Hitchcock-Tulare tops Herreid/Selby Area for 9B title
Hitchcock-Tulare defeated Herreid/Selby Area 50-28 on Thursday afternoon at the Dakota Dome in Vermillion to win their third state football championship in history. Efficient offense and winning the turnover battle helped pave the way for the Patriots.
The Patriots received to start the game. Carter Binger had two big passes in late down conversions, one to Landon Puffer and the other to Cole Schroeder to help lead Hitchcock-Tulare down the field on their opening drive. It was capped off with a 6-yard bubble screen touchdown from Binger to Schroeder, which gave the Patriots a 6-0 lead with 4:37 to play in the opening quarter.
Herreid/Selby Area would answer on their first drive of the game going 68-yards that was finished with a one-yard keeper from quarterback Tray Hettick. A successful two-point conversion gave the Wolverines a 8-6 lead within the final minute of the first quarter.
End of the 1st Quarter | Herreid/Selby Area 8 Hitchcock-Tulare 6
Hitchcock-Tulare would re-take the lead when Binger hit Riley Fliehe for a 17-yard catch and run over the middle. The two-point conversion was unsuccessful. Near the midway point of the second quarter, the Patriots led 12-8.
The Wolverines moved the ball downfield on their next offensive possession, but the drive stalled in enemy territory as Herreid/Selby Area turned it over on downs.
With 10-seconds to play in the half, the Patriots extended their lead off a 3-yard run by Riley Fliehe. The two-point conversion was good, which gave Hitchcock-Tulare a 20-8 lead over Herreid/Selby Area going into the break.
Halftime | Hitchcock-Tulare 20 Herreid/Selby Area 8
Herreid/Selby Area received to start the second half, and they went the distance on it, putting it into the end zone off a 6-yard run by Brenden Begeman. This made it 20-14 in favor of Hitchcock-Tulare.
The Wolverines defense then got a much-needed stop to get the ball back, and a chance to take the lead. Deep in Patriots territory, and with their backs against the wall on defense, Brendan Nowell jumped in front of a Tray Hettick pass for a 98-yard pick six. And with nine-seconds to play in the third quarter, Hitchcock-Tulare led the Wolverines 26-14.
End of the 3rd Quarter | Hitchcock-Tulare 26 Herreid/Selby Area 14
Brenden Begeman scored on a 6-yard touchdown within the first minute of the fourth quarter for Herreid/Selby Area to cut the Patriots lead to 26-20.
Binger would then connect with Puffer for a 13-yard touchdown on the Patriots next drive to get it back to a two-possession game. But Herreid/Selby Area quickly got it right back with 5:56 to play, Begeman ran it in from 8-yards out. He also scored on the two-point conversion, which made it 34-28, Hitchcock-Tulare in front.
On the very next offensive play for the Patriots, Puffer took a short pass from Binger to the house for 65-yards. The Patriots led 42-28 with just under six-minutes to play. Puffer then showed off his defensive back skills, picking off a Hettick pass to the end zone that would have cut it back to a one possession game.
Hitchcock-Tulare picked up a few offensive first downs as they attempted to run out the clock. Binger broke free on a 4th down with a minute to play for a 44-yard score.
Final | Hitchcock-Tulare 50 Herreid/Selby Area 28
Patriots quarterback Carter Binger was the Joe Robbie MVP recipient in the contest. He went 12 of 15, 238-yards, and four touchdowns passing the football, and he had 123 yards and a touchdown running the ball as well.
Herreid/Selby Area running back Brenden Begeman finished the day with 189-yards of rushing, which gave him 6,807 career rushing yards. Begeman became the all-time career rushing record holder with Thursday’s performance.
This is the third state football championship for Hitchcock-Tulare. The Patriots also won 9B titles in 1992 (Harding County) and 2009 (Dell Rapids St. Mary).