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Lower Brule goes back-to-back, Sioux win 9B title

Tim Tushla
South Dakota Public Broadcasting

The Sioux of Lower Brule are back-to-back champions in the All-Nations Football Conference. They defeated Tiospa Zina 42-0 on Saturday afternoon at the Dakota Dome in Vermillion to claim the 9B title.

Lower Brule returned to start the game. The Sioux would put together a solid drive, but it stalled out inside their opponents 40-yard line with a turnover on downs. This gave Tiospa Zina decent field position for their opening offensive possession of the game.

Wambdi would go three-and-out on their first drive, but they got the ball back after a catch and fumble from Marley Carpenter of Lower Brule on the Sioux’s next drive.

End of the 1st Quarter: Lower Brule 0 Tiospa Zina 0

Tiospa Zina got inside Lower Brule’s 10-yard line but came up short of goal line. The Sioux would eventually find the end zone on a one-yard direct snap to Cory Big Eagle. The two-point conversion was no good, but this gave Lower Brule a 6-0 lead.

The Sioux got the ball back immediately as Lane Gray intercepted a Thomas Anderson deep pass. Lower Brule would advance the ball near midfield following the turnover. Anderson then got redemption from his interception by picking off Gray, which gave Wambdi the ball back.

Lower Brule would find the end zone with four-seconds to play in the half on a five-yard pass from Gray to Carpenter.

Halftime: Lower Brule 6 Tiospa Zina 0

A holding penalty plagued Tiospa Zina’s opening drive of the second half. Wambdi got the ball back a couple minutes later, though, when Eddie Rousseau picked off Gray. On the next play, however, Javier Dominguez fumbled a carry forced by Isaiah Felicia that turned into a five-yard scoop and score by Elliot LaRoche. This extended the Sioux’s lead to 22-0 with 7:22 to play in the third quarter.

Lower Brule’s William Fire Cloud intercepted an Anderson pass a couple plays into Tiospa Zina’s next drive to give the Sioux the ball back. Two plays later, Gray hit Quentin McBride for a 49-yard score. This made it a 28-0 game, in favor of Lower Brule.

Felicia showed off his athleticism on the next Sioux drive as he broke free for a 23-yard touchdown run. Lower Brule scored again on their next possession too as Gray found Carpenter for a 23-yard touchdown.

End of the 3rd Quarter: Lower Brule 42 Tiospa Zina 0

The fourth quarter was played with a running clock. Tiospa Zina had one last chance to score in the final minute of the game, but they came up short, turning it over on downs.

Final: Lower Brule 42 Tiospa Zina 0

This is Lower Brule’s second championship in the All-Nations Football Conference. Quarterback Lane Gray was named the offensive Most Valuable Player in the contest with 218-yards passing and three touchdowns through the air. Cory Big Eagle led the ground game for the Sioux with 114 yards rushing and a score. Marley Carpenter had 101-yards receiving and two touchdown catches.

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.