After a 5-4 regular season and a #7 seed in the class 11A playoffs, the Dell Rapids Quarrier football team knocked off the #2 seed Madison Bulldogs and #3 Dakota Valley Panthers in the playoffs to make it to the South Dakota Class 11A championship game against the Tea Area Titans at the Dakota Dome in Vermillion on Thursday, November 8th. The Titans ended the magical run by Dell Rapids as the Quarriers earned runner-up honors after a 39-7 defeat.
The Quarrier defense started the game by forcing the Titans to punt on their opening drive, but Tea Area also forced Dell Rapids to punt on their opening drive. The Titans struck first on their next drive on an 80-yard touchdown run by Carter Slykhuis to give Tea Area a 7-0 lead with 7:13 to play in the first quarter. The Titans would score again before the end of the first quarter. Slykhuis threw a 28-yard halfback pass to Cade Clayberg that set up a one-yard touchdown run by Wyatt Van Tol. The two-point conversion was no good, and Tea Area led 13-0 after one quarter of play. The two defenses played tough throughout the second quarter. Neither offense could get going, but Tea Area was able to put one more score on the board right before halftime on a three-yard touchdown run by Van Tol to give the Titans a 20-0 lead.
Dell Rapids received the kickoff to start the second half, but their opening drive of the third quarter resulted in another punt. The Titans scored quickly on their next possession when Hunter West connected with Trevor Cox on a 34-yard touchdown pass just three minutes into the quarter for a 27-0 lead. The Quarriers finally got on the board with 7:04 to play in the quarter on a 65-yard touchdown run by Alex Kringen. The extra point was good by Hunter Garry, and Dell Rapids cut the lead to 27-7. The Quarriers then recovered the onside kick, but the Titan defense held strong and forced a punt. Late into the third quarter, Tea Area scored again on a 22-yard field goal by Kade Stearns to increase their lead to 30-7. The Titans forced Dell Rapids into a safety early in the fourth quarter, and then they scored again with 9:42 to play in the game on a 35-yard touchdown pass from West to Slykhuis for the 39-7 lead.
The Quarriers finished with a total of 175 yards of offense, 135 rushing yards and 40 passing yards. The Titans finished with 393 yards of offense, 200 rushing yards and 193 passing yards. Dell Rapids was 2-13 on third down and 0-1 on fourth down. The Titans were 6-11 on third down and also 0-1 on fourth down.
Eddie Price finished the game 3-8 passing for 40 yards. Tayte Gleason had a 16 yard catch, Logan Stone had a 15 yards catch, and Kringen had a nine-yard catch. Kringen also finished the game with seven carries for 87 yards and a touchdown. Gleason had nine carries for 46 yards. Coby Maeschen led the team with 11 tackles defensively. Price had six tackles. Logan Heim and Kenyon Shellum both had five tackles, while Drew Van Regenmorter, Tyler Wood, and Trevon Cross all had four tackles each.
After the game, the Quarriers had their welcome home celebration at the Dell Rapids Middle School commons area. During the the opening remarks, Athletic Director Jeff Dvorak pointed to the trophy case and said, “Those things are going to say there. They’re not going to live, they’re not going to breathe, and they’re not going to have stories. These kids right here are the trophies.”
Head Coach Jordan Huska, during the welcome home, said, “These guys, to get here, worked their tails off all year. It started last winter. Most of these guys are in basketball, wrestling, or in the weight room, and that’s where it began. Thank you players for all your hard work, time, and perseverance.”