Week 4 S.D. High School Football Recap

Each week for the rest of the season I am going to attempt to do my review of last week’s South Dakota high school football games. This will come out in between Sunday afternoon to Monday night. So let’s give this a go.

Disclaimer: I wrote this without seeing the new high school rankings yet.

Week 4 was a very interesting week in my opinion. Maybe I am overrating it because one game REALLY stood out to me. See I used caps to hopefully help prove my point.

For me the game of the week was Rapid City Stevens defeating Sioux Falls O’Gorman 20-7. O’Gorman was ranked third coming into the game and Stevens was ranked fourth, plus the game was played in Rapid City, so some people may discount this as an actual upset.

But it was an upset, plain and simple. Outside of RC Stevens, how many people thought they would beat O’Gorman? I didn’t, but I am really happy they did. Since Stevens’ week one destruction of Brookings 42-14, I have been interested to see what they could do. This win proves that Stevens belongs in the 11AA elite talk this year, like Aberdeen Central deserved it last year as a title contender next to Sioux Falls Washington.

There will be more about RC Stevens when I preview the upcoming Friday night games later this week.

What does this say about O’Gorman? They are still a good team, but are they a title contender? In my opinion, no. They have lost to two top five teams. Maybe they need more time to get everything going, but this team reminds me of the one that lost to Sioux Falls Lincoln two years ago. They beat Lincoln during the year, but lost to them in the playoffs. They are a good team, but they are not top-tier good this year.

Going through the rest of the 11AA ranked teams, and I will also included receiving votes teams in the recap. Top-ranked SF Washington easily handed Sturgis a 48-0 set-back. Sturgis lost to RC Stevens the week before and needed a good showing to keep receiving support, but now it just seems like the Scoopers are a mid-tier at least second-round exit playoff team, which for Sturgis is a major improvement for them.

Second-ranked Roosevelt easily won 55-0 over Spearfish, which was no surprise, and fifth-ranked Watertown defeated Aberdeen Central 25-7. Watertown is the best team in the ESD and has already beat the second-best team in Pierre this season, so the Eastern South Dakota Conference is Watertown’s to lose I feel.

Yankton beat Mitchell in an up-and-down game that Yankton needed at homecoming. Mitchell’s speed has given teams fits, so I have no idea what to take out of this game besides the fact that Yankton’s offense finally got rolling, even if it was against a lessor opponent.

Class 11A – Everything that was supposed to happen, happened.

Top-ranked Sisseton rolled Webster 61-6, second-ranked Dell Rapids had a big 49-7 win over Madison, third-ranked St. Thomas More won 33-6 over Hot Springs, fourth-ranked Harrisburg had a bye and fifth-ranked West Central beat Belle Fourche 41-7.

With four team easily picking up wins and another getting a bye, it shuts out Dakota Valley, who beat Lennox 27-8 and Canton, who beat Vermillion 20-14. Honestly, I needed to see DV and Canton blow out their opponents before I considering them in the top-five anyway considering just how strong 11A is again this year.

Class 11B- There were two big games in 11B this week.

First off, Tri-Valley’s up and down season continued. The Mustangs lost to 11A Canton, but then went on to beat Harrisburgh the next week. Then Dell Rapids dropped the Mustangs to one of the toughest 1-2 seasons ever.

Things didn’t get easier for Brad McDonald’s squad as they hosted second-ranked Flandreau. The Mustangs only scored seven points, but it was enough to earn the 7-3 victory, basically meaning there will be a shuffling in the top five of 11B and showing Tri-Valley is going to be a MAJOR factor is 11B.

The other game that will affect the rankings in 11B is where third-ranked Garretson will end up. I think they are deserving of the second spot after beating receiving votes Bon Homme, even though the Cavs were without Tad Schuurmans, 20-6 at home. Garretson wasn’t ranked until week three and jumped to the third-spot. Bon Homme was clearly the best team the Blue Dragons faced, and they beat them, so welcome to the second-ranked spot probably in a crazy 11B season so far.

Top-ranked Wagnor beat Beresford, who is much improved on the defensive end of the ball this year it seems, 23-6. The Red Raiders are still a major fixture despite a ton of key departures from last year. The Red Raiders next game will be closely watched against rival Bon Homme.

Fourth-ranked Redfield-Doland made its case for the open second spot with a 46-8 win over Deuel.

Among the others receiving votes, Winner beat Valentine, Neb. 41-20, meaning the defending 11B champs should move past Flandreau into the top five in 11B. Elk Point-Jefferson got by Akron-Westfield 21-14 and Mobridge-Pollock continues to be in the mix with an easy 54-0 win over Cheyenne-Eagle Butte.

9AA: There was one major game of note to me this past week.

Second-ranked Howard, who I thought was overrated for much of the season even though they did knock off Chester Area the week before, lost to unranked and not even receiving votes White Lake/Plankinton 36-22 in Plankinton. That’s a lot of points to give up to a team not receiving the votes, but it didn’t surprise me. I think with this loss, Howard will fall out of the top-five. WL/P should receive votes and may even jump into the top five, but I don’t know about that.

Everything else went as planned in 9AA. Top-ranked Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan cruised toa  59-20 win over Parker. Third-ranked Viborg-Hurley should move up to second after a 61-6 win over Alcester-Hudson. Fourth-ranked Chester Area rebounded for a 54-8 win over Freeman, and fifth-ranked Philip shut out New Underwood 50-0.

Deubrook was receiving votes and will probably jump into the top five after a 36-8 win over Elkton-Lake Benton.

9A: The biggest game in 9A affects both 9A and 9B.

Top-ranked Hanson hosted Canistota, who is the third-ranked team in 9B. Last year, Hanson went on to win the title in 9A after a loss to Avon, and it looks like if Hanson is going to win the title, the Beavers are once again going to have one loss as Canistota won 20-8. Hanson is a very good team and this surprises me that it happened in Alexandria. However, Hanson has shown very good bounce back ability in the past. It will be interesting to see how far Hanson falls, and honestly, I would only drop the Beavers to second. It should be noted that I do not have a vote.

Second-ranked Corisca-Stickney should take the top spot from Hanson though, as they didn’t have the same fate fall on them like Hanson had as the Jaguars beat fifth-ranked 9B Colome 34-8. I think Corisca-Stickney and Hanson are the clear top two teams in 9A and I hope that’s the championship game.

Third-ranked Sully Buttes got by a sneaky Eureka/Bowdle team 12-0. Fourth-ranked Castlewood handled Estelline 48-8, and fifth-ranked Harding County destroyed Timber Lake 62-6.

Receiving votes teams, Avon easily beat Andes Central, a good team in their own rights, 62-12,  showing Avon is going to have a say in the 9A title picture yet. 3-0 Wilmot had an off week.

9B: A lot of big/little things happened that shakes up the rankings to me despite no one losing.

Top-ranked Dell Rapids St. Mary’s picked up a difficult road win 22-20 over Colman-Egan, which is a sneaky good team this year. But even with the win, I think Dell Rapids St. Mary’s, who did make it to the Dome last year, should drop to second in the rankings. Canistota’s win over Hanson is what I am going to base them being the top-ranked team. I think that win was big enough to vault Canistota to the top.

Also, second-ranked Hitchcock-Tulare is making a case for the top spot as well since they are the defending 9B champs. They beat Sunshine Bible Academy 43-6 and even without Ryan Huizenga, H-T is still a title contender.

There is a big drop-off after the top three, basically because the top three are SO good (once again with the caps). Fourth-ranked Waverly-South Shore beat Tiospa Zina 59-0 and Colome lost to Corsica-Stickney 34-8, but I think they should stay in the top five based on the team Colome faced.

Granted receiving votes Warner is 2-1 and had a bye week, which does hurt its cause there. Gettysburg would be the team that if the voters decided, would move into the top five after a 30-14 win over Kimball.

That’s all for this week. Check back each Sunday or Monday for the recaps. Later this week, I will have a preview of the upcoming week with the top games in my opinion.

—Justin Rust


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