Tea Area Titans dominate Sturgis in playoff football showdown
The Tea Area High School football team asserted their dominance over the Sturgis squad, securing a resounding 39-13 victory this past Friday, Oct. 27 during the first round of the Class 11AA football playoffs. The Titans’ relentless performance left no room for doubt as they out-shined Sturgis with 21 first downs to their opponent’s 11.
Tea Area’s Cole McKinney got the Titans on the board first, scoring on an eight-yard rush at the 8:52 mark in the first quarter. Despite a missed extra point, the Titans took an early 6-0 lead.
Sturgis quickly answered back when Aidan Hedderman executed a 12-yard touchdown play, secured by Sully Jost’s successful point after kick, pushing the scoreboard to 7-6 in favor of Sturgis.
However, that would be the last lead for Sturgis. Tea Area’s Keegan DeYoung ran it in from five yards out 3:03 mark in the first quarter put Tea Area back in the lead, 12-7, after an unsuccessful point after attempt.
The second quarter saw DeYoung once again finding the end zone with a 26-yard touchdown run at 10:37. A missed point after left the score at 18-7 in favor of the Titans.
As the first half concluded, DeYoung secured yet another touchdown, this time with a five-yard rush at the 00:35 mark. This time, the point after was successful by Griffin Wiebenga, further extending Tea Area’s lead to 25-7.
The third quarter saw the Titans solidifying their control of the game. First, quarterback Brenner Konrad orchestrated a spectacular lateral pass to Riley Svanda, resulting in a seven-yard touchdown play at 9:31. Wiebenga’s successful extra point extended the lead to 32-7.
Tea Area continued to impress when Sam Werdel scored a 24-yard touchdown run at 05:48 in the third quarter. A successful point after by Wiebenga pushed the lead to 39-7.
Sturgis managed to narrow the gap when Hedderman connected with Dalyn Dschaak for a seven-yard touchdown pass at 01:48. McKinney blocked the extra point attempt to bring the score to 39-13 in favor of the Titans, a score they would go on to win by.
Tea Area finished with 425 yards of offense, gaining 353 on the ground and 72 in the air. Sturgis finished with 213 yards of offense, gaining 89 on the ground and 124 in the air.
For the Titans, DeYoung led the rushing attack with 99 yards gained on 13 carries. Svanda had 83 yards on ten carries, Konrad 62 on 12, McKinney 62 on nine, Werdel 41 on three, and Carter Christensen five on one carry.
In the air, Konrad competed six of his ten pass attempts for 72 yards. McKinney caught two passes for 34 yards, DeYoung two for 27, Svanda one for ten and Jessen Wiebenga one for one yard.
Defensively, Werdel led the team with nine tackles. He also recorded a fumble recovery. J. Wiebenga and Chase DeBoer each recorded a sack in the game. Tim Halbur had seven tackles. Dawson Eimers and J. Wiebenga each had five tackles and Parker Wilson, Andrew Orland, and Garrett Wiebenga had three tackles each.
The Titans now advance to the semi-finals where they face off against #2 seeded Yankton at Crane-Youngworth Field in Yankton on Friday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. The winner will advance to the State AA Championship game to be played Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. at the DakotaDome in Vermillion. They will face off against the winner of the Pierre/Watertown game also held on Nov. 3.