Washington Holds Off Roosevelt In A Thriller, Warriors Win Third Straight Title
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Sioux Falls Washington defeated Sioux Falls Roosevelt 20-19 in what was a thrilling championship game on Saturday night in Vermillion.
The Rough Riders got the ball first in the ball game. A few big run plays set them up for a 39-yard field goal by Chris Kirschman, giving Roosevelt and early 3-0 lead.
Washington was slow moving on offense to start the game, going three-and-out on their first possession.
Roosevelt kept the momentum going on their second drive, getting the ball into Warriors territory in a fairly quick manner. Facing a fourth down and inches, Head Coach Kim Nelson dialed up a halfback pass from running back Nick Hoekstra to Jhett Vaughn that went 31-yard to the house. With 7:11 to play in the first quarter, the Rough Riders led Washington 10-0.
The Warriors were able to get into Roosevelt territory on their next drive, but the drive was halted after a 10-yard holding penalty.
End of the 1st Quarter: Roosevelt 10 Washington 0
Washington got on the board within the first minute of the second quarter when quarterback Jayden Johannsen found wide out Shiloh Flanagan over the middle for a 43-yard touchdown. Roosevelt still led 10-7.
The Rough Riders then went three-and-out on offense, and a big return on the punt set up the Warriors deep inside Roosevelt terriroty. Washington kicker Brock Walker was called on after the drive ended near the goalline, and he knocked through a 20-yard field goal to tie the game 10-10 at the 7:21 mark of the second quarter.
Both defenses made it tough on opposing offenses throughout the rest of the second quarter, and the score would remain tied going into the half.
Halftime: Sioux Falls Washington 10 Sioux Falls Roosevelt 10
The Warriors broke the tie in the early stages of the third quarter with a 6-yard touchdown run by junior running back Tupak Kpeayeh.
Roosevelt kicker Kirschman shrunk the deficit a little bit on the Rough Riders next drive, hitting a 31-yard field goal that split the uprights. Washington led 17-13 with 4:59 to play in the third quarter.
A few minutes later, Walker had a chance to put Washington back up by seven, but he missed on a short range field goal, which gave the ball back to Roosevelt.
End of the 3rd Quarter: Sioux Falls Washington 17 Sioux Falls Roosevelt 13
Washington kicker Walker got a second shot for a close range field goal on the Warrior’s next possession, after the Rough Riders were forced to punt. This one was good, from 25-yards out, giving Washington a 20-13 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Both teams would faulter on their next two offensive possessions. During the Roosevelt punt, Washington muffed a fair catch, which Roosevelt recovered, giving the Rough Ridgers the ball near midfield.
On the very next play, Warrior defensive back Logan Uttecht picked off Roosevelt’s Carter Lohr, which gave Washington the ball back deep in their own territory.
Roosevelt would get the ball back with just under three-minutes to play, needing a touchdown. The Rough Riders moved into striking distance with under a minute to play. At the 27 second mark, Hoekstra delivered on another halfback pass for Roosevelt – this time to Demareio Hester for 28-yard touchdown.
Faced with a challenging decision Rough Riders coach Kim Nelson elected to go for the two-point conversion. It failed as it was sniffed out from the start by the Warriors defense.
The final glips of hope for Roosevelt was shattered on the onside kick following the failed two-point play – Washington recovered, sealing the vicotry for Chad Stadem’s Warrior football team.
Final Score: Sioux Falls Washington 20 Sioux Falls Roosevelt 19
Joe Robbie Award: Washington Warriors running back Tupak Kpeayeh is the 2017 Class 11AAA Joe Robbie MVP award recipient. He ran for 204-yards and had a rushing touchdown. Kpeayeh also caught one pass for 10-yards.