By Bob Bakken
The fact that Sioux Falls Lincoln’s football team is on top of the South Dakota 11-AA rankings this week may be surprising enough. Even more surprising is that it’s been 30 years since the last time the Patriots were the top dog in the state’s largest classification of high school football.
Entering Saturday’s President’s Bowl clash, the Pats bring the No. 1 ranking for the first time since the end of the 1977 season, coming off a 21-6 victory over two-time defending state champion Roosevelt. That, coupled with second-ranked Washington’s loss to O’Gorman, vaulted the Patriots to No. 1.
The win last week by Lincoln marked just the second time in five years it had beaten a Sioux Falls city school. They play Washington in Saturday’s President’s Bowl event at Howard Wood Field.
Football: Friday Night Highlights
Brandon Valley used big plays in its 33-14 victory over the Yankton Bucks Friday night at Brandon. The second-ranked Lynx (Class 11-AA) are now 3-0 on the season.
A 61-yard pass play from Brandon Valley quarterback Austin Sumner to Darren Niklason as time expired in the first half tied the game at halftime. A 28-yard scoring strike from Sumner to Spencer Arrowsmith four plays after Yankton fumbled the ball back to the Lynx put Brandon Valley ahead 20-14 early in the third quarter. Brandon Valley finished the Bucks off with a 41-yard touchdown pass from Sumner to Britt Wickett in the fourth quarter, and then Wickett added a 38-yard punt return for good measure.
In the 9-AA ranks, Chester upset top-ranked Emery-Ethan 36-20 at Howard Wood Field as part of the Irish Bowl Classic in Sioux Falls.
A sophomore led the unranked Flyers, as Drew Kreutzfeldt threw three touchdown passes and ran for another in the victory. Both teams are now 2-1 for the season. The loss was especially surprising for Emery-Ethan, which had beaten two ranked teams earlier in the year prior to Friday night’s game.
Football: Bruckner Puts Up Big Numbers for Menno
Menno quarterback Tate Bruckner put up some big numbers for his team last Friday night against Montrose. Bruckner scored the winning touchdown with his team down by two points late in the fourth quarter to help the Wolves win the nine-man Class A game.
But, it was what Bruckner did before that score that was simply astonishing. He threw for 512 yards and five touchdowns in the game, completing 28-of-39 pass attempts. The touchdown passes ranged from six to 67 yards and went to four different receivers. He was involved in 512 of his team’s 579 yards of total offense.
Football: Pierre Football Player Collapses
A Pierre football player is recovering in a Sioux Falls hospital, after collapsing on the football field during warm-ups before a game last week. Quick work by doctors, trainers, and coaches apparently saved the life of Taylor Maier, a senior football player for the Governors.
Maier, who has a heart condition but was cleared by doctors to play, collapsed prior to last week’s Oahe Prep Bowl game. When medical staff arrived almost immediately after the collapse, Maier did not have a pulse, but was revived on the field by a defibrillator.
Maier was taken first to a Pierre hospital, and from there transferred to Sioux Falls, where he’s being treated. He was the Governors’ starting center, but played full aware of his condition, as were his coaches, teachers, and school administrators.
“Taylor’s the heart of this team,” Pierre head football coach Mike Busch told the Pierre Capital-Journal after last Saturday night’s game. “He never complained. He never had any problems in practice. He’s always been a hard worker — a leader that’s rallied this team.”
No condition was being released at the hospital and family members had not returned inquiries from the Pierre newspaper regarding his health. But doctors say Taylor would have died with the defibrillator being at the field.