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Fumble return proves decisive for Hanson in victory over Parkston to open new stadium

Hanson improves to 3-1, while Parkston took its first loss of the season in the low-scoring contest

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Hanson's Hadley Wallace attempts to secure the football while evading the diving tackle from Parkston's Porter Neugebauer during the first half of a Class 9AA football game on Friday, Sept. 9, 2022, in Alexandria.
Landon Dierks / Mitchell Republic
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ALEXANDRIA, S.D. — Jackson Jarding’s 100-yard fumble-return touchdown as time expired in the first half was all Hanson needed en route to an 8-6 win over Parkston in a battle between Class 9AA rivals on Friday night.

The low-scoring game was the first at Hanson’s newly renovated football and track and field complex, which is now outfitted with artificial turf and new lights.

Parkston controlled the ball for most of the first half, racking up 196 yards to Hanson’s 41. The Trojans were already up 6-0 and had the ball just one yard away from the endzone, looking to take a two-possession lead with under 10 seconds left in the first half.

On third-and-goal from the 1-yard line, Parkston coughed the ball up and Jarding scooped it and took it to the house. Ethan Cheeseman hauled in the 2-point conversion to give the Beavers a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

“I saw Keenan Waldera or Brock Tuttle knocked it out and they knocked it in the endzone, and (I) didn’t hear a whistle dead or anything so I just scooped and scored,” Jarding said of the touchdown after the game. “I ran as fast as I could; tried to make people miss.”

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The touchdown flipped the momentum for the Beavers, a key part in leading them to the win.

“It was a crazy momentum shift for us,” Jarding said. “It really got us back in the game and I think it fueled the rest of us. We came out a little flat, then that really brought it back."

Hanson made life more difficult for the Trojans in the second half, limiting Parkston to 102 yards and forcing two punts, an interception and a turnover on downs.

The difference in the second half? Getting into the backfield, according to Hanson coach Jim Haskamp.

“First half, we weren’t getting pressure on the quarterback; second half, we did,” Haskamp said following the win. “He wasn’t able to stand back there as much. … They did have a receiver that broke open (in the second half) … if that play would have occurred in the first half that might’ve been (a touchdown) because he had time back there to throw.”

Parkston quarterback Kaleb Weber utilized that time to throw in the first half, finishing the first two quarters with 122 yards on 7-of-7 passing with a touchdown. In the second half, he was only 2-for-7 for 3 yards and an interception.

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Parkston's Kaleb Weber (10) releases a pass downfield over the outstretched arm of Hanson's Lucas Nicholson during a Class 9AA prep football game against Hanson on Friday, Sept. 9, 2022, in Alexandria.
Landon Dierks / Mitchell Republic

Brayden Jervik finished the day with 85 yards on 14 carries for Parkston, with 53 yards coming on a fourth-quarter carry that he almost broke for a touchdown. However, Sutton Dewald ran him down, preserving the lead for the Beavers before they eventually forced a turnover on downs.

“(That was a) huge play,” Haskamp said of the tackle preventing the touchdown. “(Dewald) didn’t give up on the play, came and made a tackle.”

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For Hanson, Tuttle finished the night with 69 yards on 12 carries, while Hadley Wallace racked up 66 yards of his own on 11 rushes. Tuttle also added 9 1/2 tackles on defense.

The contest was also the first game for Hanson on its new turf field with a ceremony before the game, and Haskamp said capping off the occasion with a win was a great end to the night.

Parkston falls to 3-1 with the loss and will look to rebound next week against Oldham-Ramona/Rutland on Friday, Sept. 16 in Rutland. Hanson moves to 3-1 and will have a bye next week before hosting Canistota on Friday, Sept. 23.

“It goes a long way,” Haskamp said of the win. “That’s the confidence they have to know that they can be in a ballgame like that and just keep playing hard and eventually we can make plays and good things can happen.”

Related Topics: FOOTBALLPREP SPORTS
Zech Lambert is a sports reporter for the Mitchell Republic. He graduated from Penn State University in May 2022 and began at the Mitchell Republic in July 2022. He can be reached at zlambert@mitchellrepublic.com or on Twitter @Zech_Lambert.
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