The West Central Trojans punched their ticket to the 11A Championship game after a 24-20 victory over the Beresford Watchdogs in the semifinals at home on Friday, November 4th.
The two teams played a hard-fought game that was close throughout the night. The Trojans captured the first score on an 11-yard touchdown run by Justin Zirpel. Cambell Fischer made the extra point, and with 6:39 to go in the opening quarter, West Central led 7-0.
The Watchdogs tied the game early in the second quarter. Jaxson Tadlock had a two-yard run to cap a 98-yard drive. Colton Stene made the extra point to tie the game 7-7 with 11:13 to play in the half. West Central regained the lead late in the quarter. Jesse Jost had a 26-yard touchdown run with 1:39 left, and Fischer made the extra point for a 14-7 lead. Beresford, however, got a score just as time expired in the first half on a six-yard run by Jack Stenen. The extra point tied the game 14-14 heading into halftime.
Zirpel put the Trojans back in front late in the third quarter on a seven-yard touchdown run. Fischer again made the extra point, and West Central led 21-14 heading into the fourth quarter. Midway through the fourth quarter, Fischer made a 23-yard field goal to put West Central ahead 24-14. Beresford successfully executed a “hook-and-ladder” play when Tate VanOtterloo threw a pass to Zach Boden, who then pitched it to Stenen. Stenen raced down the sideline to complete the 40-yard touchdown play. The extra point was no good, and the score remained 24-20 with 3:18 to play in the game. The Trojans were able to secure the win by getting enough first downs on their next drive to run the clock to 0:00.
West Central will play the Dell Rapids Quarriers in the 11A Championship game at the Dakota Dome on Friday, November 11th at 7:30 p.m.