We see that you have javascript disabled. Please enable javascript and refresh the page to continue reading local news. If you feel you have received this message in error, please contact the customer support team at 1-833-248-7801.



Howard builds big lead, hangs on for season-opening win over Hanson

Tigers win rainy contest after mounting 20-0 advantage over rival Beavers

Howard Tiger Karsyn Feldhaus (7) breaks through the Hanson Beavers' defensive line during a high school football game on Friday, August 19, 2022, in Howard.
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic
We are part of The Trust Project.

HOWARD, S.D. — Howard quarterback Taiden Hoyer threw for one touchdown and ran for another as the Howard Tigers staved off the Hanson Beavers 20-12 on Friday night in the Mitchell Republic’s Gridiron Spotlight game.

In its first game of the season — the Class 9A champions from 2021 now playing in Class 9AA — the Tiger defense started strong in the rainy first half, forcing three consecutive three-and-outs to start the game. The Howard offense followed suit, finding the end zone on the first drive on a 20-yard touchdown pass to Atticus Darnell from Hoyer.

“They were coming up because (we’re a) running team,” Hoyer said of the touchdown pass. “The ball was wet, of course, and then all I had to do was lay it up because he was wide open.”

After that, Hoyer ran a touchdown in from eight yards out before Karsyn Feldhaus ran for a touchdown to give Howard a 20-0 lead.

“We’re just going to keep doing what we were doing,” coach Pat Ruml said after the game of the Tigers’ mindset with a big lead early. “We knew they had the capability of coming back.”


Howard's Griffin Clubb (30) carries the ball during a high school football game against Hanson on Friday, August 19, 2022, in Howard.
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic

Hanson rallied back, though, collecting its first first down of the game on a screen pass to Brock Tuttle that put the offense in motion. Ethan Cheeseman hauled in a pass over the middle after that before reeling in a touchdown on a jump ball in the corner of the end zone to cut the lead to 20-6.

The Beaver defense forced its first punt of the game, but Hoyer intercepted a pass before half to keep the score 20-6 at the break.

Howard, the preseason No. 1 team in the South Dakota Prep Media poll in Class 9AA, opened up the second half with a 13-play drive that wound up fruitless after an incomplete pass on fourth down before Jayce Slaba found Hadley Wallace on a screen that went for a 72-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 20-12.

“There’s a lot of teams that would fold under that situation,” Ruml said of Hanson’s comeback. “Our guys are pretty even-keeled, they’ve been there before.”

In what was a relatively clean game in terms of penalties, a false start and an illegal motion pushed Hanson back to its own 13-yard line before starting a drive in the fourth quarter and ultimately resulted in a punt.

Howard fullback Karsyn Feldhaus fell forward on a fourth-and-1 to seal the game with just over a minute and a half left in the fourth quarter.

Hoyer ended the night with 119 yards rushing and 60 yards through the air for Howard. Slaba had 138 yards passing for Hanson, but the fourth-ranked Beavers only recorded two first downs in the entire game.

Howard (1-0) will follow the season-opening win with a trip to Canistota on Aug. 26, and Hanson (0-1) will travel to Irene-Wakonda on Aug. 26 to try to bounce back from the loss.


“It’s a big win for us,” Ruml said. “(The team) will find out how big of a win it was because every win is huge when it comes to power points and whether or not you have to travel in the playoffs."

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.
What to read next
Winner Area edged out Chamberlain by two strokes to win the Region 3A boys golf title on Monday at Lakeview Golf Course in Mitchell.
A look at the 2022 prep football rankings entering the final week of September
Sioux Falls Washington becomes the new No. 1 team in Class AA volleyball this week.
Taking stock of the standings with half the regular season gone in this week's Mitchell Republic web-exclusive look at high school football in South Dakota.