WALL, SD – The Wall Eagles continued their storybook run to the Dakota Dome by beating the Hamlin Chargers, 26-13, punching their ticket to the 9AA state championship game next week in Vermillion.
Wall remains the only unbeaten team in 9AA football at 11-0, as previously unbeaten Elkton-Lake Benton was downed by Parkston 36-8 in the other semifinal matchup. The Eagles and the Trojans battle it out for the 9AA title on Friday at 9:30am Mountain time. It’s the first trip to the Dome for Wall since 2011.
Wall got on the scoreboard first as the Eagles orchestrated a 12 play, 95-yard drive, culminating in a 6-yard touchdown run by quarterback Burk Blasius with 3:08 left in the first quarter. The extra point by Blair Blasius split the uprights and Wall led 7-0.
The Chargers put together a long drive of their own on the next series and put the ball into the end zone from nine yards out, but the score was nullified by a penalty, moving the ball back to the 25-yard line. Two plays later, Eagle linebacker Cedar Amiotte picked off a Tyler Stevenson pass to end the scoring threat.
Wall used a combination of passing and running to push the ball deep into Charger territory late in the second, settling for a 23-yard field goal by Blasius to take a 10-0 lead into the locker room at the half.
Hamlin came out with a renewed sense of purpose in the third quarter and got on the scoreboard with a 70-yard strike from Stevenson to sophomore wideout Evan Stormo down the left sideline. Stormo outran the Wall defense to cut the Eagle lead to 10-7 with just 2:25 gone in the third.
Both squads were held to three-and-outs on their next series, until Wall senior running back Cedar Amuotte took over. Amiotte scored two touchdowns just 1:06 apart late in the third to give the Eagles a 23-7 lead headed into the fourth.
Amiotte picked off another Stevenson pass early in the fourth to stall the Chargers momentum. Wall’s dynamic offense chewed up several minutes of play clock midway through the final quarter. A pass interference call on Hamlin’s Luke Frasier kept the Eagle drive alive with just a few minutes left in the game. Wall capitalized with a 30-yard Blasius field goal to extend their lead to 26-7 with only 1:16 left.
Hamlin moved the ball downfield quickly on their final drive of the game. Stevenson found Frasier wide open in the end zone as time expired, scoring with no time left on the clock, giving Wall a 26-13 victory to end the semifinal contest.
Wall (11-0) finished with 339 yards of total offense. The Eagles ran the ball 32 times for 173 yards and three scores. Amiotte tallied 125 yards on 17 carries and caught four balls for 83 yards. Burk Blasius was 13 of 23 through the air for 166 yards. The Eagles had no turnovers and eight penalties for 80 yards.
Hamlin (9-2) finished their season with 381 yards of offense, 94 yards on the ground and 287 yards passing. The Eagle defense held standout running back Frasier in check throughout the contest. Frasier came in averaging 157 yards rushing per game, but only managed 64 yards on 18 carries. The Chargers had two interceptions and 11 penalties for 95 yards.