Titans cap off perfect season with State title
The Tea Area Titans brought their “AA” game to the Class A Championship title game this past Saturday, Nov. 14 at the Dakota Dome in Vermillion.
It was all Titans from the start as Tea Area defeated the C-Hawks 35-16 to win their second State A Football Championship title in school history.
Playing fall sports during the COVID-19 Pandemic brought a whole new set of challenges for area football teams. Each week games hung in the balance but the Titans were able to play all regularly scheduled games during the 2020 season with the exception of their match-up against Pierre, which Pierre had to cancel due to COVID-19 numbers.
Titan head coach Craig Clayberg is happy the season worked out and was thankful for all those who made it happen.
“We want to thank our administration for all the hard work they did during the COVID situation. The protocols that they put in place for all athletics starting this last summer really helped,” said Clayberg. “It wasn’t always fun to follow them all, but it paid off. Our athletes did a great job of following them - the wearing of masks, the washing/sanitizing of their hands, and the cleaning of equipment. If we didn’t have these guidelines or didn’t follow them, I don’t think we would have had a season, so the football team and coaching staff would like to thank all that were involved in the protocol decision making process.”
And what a season it was for the Titans.
After finishing the regular season undefeated, the Titans’ first post-season match-up against Lennox was canceled due to COVID concerns within the Lennox football team. But the Titans didn’t let a week off shake them, taking care of business the following week with a 37-14 victory over Madison in the semi-finals.
The win sent them into the State Championship where they made their mark, defeating Canton 35-16 to end the season with the State title in their hands and a spotless 11-0 record.
The Titans wasted no time in the Championship game, as Tea Area’s Garrett Kolbeck intercepted the C-Hawks’ first pass of the game which set up a quick score for Tea Area. Austin Lake found Conner Mulder in the endzone for the 11 yard touchdown pass. Chase Van Tol kicked the extra point and Tea Area was up 7-0.
After going 3 and out on their next possession, the C-Hawks were forced to punt. Tea Area, once again, scored quickly as Kaden Johnson took the first carry of the drive and ran 90 yards for the touchdown. Van Tol’s extra point gave the Titans a 14-0 lead just minutes into the game.
On the Titans’ next possession, Tea Area used a nine play 58 yard drive to get the score. Lake ran it in from 30 yards on the quarterback keeper and the point after by Van Tol gave the Titans a 21-0 advantage.
The C-Hawks were once again forced to punt. Blake Thompson had a nice return to set up the Titans at their own 42 yard line.
(Photo courtesy of SDPB.org)
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