Platte-Geddes plows through Hamlin for first state title

Class 9AA champions complete undefeated season in a rout

Platte 9AA-Champs100.JPG

VERMILLION -- Platte-Geddes backed up every ounce of swagger during its first trip to the DakotaDome as a consolidated school.

The fourth-seeded Black Panthers never trailed No. 2 Hamlin in the Class 9AA championship game Thursday and turned on the jets for 19 points in the fourth quarter to pull away for a 42-12 win.

Platte-Geddes capped a perfect 12-0 campaign after going 4-6 a year ago, knocking off back-to-back undefeated teams in consecutive weeks.

“It’s all about kids,” Platte-Geddes head coach Bruce Hanson said. “We have a great group of seniors that I thought could be special after watching them in middle-school football and baseball and they didn’t lose a game. They’re just all-in. There are no egos on this team.”


A Jackson Neuman 5-yard touchdown reception capped a punishing opening drive that set the tone for the remainder of the game for the Black Panthers (12-0). They managed to hold the ball for more than 16 minutes in the first half, but most of the scoring plays came in bursts.

Kelby Vanderwerff found Jackson Olsen for a 31-yard touchdown on a third-and-11 play to open the second quarter and then dumped off a pass to Grayson Hanson for a 50-yard touchdown on third down to open the fourth quarter.

“It was supposed to be a throw across the field to Hudson (Ringling) and they had it covered well,” Vanderwerff said. “Grayson took it to the end zone and that’s when I was like, ‘Let’s go, we’re on our way.’”

Platte 9AA-Champs22.JPG
Platte-Geddes' Grayson Hanson carries the ball against Hamlin during the Class 9AA state championship on Nov. 12 at the DakotaDome in Vermillion.

Even with the big plays, Bruce Hanson felt the game was in control during the early moments of the second half. Hamlin fumbled on the opening possession and the Black Panthers converted it into a 22-yard field goal by Olsen to take a 23-6 lead.

Hanson felt the Chargers did not have enough offensive firepower to come back from a three-score deficit. Aside from a 50-yard touchdown pass from Xander Sheehan to Cameron Thue in the second quarter, Hamlin (11-1) struggled to move the ball against the Platte-Geddes defense.

Charger 2,000-yard rusher Jackson Noem entered the game with an ailing leg and played sparingly in the second half. But when Noem did play, the Black Panthers held him to 29 yards on 11 carries. Second-leading rusher Thue ran for 34 yards and he was also injured in the second half.


“I kind of knew it was going to be tough for them to come back and score three times on our defense,” Hanson said. “I wasn’t 100% confident, but I knew we were on the right track.”

As the defense put together a stifling performance, Grayson Hanson was able to slam the door for good in the fourth quarter. The junior ran for two touchdowns, threw for a touchdown and caught another, while making 11 tackles to be named the Joe Robbie Most Valuable Player.

Platte 9AA-Champs74.JPG

After a 50-yard interception return by Neuman, Hanson threw a touchdown pass to a diving Caden Foxley, but a penalty nullified the play.

On the next play, Hanson was unable to find an open receiver and weaved through the Hamlin defense until he found the end zone to put Platte-Geddes ahead 42-6.

“One guy, I told him not to run a slant and the other guy was covered,” said Hanson when describing his fourth-quarter touchdown scamper. “I was running for my life, but it worked out.”

Vanderwerff went 5 of 9 passing for 139 yards and two touchdowns for the Black Panthers, while Grayson Hanson had 138 all-purpose yards, including 75 on the ground. Neuman added 64 yards rushing.


Sheehan finished 6 of 14 for 104 yards and Luke Fraser had 67 yards and a touchdown for Hamlin.

What To Read Next
Get Local