Preview of the Class 11AAA High School Football Quarterfinals
The wait is over and the high school football playoff season is here. Class 11AAA quarterfinal games take place tonight.
Eight out of nine teams in 11AAA make the playoffs. The lone team to not get in this year is Rapid City Central (0-9). Three of four games tonight are rematches from the regular season.
(8) Watertown @ (1) Sioux Falls Washington - Howard Wood Field. 4:30 (ESPN 99.1)
Watertown has found themselves in a couple of close games in the last two weeks of the season. They defeated Aberdeen Central 20-12 on October 16, and followed that up with a tough loss to Brookings 19-14 on October 22. Watertown's other win came in week 3 against Rapid City Central.
Washington has taken full control of 11AAA after defeating Roosevelt 10-7 in double overtime to end the season. The Warriors have won seven games in a row and have outscored their opponents 331-91 throughout the season. Chad Stadem's team has only allowed up to seven points in each of their last five games, including two shutout wins.
One of those shutout victories was against Watertown on October 9. Washington traveled to Watertown and dominated the Arrows winning 45-0. Washington ran for 231 yards, and also received three passing touchdowns from Jack Schelhaas. Watertown had a total net rushing yardage of -8 on 27 carries.
(7) Rapid City Stevens @ (2) Sioux Falls Roosevelt - Howard Wood Field. 7:30 (ESPN 99.1)
It was a tough night for the Rough Riders against Washington to end the season. Not only did they lose their second game of the year, but they lost their starting quarterback Jett Thune for the rest of the season. Backup quarterback Torren Devericks managed to keep Roosevelt in the game and almost pulled off the win. Devericks is a junior this year.
Rapid City Stevens has some kids that have played for a long while. Quarterback Brandon Soucy, and running backs Grant Youngblood, Noah Diamond, and tight end Colton Hipple have been familiar names over the last three years. This season the Raiders have won three games defeating Rapid City Central, Watertown, and Sturgis Brown. Their games have been competitive outside of games against the Metro Conference.
The two teams played a late 8:00 kick game on September 25. Roosevelt defeated Rapid City Stevens 40-9.
(6) Aberdeen Central @ (3) Sioux Falls O'Gorman - McEnaney Field. 6:00
This is the only game in the quarterfinals that isn't a rematch. Sioux Falls O'Gorman has won five straight games entering tonight's quarterfinal game. Aberdeen Central has lost the last two.
The two teams have seven common opponents including Rapid City Central, Rapid City Stevens, Sioux Falls Roosevelt, Yankton, Sioux Falls Lincoln, Watertown, and Brandon Valley. O'Gorman is 6-1 against those teams with the lone loss to Roosevelt. Aberdeen Central is 2-5 with wins against the two Rapid City schools.
(5) Sioux Falls Lincoln @ (4) Brandon Valley - Brandon Valley. 7:00
It's been a rollercoaster season for the defending 11AAA champion Lincoln Patriots. For every big win the Patriots would get (Washington, Brandon Valley) there was an equally painful loss (Brookings, Mitchell). They will look to move forward towards the dome when they meet a Brandon Valley team that they defeated two weeks ago.
That won't be an easy task to do again though. This time Brandon Valley has the Patriots at home. The Lynx secured the fourth seed by defeating Aberdeen Central 31-7, and with Lincoln losing to O'Gorman 33-7.
In the previous meeting between the two teams the statistics favored Brandon Valley outside of the score. The Lynx had 52 more yards, six more first downs, and controlled the clock with 10 minutes more of possession time. However the one category that Lincoln was able to capitalize on was turnovers. Alex Waltner's interception in the second quarter led to a Lincoln field goal. In the fourth quarter the Lynx fumbled the ball leading to a Patriot touchdown on a nine play drive. Those two turnovers played a significant role in Lincoln's 24-19 win.
This will be the first meeting between the two teams in Brandon Valley since 2012. Brandon Valley won that game 31-13.