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Owen Cass drops back to pass against Spearfish Thursday night at Woodle Field.
Photo by Tim Potts
Owen Cass drops back to pass against Spearfish Thursday night at Woodle Field.

Scoopers Win Season Finale Over Spearfish


Terry Anderson, KBHB Radio Sports - October 22, 2020

STURGIS, S.D. – The Sturgis Scoopers came alive in the second half and scored 27 unanswered points to wrap up the regular season at Woodle Field with a 41-7 win over the Spearfish Spartans.

Temperature at game time was 31 degrees and a light snow fell, causing the field conditions to deteriorate throughout the contest.

First-year Spearfish head coach Dalton Wademan had his players ready to compete as the Spartans took the opening kickoff to their own 40-yard line. Spearfish put together an efficient 5-play drive, culminating in a 39-yard touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Seth Hamilton to freshman wide receiver Brayden Delahoyde. The extra point was good and Spearfish led 7-0 with 10:29 left in the first quarter.

Sturgis began their first drive conservatively, with short runs by fullback Wren Jacobs moving the ball from the Scooper 29-yard line to the 32 before Owen Cass found Sanden Graham with a 16-yard pass to get the ball to midfield. A 6-yard run up the middle by Jacobs and a 4-yard plunge by Cass got the ball to the Spartan 39. Senior running back Kaden Phillips got Sturgis on the scoreboard with his first carry of the ballgame, a 39-yard run down the left sideline with 6:54 left in the first. Dominik Smith’s extra point was good and the game was tied at seven apiece.

Both teams had problems with footing as the temperature and the snow continued to fall in the first and second quarters. The Scoopers started to figure out how to move the ball in the slippery, sloppy conditions late in the second, advancing the ball 67-yards downfield to the Spartan 3-yard line. Sturgis had no time outs and Cass looked like he may spike the ball to stop the clock, but instead found Graham wide open across the goal line with a 3-yard touchdown pass with just :03 seconds left before the half. Smith converted the extra point and the Scoopers led 14-7 at the half.

The warm-up in the Woodle Field equipment sheds during the halftime break was good for the Scoopers as they scored touchdowns on their first two possessions of the second half. Cass hit Kaden Nelson with a short pass on their first drive and Nelson did the rest, shucking and jiving through the Spartan defense to take the ball 38-yards for a Scooper touchdown with just over two minutes gone in the third quarter. Smith’s kick was good and Sturgis led Spearfish 21-7.

The Scoopers struck again just 3:08 later with a five-yard touchdown run by Wren Jacobs, set up by a long punt return by Phillips that took the ball to the Spartan 14-yard line. The extra point by Smith was good and the Scoopers extended their lead to 28-7.

The Spartans took over at the Sturgis 38 late in the third quarter but the Scooper defense stiffened, holding Spearfish to zero yards on three plays. Spearfish had a fourth down and 10 and Wademan decided to go for it. Hamilton had a receiver open down the right sideline but Phillips stepped in front of the pass and intercepted it, returning the ball to the Scooper 29-yard line.

The Sturgis offense moved the ball to midfield as the quarter expired. Offensive coordinator Ward Anderson opened up the playbook on the first play of the fourth quarter, sending Graham down the right sideline. Cass lofted a perfectly placed pass into Graham’s hands and the senior tight end did the rest, scoring a 52-yard touchdown with just ten seconds gone in the quarter. Smith’s kick was blocked and Sturgis led 34-7.

The Scoopers capitalized on a Spearfish fumble on their next series, assembling a six-play, 36-yard drive that Cass finished off with a two-yard dive into the end zone with 8:26 left in the game. Smith converted the extra point and the Scoopers had a 41-7 lead with time running out for Spearfish.

Scooper strong safety Tanner Ortleib picked off a Hamilton pass with 2:39 left in the game to stop a Spartan drive at the 50-yard line. The turnover essentially ended the game as both squads brought in their reserves and the Scoopers came out with the victory, 41-7.

Sturgis finished the night with 369 yards of total offense. The Scoopers had 43 carries for 186 yards and three rushing touchdowns. Jacobs had 13 carries for 65 yards with a 5-yard touchdown run to lead Sturgis on the ground. Cass was 13 of 15 passing for 183 yards with three touchdown passes. Graham finished another good night on the gridiron with six catches for 104 yards and two touchdowns, a 3-yarder and a 52-yarder. Sturgis had one fumble and three penalties for 35 yards.

Spearfish had 134 yards of total offense on the night. The Spartans had 30 carries for 6 yards and were led by Brady Hartwig with 6 rushes for 39 yards. Hamilton was six of 17 passing for 128 yards and one touchdown. Delahoyde caught two balls for 88 yards, one reception was a 39-yard touchdown catch from Hamilton. Spearfish had four turnovers, two fumbles and two interceptions and had four penalties for 45 yards.

Sturgis improves to 5-4 on the season and is the #4 seed in class 11AA. The Scoopers face the Huron Tigers, the #5 seed, at Woodle Field on Thursday, Oct. 29. Spearfish ends their regular season at 0-8 and must travel to face the #1 seeded Brookings Bobcats, who wrapped up their season with a convincing 41-0 win over the previous #1 seeded Yankton Bucks.



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