The 9B championship game between Wolsey-Wessington and Dell Rapids St. Mary was the middle game on Thursday, which saw the Warbirds outlast the Cardinals for a 32-14 victory.
Wolsey-Wessington would find the end zone on their first drive of the game as a 62-yard drive was capped off with a 14-yard touchdown run by running back Eric Klanchnik. This gave the Warbirds an early 6-0 lead.
Dell Rapids St. Mary found success on the ground during their first offensive possession, but the drive stalled in Warbirds territory. Klanchnik would score again for Wolsey-Wessington at the 2:13 mark in the first quarter – this time from 10-yards out. Another failed two-point try held the score at 12-0.
End of the 1st Quarter: Wolsey-Wessington 12 Dell Rapids St. Mary 0
Both teams traded possessions for most of the second quarter. Wolsey-Wessington broke the scoring drought on a one-yard quarterback keeper from Corbin Haarmeyer. The Warbirds would take their three-possession lead into the locker room at the halfway point.
Halftime: Wolsey-Wessington 18 Dell Rapids St. Mary 0
Three-minutes into the third quarter, the Cardinals hit a much-needed home run. On a halfback pass, Connor Libis hit Nic Gasper for a 45-yard score. A successful two-point conversion made it just a ten-point game.
The Dell Rapids St. Mary defense would then hold a promising drive from Wolsey-Wessington, forcing a turnover on downs, deep on the Cardinals end of the field.
End of the 3rd Quarter: Wolsey-Wessington 18 Dell Rapids St. Mary 8
With 7:59 to play in the game, the Warbirds converted a fourth-down conversion that went 30-yards for a score – Haarmeyer hit Carson Zomer on a fly route. After a successful two-point attempt, Wolsey-Wessington led 26-8.
Dell Rapids St. Mary answered right back with a deep shot of their own. Connor Libis hit Sam Palmer for a 45-yard touchdown. The two-point try failed and Wolsey-Wessington would hold a 26-14 lead.
The Warbirds would then put together their most impressive drive of the game. They ate up nearly three-minutes over the course of 58-yards, which included a crucial third down conversion, finishing it with a one-yard quarterback keeper from Marty Gohn.
During a desperation drive for the Cardinals, Wolsey-Wessington’s Ethan Nelson stripped Connor Libis, which Wolsey-Wessington recovered. From there, it was victory formation for the Warbirds.
Final: Wolsey-Wessington 32 Dell Rapids St. Mary 14
This is the first state football title since 2015 for Wolsey-Wessington.
Outstanding Lineman: Sterlin Bonin
Outstanding Back: Corbin Haarmeyer
Joe Robbie MVP: Corbin Haarmeyer
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