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Defense, ground game power Dell Rapids to Class 11A state title

It was Dell Rapids’ first Class 11A championship since 2014 and its first Dome appearance since 2018, while West Central was playing in the title game for the first time since 2015.

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Jack Henry (16) and the Dell Rapids Quarriers celebrate a touchdown during the Class 11A state championship game on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022 at the DakotaDome in Vermillion.
Josh Jurgens / South Dakota Public Broadcasting
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VERMILLION, S.D. — Dell Rapids rushed for four touchdowns and neutralized West Central’s offense in the Class 11A championship game Friday night, earning a 24-7 win at the DakotaDome.

Jack Henry was the Joe Robbie MVP after rushing 13 times for 64 yards and scoring a pair of touchdowns, plus throwing for 182 yards on 10-of-16 passing. It was part of a 334-yard night for the Quarriers’ offense, while Dell Rapids’ defense intercepted three passes from Justin Zirpel and allowed only 97 total yards on 38 plays.

It was Dell Rapids’ first Class 11A championship since 2014 and its first Dome appearance since 2018, while West Central was playing in the title game for the first time since 2015.

Henry scored on Dell Rapids’ second possession of the night, taking a quarterback keeper 21 yards to the end zone, and rushed in another late in the second quarter from 15 yards out to help the Quarriers (12-0) post a 12-0 halftime edge. The lead was extended with Mason Stubbe’s 6-yard touchdown with less than 5 minutes elapsed in the fourth quarter.

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West Central (10-2) got on the scoreboard with 5:01 left in the fourth quarter when Zirpel found Aiden Bartmann for an 11-yard touchdown, trimming the Dells lead to 18-7. After a failed onside kick, Brayden Pankonen put the finishing flourish on the result seven plays later with a 2-yard touchdown run.

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Pankonen had seven catches for 125 yards for Dell Rapids and Stubbe finished with 63 yards on 20 carries. The dual-threat quarterback Zirpel finished with 63 yards on 7-for-14 passing, plus 34 yards on 13 rushes for the Trojans.

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "Mitchell Republic." Often, the "Mitchell Republic" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.
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