The Yankton Bucks defeated the Brookings Bobcats 34-33 on Friday night in exciting overtime fashion to capture the 2014 11AA Championship.
Yankton got themselves on the board first when quarterback Mason Strahl found wide out Brady Hale in the end zone for a 15-yard score. With 6:34 remaining in the first quarter, Yankton led Brookings 7-0. The score would remain through the first 12 minutes of play.
Brookings got on the board with 10:28 to play in the half when Michael Daniel ran in a 2-yard TD for the Bobcats. The extra-point was blocked, and Yankton still led 7-6.
The Bucks answered right back when Strahl connected with wide out Sheldon Gant for a 32-yard touchdown, and Yankton now led Brookings 14-6 with 9:09 to play in the second quarter.
Yankton scored again on their next position as Hale knocked in a 22-yard field goal making it a 17-6 lead for the Bucks with 2:55 left in the half.
Mason Strahl got the second half going for the Bucks, finishing off their drive with a 1-yard TD run. Yankton led Brookings 24-6 with 8:56 to play in the third quarter.
The Bobcats answered right back when quarterback Carter Gordon found a wide-open RJ Helsper for a 30-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion was no good, Yankton still led Brookings 24-12 with 6:22 to play in the third.
Yankton then took a turn, but the Bucks were forced to punt the ball away. Dayton Bird returned the punt 80-yards for the Bobcats, and two plays later Gerald Maxwell ran it in from two-yards out. At the end of the third quarter, Yankton led Brookings 24-19.
Daniel then got loose to give Brookings a 27-24 lead on a 63-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion was good with 3:52 to play.
The Bucks took a turn next going downfield. They got into range for Hale, who kicked a game tying 45-yard field goal with less than two minutes to play. Each team took a turn to win the game, but neither could get into field-goal range. The game went to overtime with the score tied 27-27.
In the overtime period, Yankton scored first on a Ryan Sterhagen 10-yard touchdown run taking a 34-27 lead. The Bobcats answered right back on a 7-yard run by Daniel. Brookings made the decision to go for the two-point conversion and the win, but the pass fell incomplete. As a result, the Yankton Bucks won the game and took home the 11AA State Championship.
Watch the Full Game here....
Yanton Head Coach Arlin Likness said his team fought through a tough battle tonight.
“We shot ourselves in the foot throughout the game, give Brookings credit,” said Likness. “Luckily we’ve been in overtime situations before, and we just had to execute. Lucky for us we were able to get it done.”
Yankton quarterback Mason Strahl said this game was a dog fight.
"Starting the game, the emotions were high. We didn’t execute very well coming out of halftime," said Strahl. "We were able to get it done at the end, it all happened so fast, I’m still trying to soak it in."
This is the first state football title for the Yankton Bucks since 2002.