After recognizing and celebrating the 12 seniors prior to the game, the Dell Rapids Quarriers scored a big win over the Mitchell Kernels on Friday, September 18th. Both teams entered the game with 3-0 records and at the top of their respective class seed points. Dell Rapids remained unbeaten with a 23-22 come-from-behind win in a physical, back-and-forth contest.
Dell Rapids delivered the first blow when Landon Ruesink scored on a 60-yard touchdown run with 4:16 to play in the opening quarter. The Quarriers surprised the Kernels with a fake extra point attempt, and Connor Rentz connected with Ruesink on a pass for the two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead. The score remained 8-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Mitchell got on the board late in second quarter. Parker Phillips scored on a 54-yard run with 2:08 to play in the half. The Kernels attempted a two-point conversion, but failed, and Dell Rapids held an 8-6 lead at halftime.
The Kernels seemed to pick up momentum in the third quarter. Phillips scored again with 8:19 to play in the quarter on a 60-yard run. He also scored the two-point conversion to give Mitchell a 14-8 lead. Mitchell extended the lead with 3:51 to go on an 89-yard run by Tucker Vilhauer. The two-point conversion was made by Josh Grosdidier to extend the Kernel lead to 22-8.
All momentum seemed to be with Mitchell at that time, but on the very first play of the Quarriers’ next offensive possession, Landon VonHoltum had a 65-yard run to give Dell Rapids a spark. The run by VonHoltum set up seven-yard run by Ruesink with 2:28 to go in the quarter. Victor Knuppe made the extra point, and Dell Rapids trailed 22-15 at the end of the third quarter.
The Quarrier defense held Mitchell and got the ball back to start the fourth quarter. They put together a long drive that lasted nearly six minutes. Coby Maeschen scored on a seven-yard run with 6:48 to play in the game pulling the Quarriers within a point at 22-21. Instead going for the tie, Dell Rapids elected to go for the two point conversion. Ruesink found the endzone, and the Quarriers went ahead 23-22.
Mitchell had one last drive late in the game to try for the win. They were able to drive the ball to the Dell Rapids 20-yard line with just :07 to play in the game. The Kernels attempted a 30-yard game winning field goal, but the snap was too low to be handled, and the Quarriers recovered the ball for the win.
Dell Rapids finished with 393 yards of total offense, 296 rushing yards and 97 passing yards. Mitchell had 388 yards of total offense, 368 rushing yards and 20 passing yards.
Austin Henry was 7-17 passing for 97 yards and an interception. Ruesink had four catches for 67 yards. Knuppe had two catches for 17 yards. Ruesink had 17 carries for 133 yards and two touchdowns. VonHoltum had three carries for 70 yards, and Maeschen had 13 carries for 63 yards and a touchdown. Maeschen led the defense with 17 tackles. Brayden Gee had seven tackles. Henry, Connor Rentz, VonHoltum, and Knuppe all had six tackles each.
Dell Rapids (4-0) will host the Tri-Valley Mustangs on Friday, September 25th. The game can be seen on Big Sioux Media.
This year’s seniors for the Dell Rapids Quarrier football team are Connor Rentz, Colin Rentz, Avery Boechler, Carter Nelson, Coby Maeschen, Brayden Gee, Jakob Letsche, Mitchell Klinkenborg, Cody Schultz, Kyle Cavigielli, Zach Schreier, and Ian Hackett.