STURGIS, SD – The Tea Area Titans controlled the ball for the majority of the second half, using a punishing ground game that wore down the Sturgis Scoopers, securing a Titan win at Woodle field, 26–7.
It was the first visit to Sturgis for the Titans, who had outscored the Scoopers 166-17 in their last three meetings in Tea Area. This season’s matchup looked close on paper, with both teams focusing their offense on the running game. Tea Area came into the game averaging 271 yards rushing and 95 yards through the air, with the Scoopers averaging 214 yards on the ground and 99 yards passing.
The Titans started their first drive on their own 26-yard-line and put together a 74-yard drive in eight plays, ending in a 26-yard touchdown run by sophomore quarterback Brenner Konrad. The extra point kick was no good and the Titans led 6-0 in the first quarter.
Neither team could muster much offense throughout the rest of the opening quarter and the game remained 6-0 headed into the second.
On the Scoopers third drive of the second quarter, senior quarterback Aiden Hedderman used his legs to move the ball to the Tea Area 30-yard line, then found Dalyn Dschaak with a nine-yard pass to put Sturgis into the red zone. Two plays later, Hedderman found Sully Jost wide open on the right side of the field and Jost did the rest, rumbling 18-yards into the end zone for a touchdown. The kick was good and Sturgis led 7-6 with 4:53 left before the half.
Tea Area returned the ensuing kickoff to their own 34-yard line and fumbled on the next play, giving Sturgis a golden opportunity to put up another score before the half. But the Scoopers turned the ball over on downs at the Titan 28-yard line. Tea Area shocked the Scoopers on the very next play, when Konrad found Keegan DeYoung wide open down the middle and DeYoung did the rest, sprinting 72-yards for a Titan touchdown with 2:02 left before halftime. The two-point conversion was no good and Tea Area led Sturgis at the half, 12-7.
After the second half kickoff, the Scoopers started at their own 21 and put together a solid drive that stalled at the Titan 43-yard line. Sturgis was forced to punt and pinned Tea Area at their own 1-yard line. The Titans struggled to move the ball and were faced with a fourth-and-one at their own 10-yard line. Konrad took the snap and followed his big offensive line, gaining three yards to secure the first down. With that breathing room, the Titan ground game went to work, methodically moving the ball down field and chewing up the precious time on the play clock. DeYoung punched the ball into the end zone from the three-yard line with 2:36 left in the third and the kick was good, giving the Titans a 19-7 lead. The 16-play, 99-yard drive took 7:01 off the clock.
The Scoopers went three and out on their next drive and were forced to punt. Tea Area continued to use a ball-control offense on their ensuing drive, moving the ball 51-yards in 13 plays, taking another five minutes off the clock and scoring on a five-yard touchdown run by DeYoung with 8:34 left. The kick was good and the Titans led 26-7. The Scoopers went three and out again and gave the ball back to the Tea Area with 7:26 left. The Titans ran out the clock to earn the hard-fought win over Sturgis.
Tea Area (4-2) finished with 389 yards of total offense for the game. The Titans had 51 carries for 278 on the ground and were led by Konrad, who had 14 rushes for 106 yards and touchdown. Konrad was 6 of 14 passing for 111 yards. DeYoung caught three balls for 97 yards and a score. Tea Area had two turnovers, both fumbles, and six penalties for 60 yards.
Sturgis (3-3) could only muster 118 yards of total offense, 55 on the ground and 63 through the air. Hedderman finished with 13 carries for 59 yards and was six of 17 passing on the night. Dschaak had two catches for 21 yards. Byron Holt had one catch for 30 yards. The Scoopers had one turnover, a fumble by Jost on a kickoff return in the second quarter, and five penalties for 45-yards.
The Scoopers are on the road next week to take on the Belle Fourche Broncs at Lou Graslie Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 6pm.