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2021 9B Football - Dell Rapids St. Mary vs. Potter County

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2021 Class 9B Football - Dell Rapids St. Mary vs. Potter County

Dell Rapids St. Mary Edges Potter County In 2OT
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Josh Jurgens | South Dakota Public Broadcasting

Dell Rapids St. Mary defeated Potter County 44-42 in a double overtime thriller on Thursday at the Dakota Dome in Vermillion. This back-and-forth battle for the ‘9B’ title started slow offensively, but ended with non-stop scoring action.

Potter County won the toss but elected to defer to the second half. The Cardinals offense had their opening drive stall quickly, despite a 15-yard face mask penalty that gave them a free first down.

The Battlers moved the chains a couple of times on their first possession of the game, but they too stalled out. Dell Rapids St. Mary moved the ball on their second drive of the game, but it too came to a stop near the red zone.

End of the 1st Quarter: Dell Rapids St. Mary 0 Potter County 0

Dell Rapids St. Mary got on the board first when John Pica jumped in front of a Grant Luikens pass for a 32-yard pick six. The two-point conversion was good and the Cardinals led 8-0 with 10:33 to play in the half.

Potter County answered right back less than a minute later when Luikens hit wide out Drake Bassett down the sideline for a 45-yard touchdown. A successful two-point conversion made it an 8-8 game.

Luikens came up big defensively for the Battlers on Dell Rapid St. Mary’s next offensive possession, picking off a CJ Smith pass. He’d then score on a 3-yard quarterback keeper with 2:28 to play in the second quarter. The two-point conversion was no good, but Potter County had a 14-8 lead.

Dell Rapids St. Mary had a shot to the end zone as time expired in the first half, but it fell incomplete.

Halftime: Potter County 14 Dell Rapids St. Mary 8

Potter County received to start the second half, but it was Cardinals sophomore Nic Gaspar who intercepted a Luikens pass for an early second half turnover. Ty Brown capitalized for Dell Rapids St. Mary with a one-yard touchdown plunge. The two-point attempt failed, which locked the game at 14-14 with 7:08 to play in the third quarter.

The Battlers had a decent drive on their next offensive possession, but two sacks near the red zone halted Potter County.

Gaspar broke free for a 56-yard burst on the Cardinals ensuing drive. This led to a 27-yard touchdown pass from Smith to Tate Buckers. The two-point try failed, but Dell Rapids St. Mary took back a 20-14 lead with 2:33 to play in the third quarter.

Potter County hit a much-needed big play on their next possession when Luikens hit Bassett for 45-yards down field.

End of the 3rd Quarter: Dell Rapids St. Mary 20 Potter County 14

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Luikens hit Ryder Falkenhagen for a 30-yard touchdown on a fourth down play. The Cardinals picked off the pass on the two-point attempt to keep the game tied, 20-20. 

With 7:13 to play in the game, pinned deep in their own territory, Dell Rapids St. Mary fumbled the ball away giving Potter County great field possession inside the Cardinals ten-yard line. On the next play, Luikens ran it in from eight-yards out, his second rushing score of the game, to take the lead for the Battlers. The two-point try was successful to make it a 28-20 game.

Potter County’s defense would come up big again by forcing the Cardinals into a turnover on downs at their own 33-yard line. However, a botched handoff on the very next play gave Dell Rapids St. Mary the ball right back. 

At the 1:06 mark in regulation, and in desperation mode, the Cardinals tied it up as Smith hit Gaspar for a 28-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion was good to tie the game at 28-28.

Potter County came up two-yards shy of the end zone as time expired in regulation.

End of Regulation: Potter County 28 Dell Rapids St. Mary 28

Both teams scored on their first overtime possessions. Gaspar with an 8-yard run for Dell Rapids St. Mary and Luikens to Falkenhagen on a ten-yard pass for Potter County. Both teams also made their two-point conversion attempts making it a 36-36 game, and sending it into a second overtime.

The Battlers would score again on their second overtime possession with another ten-yard touchdown from Luikens to Falkenhagen. Potter County, however, failed to convert the two-point attempt.

Dell Rapids St. Mary scored on their second possession of overtime with a two-yard run by Gaspar. On the two-point attempt, with a chance to win it, Smith hit Gabriel Lindeman for the score – it was a walk off win for the Cardinals.

Final: Dell Rapids St. Mary 44 Potter County 42

This is the first state football championship for Dell Rapids St. Mary. Nic Gaspar ran for 103-yards and two touchdowns in the win. He also hauled in three receptions for 65-yards and a score as well. For Potter County, quarterback Grant Luikens threw for 297-yards and four touchdowns. He also scored twice on the ground.