Stacking up Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan

From left, Woonsocket/Wessington Springs/Sanborn Central’s Quinten Christensen, Toby Kneen (79), Mason Schelske (1) and Philip Hines (58) stack up Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan running back Koby Kayser during the Blackhawks’ Class 11B quarterfinal football game Thursday in Bridgewater. (Marcus Traxler / Mitchell Republic)


The Woonsocket/Wessington Springs/Sanborn Central Blackhawks (WWSSC) were defeated by undefeated Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan (BEE) in the 11B State Quarterfinals  last Thursday in Bridgewater. BEE defeated WWSSC by the score of 42-6 and will move on to face undefeated Mobridge-Pollack Friday, November 6.

Both teams entered with similar team philosophies, run the football and play physical defense. The Seahawks’ senior heavy line paved the way on both sides of the ball. The veteran BEE team handled the upset-minded Blackhawks and controlled the pace of the game.

The Seahawks marched down the field on the opening drive of the game. However, Koby Kayser fumbled the ball at the goal line, and Carter Grohs recovered it in the end zone for a touchback. The Blackhawks were unable to get a first down and were forced to punt. The next possession for BEE saw quarterback Kaden Klumb run 11 yards for the first score of the game to take the lead. 

After a 40-yard kick return by Clay Olinger, the Blackhawks were close to midfield. The next play resulted in a botched snap that was recovered by the Seahawks. They converted the turnover into quick points finished by Kayser running in from 27 yards out. The PAT made it 14-0 after the first quarter.

The second quarter saw BEE score twice more with Brodie Burnham three-yard run, and a Kayser nine-yard run. Trailing 28-0, the Blackhawks forced a Seahawk punt with 35 seconds left in the half. BEE would muff the punt, and WWSSC was in possession at BEE’s 27-yard line. With under 30 seconds left, Tryce Slykhuis hit Clay Olinger on a flat route that ended with the ball inside the BEE 10. Slykhuis then scrambled from seven yards out to the end zone with four seconds left to make the score at half 28-6.

Hoping to gain momentum, WWSSC stalled out on the first drive and were forced to punt. BEE picked up where they left off and Kayser would add on a 33-yard run. Burnham would tack on another scoring run from three yards out at the end of the third. The final quarter saw no score, and the game ended 42-6.

The Blackhawks’ offense was stymied throughout the game by the Seahawk defense and were outgained 68-388 in total yards. Both teams committed two turnovers, but BEE converted theirs into 14 points. Olinger led the team with 21 rushing yards and 20 receiving yards.

Defensively, WWSSC was paced by Quinten Christensen’s eight tackles and one sack. Toby Kneen and Brady Larson each finished with six total tackles. Larson also added a sack.

Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan moved to 10-0, while Woonsocket/Wessington Springs/Sanborn Central finish the season 7-3. 

Look to next week’s True Dakotan for a season statistical roundup from Coach Flatten.