Howard defeated Herreid/Selby Area in impressive fashion on Thursday afternoon in Vermillion to win the 9A state title 55-18. This is the Tigers fourth state football championship in history and their first since 2014.
On Howard’s second play from scrimmage, they took a 7-0 lead, courtesy of running back Ty Beyer, who broke loose for a 65-yard touchdown run. Herreid/Selby Area would answer when Tray Hettick hit Trevor Gill over the middle for an 11-yard pass and catch for six.
The Tigers continued their ground success on their second offensive possession as Griffin Clubb broke free down the sideline for a 28-yard score. This made it a 14-6 game near the midway point of the opening quarter.
End of the 1st Quarter: Howard 14 Herreid/Selby Area 6
Howard extended it to 21-6 on the first play of the second quarter. Fullback John Callies galloped up the middle for an 11-yard touchdown run. The offensive struggles continued for the wolverines.
The Tigers found the end zone again in the second quarter when quarterback Taiden Hoyer connected with tight end Jace Sifore for a 58-yard touchdown. This made it 28-6 with 7:55 to play until halftime.
Howard scored again with 4:27 to play. Callies scored from one yard out, his second of the game, to make it 35-6.
Before halftime, the Tigers would score one more time. Clubb broke free for his second rushing score of the day, this time from 24-yards out. As a team, Howard had five rushing touchdowns in the first half.
Halftime: Howard 42 Herreid/Selby Area 6
The Wolverines scored first in the second half, courtesy of a three-year scoring slant from Hettick to wide out Brenden Begeman. This made it a 42-12 game. But Howard wasted no time returning to their first half form as Callies broke free for a 54-yard touchdown run, his third of the day. It was 49-12 at the 1:49 mark in the third quarter.
End of the 3rd Quarter: Howard 49 Herreid/Selby Area 12
Beyer, who scored the first touchdown of the game, found the end zone again with his legs with 9:45 to play in the game – this one from 35-yards out.
Herreid/Selby Area would hit a big play on their next offensive possession when Hettick hit Begeman on a 63-yard scoring bomb. Both teams handed the keys over to some of their backup players as time expired on the contest.
Final: Howard 55 Herreid/Selby Area 18
Tigers running back John Callies ran for 138-yards and three touchdowns. Griffin Clubb also ran for two touchdowns on 115-yards, and Ty Beyer ran for two touchdowns on 107-yards. Howard only completed one pass all game, and that was a touchdown pass to Jace Sifore. Tray Hettick of Herreid/Selby Area threw for 238-yards and three touchdowns in the contest.
This is Howard’s fourth state football title in the playoff era. It’s their first since 2014, their second in Class 9A, and their third title in 9-man football.