The Wolsey-Wessington Warbirds defeated the Woonsocket/Wessington Springs/Sanborn Central Blackhawks 36-22 at the Dakota Dome on Thursday afternoon for the 9AA state football championship.
W/WS/SC scored first when quarterback Tucker Kingsbury found Dillon Moore for a 39-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion was good and the Blackhawks led Wolsey-Wessington 8-0 with 6:50 to play in the opening quarter.
Wolsey-Wessington would answer on their next drive with a six-yard touchdown run by running back Hunter Johnson. The two-point conversion was no good, thus the Blackhawks still led the Warbirds 8-6 with 3:45 to play in the first.
Both teams traded possessions for most of the second quarter, but the Warbirds would eventually break the trend. Wolsey-Wessington quarterback Jerrett Weber found Darian Ogunjemilusi for a 25-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion was good and with 1:59 left in the second quarter, the Warbirds led the Blackhawks 14-8. That score stood going into the locker rooms for halftime.
The Warbirds got things going in the third quarter when Ogunjemilusi broke free for a 30-yard touchdown run. W/WS/SC would answer just seconds later when Landon Ochsner scored on a 56-yard burst. Not to be outdone, Wolsey-Wessington scored on their very next offensive play with a 70-yard run by Johnson. With 5:55 to play in the third quarter, the Warbirds led the Blackhawks 28-14.
At the 2:10 mark, Kingsbury found wide out John Witte near the side of the end zone for a 5-yard Blackhawks touchdown. Wolsey-Wessington still led 28-22 and it would remain that way going into the fourth quarter.
The game clock became an issue for the Blackhawks in the fourth quarter. Wolsey-Wessington picked up a huge first down with 2:09 to play, and then on the next play, Johnson broke loose for a 45-yard Warbirds touchdown.
After recovering an onside kick, Wolsey-Wessington had nothing more to do than run out the clock.
Both these teams came into today with hopes of winning their first state football title. Last year, Howard defeated Wolsey-Wessington in the 9A championship, and Gregory defeated Woonsocket/Wessington Springs/Sanborn Central in the 9AA championship.