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Todd County hoists trophy in return to the dome as Falcons power past Red Cloud

Tim Tushla
South Dakota Public Broadcasting

Todd County defeated Red Cloud 72-26 in the All Nations Football Conference 9A championship game on Friday evening in Vermillion at the Dakota Dome. Sayge Yellow Eagle and Ty Valandra led the way for the Falcons with six combined rushing touchdowns in the contest.

The Falcons received to start the game and they would score on their opening possession. Quarterback Ray Crow capped off the first drive with a one-yard quarterback keeper to give Todd County an early 6-0 lead.

On Red Cloud’s first offensive play, that started at their own five-yard line, Todd County defensive lineman Stacy Eagle Bear-Poignee came up with a sack in the end zone for a safety. This made it 8-0 in favor of the Falcons.

The Crusaders would score on their next offensive possession when Adriano Rama connected with Josiah Cottier for a 35-yard score. A failed two-point conversion kept the lead with Todd County.

Red Cloud’s defense would force a three-and-out, and then a muffed punt attempt gave the Crusaders excellent field possession for their next possession on offense. Cottier showed off his athleticism for his second touchdown, breaking free for a 25-yard score. This gave the Crusaders a 12-8 lead.

End of the 1st Quarter | Red Cloud 12 Todd County 8

Todd County recaptured the lead early in the second quarter off a one-yard plunge from Rocky Wiedman. A successful two-point conversion put the Falcons ahead 16-12.

The Falcons defense came up big on Red Cloud’s next offensive possession. Rama fumbled on a drawn-out play, which was recovered by Stryder Yellow Eagle, who took it 31-yards to the house.

Todd County’s defense then forced a three-and-out, which led to another quick score by the Falcons – this one a 3-yard dive by Ty Valandra. Midway through the second quarter it was 32-12 in favor of Todd County.

Stephan Guerue kept the scoring going for the Falcons as he picked off a Rama pass and returned it for six.

Sayge Yellow Eagle would break free for a 31-yard touchdown on Todd County’s next offensive possession to give the Falcons a 46-12 lead with 3:13 to play until halftime.

Halftime | Todd County 46 Red Cloud 12

Red Cloud received to start the second half, but despite good field position, the drive stalled. Sayge Yellow Eagle then took Todd County’s first offensive play of the third quarter for a 56-yard touchdown. This made it 52-12 early in the second half, but then on the ensuing kickoff, Cottier cut loose down the sideline for a 79-yard return score.

Yellow Eagle broke free for another 30-yard scamper on the Falcon’s next offensive possession to make it a 58-18 game midway through the third quarter.

The Crusaders found the end zone again when Rama weaved through defenders for a 28-yard touchdown quarterback keeper.

End of the 3rd Quarter | Todd County 58 Red Cloud 26

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Yellow Eagle broke loose for his fourth touchdown of the game, this one from 24-yards out.

Todd County would score one more time before the contest concluded as Valandra found space through the Crusaders defense on a 13-yard run.

Final | Todd County 72 Red Cloud 26

Sayge Yellow Eagle finished the game with 158-yards rushing and four touchdowns on the ground for Todd County. Ty Valandra also added 110 ground yards and two scores the Falcons. Josiah Cottier ran for 82-yards and a rushing touchdown for Red Cloud. He also had a 35-yard receiving score and a 79-yard kick return touchdown in the game.

Rocky Wiedman was the recipient of the Jim Thorpe award, while Sayge Yellow Eagle took home offensive player honors and Stacy Eagle Bear-Poignee was the defensive player of the game.

2022 All Nations Football Championships Class 9A

Nate Wek is currently the sports content producer and sports and rec beat reporter for South Dakota Public Broadcasting. He is a graduate of South Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism Broadcasting and a minor in Leadership. From 2010-2013 Nate was the Director of Gameday Media for the Sioux Falls Storm (Indoor Football League) football team. He also spent 2012 and 2013 as the News and Sports Director of KSDJ Radio in Brookings, SD. Nate, his wife Sarah, and two kids Braxan and Jordy, live in Canton, SD.
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