Wolverines overtake Jaguars with five touchdown run
After spotting Corsica-Stickney an early lead, Herreid-Selby Area scored five straight touchdowns and defeated the Jaguars 40-28 in the Class 9A quarterfinals in Selby on Monday.
“I was proud of the way we played,” said coach Jeff Kosters. “Especially after the way the game started and how we weathered the storm, so to speak, and settled down and got to work.”
The Corsica-Stickney offense looked like it was going to be a powerful machine in the early going. The Jaguars drove the field on the first play and scored with Mason Van Vuuren traipsed into the end zone from five yards out for the game’s first touchdown.
The Wolverines answered when Nick Larson found a hole on the right side, broke into the secondary and cut left to find a lane to the end zone for a 24-yard touchdown run.
The Jaguars answered right back when Adam Bormann found a wide-open Gunner Baan Hofman for a 46-yard touchdown pass. With a minute and a half left in the first quarter, the Jaguars had run two long scoring drives and led 14-6.
“I thought we came out a little tight and I was concerned primarily about two things,” said Kosters. “The first concern was their quarterback. He is a talented athlete and shifty runner. He runs a lot of option and that was something we hadn’t seen much of all season. Second was knowing our responsibility on each play so we didn’t get burned on pass plays. A long pass set up their first touchdown and their second touchdown was a blatant blown coverage. I felt like after that we settled down and things began to work out better for us.
The Wolverines started the second quarter with a long drive of their own that would lead to a one-yard touchdown by Cooper Schaefbauer and a tie game at 14-14.
On the ensuing possession, the Jaguars looked like they were going to do just like they had on their two previous possessions, drive down the field and put the ball in the end zone. But the Herreid-Selby Area defense stiffened when Corsica-Stickney got to the red zone. Kennedy Kosters made the big play and sacked Bormann for a big loss. The sack forced the Jaguars to try and make up the yardage on third- and fourth-and-long. The visitors were no match against the Wolverines on those two plays.
“The defense stepped up big,” said Kosters.
The Wolverines took the ball back and responded with their most momentum-changing drive of the game. After ripping off chunks of yardage, the Wolverines found themselves inside the Jaguar 20 with the clock inside two minutes left in the half.
The Wolverines looked like they had taken the lead, but a touchdown was called back due to a holding penalty. The penalty put the ball back to the 24-yard line.
On the next play, Larson dropped back, and with good protection, waited until Dakota Thorstenson could make his way to the back of the end zone. Larson lofted a high pass that sailed over the Corsica-Stickney defenders and into the hands of the 6-foot, 5-inch Thorstenson, who toe-tapped just inside the end line for the touchdown.
Leading 20-14, the Wolverines had a chance to put a gap in the score when they received the second-half kickoff. The Wolverines moved ahead by two touchdowns with a long drive that was highlighted by a fourth-down conversion at midfield. The Wolverines converted twice more on third down and eventually got the ball down to the one-yard line where Austin Iverson did the honors with a short touchdown run that gave Herreid-Selby Area a 26-14 lead.
Defensive plays helped set Herreid-Selby Area with their next two touchdowns. Kennedy Kosters pounced on a Corsica-Stickney fumble on the next possession. The Wolverines used the break to put a bigger bulge in the score when, on fourth and two, Larson found a wide-open Thorstenson for 41-yard catch and run. With 5:17 left in the third quarter, the Wolverines had opened a 32-14 lead.
Thorstenson’s hands made a defensive impact on the next Jaguar drive when he intercepted a pass just after Corsica-Stickney had crossed midfield.
The Wolverines put the final nail in the Jaguar coffin on the ensuing possession. After the team had driven to the 20-yard-line, Larson took the ball and headed right. His blocking produced a lane down the sideline. Larson found it and scooted into the end zone to give the Wolverines a 40-14 lead with 9:40 left on the fourth-quarter clock.
With all the good came the bad. Three plays before the touchdown, Schaefbauer was tackled on the sideline and did not get up. He had injured his leg. The injury turned out to be a broken fibula and Schaefbauer’s season is over.
“That was a gut-wrencher for us and really put a damper on the win,” said Kosters. “Injuries have hurt us immensely this year, but we’ve had kids step and answer the bell. I expect nothing less this weekend.”
The injury also quieted the intensity the Wolverines had shown during the second and third quarters. The team went into “get this game over” mode. Corsica-Stickney took advantage to score two late touchdowns. But they weren’t enough to threaten the outcome as the first touchdown came with 2:46 to play and the second with 1:15 to play.
After their 10th straight win, the Wolverines have just one more hurdle in their quest to get to the Dome and the state championship game, but that hurdle is a big one in Warner on Saturday. Like Herreid-Selby Area, Warner is 10-0 on the season. Since opening the season with a 22-8 win over Wolsey-Wessington, no team has come within 30 points of the Monarchs.
“I like my guys and the heart and attitude they come to play with, and I’m looking forward to a great battle with Warner,” said Kosters. “I know the group of guys I put on the field and the guys on the sideline are all going to be there with one purpose in mind; playing good, hard football and leaving everything we have on the field.”
Kosters added that Warner will be just as focused. The Monarchs are a senior-laden team with 13 of the 25 players in the 12th grade.
“To say they are senior-laden would be an understatement,” said Kosters. “I’m sure they are thinking this is their best chance to win a championship and they will be geared up and ready for us when we roll into town. It should be a fun atmosphere and I hope we give the fans a good game.”
Corsica-Stickney (6-4)14 0 0 14- 28
Herreid-Selby Area (10-0)6 14 12 8- 40
CS- Mason Van Vuuren 5 run (Adam Bormann run)
HSA- Nick Larson 24 run (conversion failed)
CS- Gunner Baan Hofman 46 pass from Bormann (conversion failed)
HSA- Cooper Schaefbauer 1 run (Dakota Thorstenson pass from Larson)
HSA- Thorstenson 24 pass from Larson (conversion failed)
HSA- Austin Iverson 1 run (conversion failed)
HSA- Thorstenson 41 pass from Larson (conversion failed)
HSA- Larson 20 run (Dakota Houck run)
CS- Baan Hofman 48 run (conversion failed)
CS- Van Vuuren 12 run (Baan Hofman run)
Corsica-Stickney: Rushing 58-285 yards (Gunner Baan Hofman 15-146, Adam Bormann 21-82, Mason Van Vuuren 8-42); Passing 6-8-1-99(Borman 6-7-99); Receiving (Baan Hofman 2-53). Defense; Cameron Kostal 14 tackles, Lane Thomas 12 tackles, Kardell Boomsma 8 tackles.
Herreid-Selby Area: Rushing 44-286 (Cooper Schaefbauer 14-114, Nick Larson 13-111, Dakota Houck 12-60); Passing (Larson 3-9-95); Receiving (Dakota Thorstenson 2-65, Schaefbauer 1-30). Defense: Thorstenson 12 tackles, fumble recovery, interception, .5 sack, Zach Geller 10 tackles, Kennedy Kosters 8 tackles, fumble recovery, 2.5 sacks, Schaefbauer 8 tackles, Lane Rossow 7 tackles, Caleb Swann 6 tackles.