Washington Tops O'Gorman In 11AAA Championship Game
The Sioux Falls Washington Warriors defeated the Sioux Falls O’Gorman Knights 27-24 in the 11AAA State Football Championship on Saturday night. This is the fourth state football championship for Washington, and their first in Class 11AAA.
Sioux Falls O’Gorman dominated the time of possession throughout the first quarter, playing strong on both offense and defense. At the 5:56 mark in the opening drive for the Knights, Kristian Jakowicz hit a 27-yard field goal giving O’Gorman a 3-0 lead.
On the first play of the second quarter, Dodi Makwinja plunged forward for a one-yard touchdown run to increase the Knights lead over the Warriors, 10-0.
With 4:52 to play in the half, the Warriors came to life. Jack Schelhaas found Ty Smith for an eight-yard touchdown connection.
The Knights answered back with an explosive 50-yard misdirection run by Jack Perry. O’Gorman led Washington 17-7 at the half.
O’Gorman fumbled on their opening possession of the second half when the snap sailed over the head of quarterback Luke Fritsch. Washington would capitalize with a five-yard touchdown run by Chayden Fitzsimmons at the 11:17 mark in the third quarter.
Running back Chayden Fitzsimmons fumbled it on the next offensive possession for the Warriors. The Knights capitalized on the turnover by capping off a long drive with a three-yard touchdown run by Fritsch. With three-minutes to play in the third quarter, O’Gorman led Washington 24-14.
The Warriors quickly answered with Schelhaas connecting with Logan Uttecht for a 23-yard touchdown.
O’Gorman held a slight lead over Washington through three quarters of play, 24-21.
Washington took their first lead of the game, 27-24; with 8:12 to play in the game as Schelhaas found Smith on 24-yard scoring play.
O’Gorman’s defense came up big late in the game, forcing a turnover on downs. Needing to go 90-yards with less than two-minutes to play, the Knights had to go to the air. Warriors linebacker Michael Enalls picked off Fritsch with 55 seconds to play, and that turnover by O’Gorman sealed the victory for Washington.
The Warriors now have four state football titles (since the SDHSAA started documenting them in 1981) in nine state championship appearances.