Harrisburg Tigers Battle Their Way Back to the DakotaDome
One year after a disappointing ending for the Harrisburg Tigers, the team will return to the DakotaDome following a season faced with adversity.
Mitchell defeated Harrisburg one year ago in the Class 11AA championship game 41-6. The Tigers will try again for a championship in just a couple of nights when they play Pierre, but the road to get to the DakotaDome has been filled with many twists and turns.
Harrisburg and Pierre originally met in week 1 of the season. Harrisburg took a 25-6 lead into halftime and was in full control. What they couldn't control, however, was the weather. Thunderstorms prompted the game to be stopped and it wouldn't be resumed until one month later.
During the stretch of time that Harrisburg was on hold with their game against Pierre, the Tigers dropped a close game to O'Gorman as part of Dakota Bowl. They would rebound the following week with a shutout 43-0 win over Huron.
After that, things went a bit south. Harrisburg was hit with the injury bug and lost games to Douglas (14-13) and Aberdeen Central (10-7). The team would officially get the "win" over Pierre in the made up second half, but were outscored 12-0 in those two quarters. Harrisburg was sitting at 2-3 with the back portion of the schedule remaining and momentum not on their side.
The Tigers would win the next three straight games over Watertown, Brookings, and Mitchell. They were set up nicely in the 11AA rankings and were in the mix for potentially the top seed in the class heading into the last week of the season. As this year would go, Yankton pulled off an 34-7 upset victory over the Tigers to shake up the playoff situation.
Brandon White's team never wavered though. Harrisburg beat Huron and Mitchell to punch their ticket back to the DakotaDome.
Conditions this time around for the game against Pierre will be a nice climate controlled 72 degrees with a roof on top leading to a full football game to be played.
Pierre vs. Harrisburg for the Class 11AA championship takes place on Friday at 7:00. Full coverage can be found here on ESPN 99.1