality edge, I would say and the experience edge. I think overall we matchup pretty well.”

The teams also have some familiarity with each other. Hanson was formerly the wrestling coach at Gregory before coaching the Platte-Geddes football team. He’ll implement some of Gregory’s base concepts into the Platte-Geddes playbook.

“A lot of stuff we kind of base off Gregory’s defense,” he said. “They have a great tradition there. We both run a 3-4, is kind of our standard and then we go into other things.”

Keys to the game

Containing each team’s speed will be an emphasis for both squads.


“Both teams have talented players and the challenge is finding different ways to implement those talents,” said King, who added limiting turnovers and creating turnovers will have a major impact.

Hanson added limiting Gregory’s option attack and controlling the line of scrimmage are keys.

“Containing their speed and not letting them get to the outside I think will be key for us,” Hanson said. “That’s kind of what we’ve been working on all week. Containing Coy Determan in the pocket and not letting him run on us and kind of make them one dimensional.”

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