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Timely interceptions preserve Colome victory

VERMILLION--Sully Buttes controlled the clock, but Colome controlled the ball on Friday. Colome didn't commit a turnover and it recorded three interceptions on defense in the Class 9B state championship game at the DakotaDome. The biggest interce...

Colome's Jaikob Week (3) comes away with the game-winning interception in the end zone in overtime for the Class 9B state championship against Sully Buttes on Friday at the DakotaDome in Vermillion. Also pictured is Layton Thieman (12). (Matt Gade / Republic)
Colome's Jaikob Week (3) comes away with the game-winning interception in the end zone in overtime for the Class 9B state championship against Sully Buttes on Friday at the DakotaDome in Vermillion. Also pictured is Layton Thieman (12). (Matt Gade / Republic)

VERMILLION-Sully Buttes controlled the clock, but Colome controlled the ball on Friday.

Colome didn't commit a turnover and it recorded three interceptions on defense in the Class 9B state championship game at the DakotaDome.

The biggest interception came from Jaikob Week in overtime to preserve a wild 48-42 Class 9B state championship game.

"He cramped up earlier and if you ask him, he dropped an interception that led to points earlier," Colome coach Ben Connot said. "So he was making up for it. He's just a kid that works hard and he is very coachable. He listens and he does what he's supposed to do and he was in the right place at the right time and that's how it goes. That's football."

Sully Buttes had the ball for 26 minutes and Wittler sliced up Colome to the tune 359 yards and five touchdowns. However, the Cowboys pass defense came up big. Layton Thieman and Calving Ringing Shield also picked off Wittler.

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"We struggled a little bit on pass defense," Thieman said. "But in the end, we ended up making the big plays when we needed them."

Colome pulled away for a 42-28 advantage early in the fourth quarter, but the Chargers stormed back with two straight touchdowns. Wittler's 96-yard touchdown bomb to Grant Johnson with 43 seconds left knotted it up at 42-42. The ensuing two-point conversion was no good.

"You never knew what was going to happen," Thieman said. "There was big plays and you'd turn around and they'd score, we'd score and it was just fun."

Colome struck first in overtime on a Chase Dufek touchdown run and it's defense secured the win with a goal line stand. The Chargers moved the ball to the one-yard line and faced a fourth down. Wittler took the shotgun snap to the left and had a pass play designed on the opposite side of the field. Week snuffed it out and recorded the interception.

"I thought it was going to be a run-option there," Week said. "But it was a good thing I stayed back otherwise I would have went with the running back, but I stayed home and I took care of it."

Last year, Colome lost to the Chargers 36-20 in the semifinals. The Cowboys shot themselves in the foot with turnovers in that game. On Friday, they took care of the ball and hawked on defense.

"The last time we played Sully Buttes in the semifinals we turned the ball over a couple of times and they didn't," Connot said. "That was the game right there and we knew we had to be better at protecting the ball and when we got our chances, we have to take the ball away and we did a good job. Our secondary, they ball-hawked all year and they did a good job of just being active."

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