The Langford Area Lions defeated the Harding County Ranchers 52-28 on Friday in Vermillion to win their first state title in program history.
Langford Area started the game with a score as quarterback Chance Olson finished off the opening drive with a one-yard sneak. With 6:28 to play in the first quarter, Langford led Harding County 6-0.
On their next offensive drive, Langford Area scored again – in similar fashion. Olson ran it in from 16-yards out. Again, the two-point conversion was no good, but with 34 seconds to play in the quarter, the Lions led the Ranchers 12-0.
Langford Area running back Lincoln Gibbs started off the second quarter with a bang, breaking free for a 64-yard touchdown run. At the 11:33 mark in the second quarter, the Lions extended their lead, 18-0.
Gibbs would score again for Langford Area on the next drive with a 3-yard touchdown run, giving the Lions a 26-0 lead.
With 4:21 to play in the half, Gibbs broke loose once again for an 82-yard touchdown.
Harding County finally got on the board late in the half when quarterback Sam Podzimek threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Clayton Koch.
At haltime, Langford Area led Harding County 32-6.
The third quarter started with yet another Lincoln Gibbs touchdown run for the Lions. Gibbs scored on a 93-yard touchdown run, making it the longest run from scrimmage EVER in a state title game (11-man and 9-man). This run also put Gibbs at 311 yards rushing on the day, meaning it’s also a record for the best rushing performance in a state championship game.
With 4:46 to play in the third quarter, Harding County got some points back off a one-yard touchdown run by Podzimek. Langford Area still led 38-14.
That score would stand at the end of the third quarter.
The Lions scored again at the 9:13 mark in the fourth quarter – another one for Gibbs, his fifth of the game. This one was an 11-yard touchdown run, which increased the Langford Area lead, 45-14.
Midway through the fourth quarter, the Ranchers get a touchdown off a 9-yard touchdown pass from Podzimek to Garrett Boylan. The Lions still led 45-20 in the game.
With 3:57 to play in the game, Lions quarterback Chance Olson broke loose for a 63-yard touchdown run to extend the Langford Area lead over Harding County, 52-20.
Ranchers running back Boylan ran in a one-yard touchdown at the 1:16 mark, but it was too little too late as Langford Area still led 52-28 – that score would go final.
This is the first state championship for the Langford Area Lions – it was also their first ever appearance. The Harding County Ranchers have appeared in eight state championship games. They’ve won two of them.
Langford Area running back Lincoln Gibbs finished the game with 350-yards rushing and five rushing touchdowns. It's the best rushing performance EVER in state football championship history.