JAY DAVIS: I know so much about 11B football
I didn’t do too badly in picking Saturday’s football semifinal games. The plus is I went 10-4. The minus is I went 0-2 in Class 11B, the division I should know the most about.
I am going to take the asterisk that goes along with the fact I mentioned that I SHOULD have been taking Canton and Parkston. That’s why a prognosticator should never let any kind of emotion sway his picks. I was a softy to pick the teams that the Tigers played and it cost me.
There were no more mistakes in 11-man football, but there should not have been. The higher seeds were all better teams and had home field advantage. Going 6-0 in those games is hardly worth mentioning, but hey, I put my picks out there for everyone to see and got them right.
Nine-man went pretty good with a 4-2 record. There I should have worn a pick on my sleeve and went with the Potter County Battlers. I split the 9AA games thinking it would be an oceanic final, but Arlington took Deubrook Area out. I got back on track picking both 9B games right.
I guess I might was well jump in with both feet and pick the seven state championship games. I pick them in the order they will be played.
The Battlers and the Leola-Frederick Titans open the weekend at 11 a.m. on Thursday. They met previously this season. The Titans beat the Battlers 12-7 in Hoven on Sept. 20. They have met at state before too, well sort of. In 1982, the Frederick Vikings beat the Gettysburg Battlers 34-15 in each team’s first trip to the finals. The Battlers have a long history of making it to Vermillion, but coming up short. They are 0-7 all time. After telling you to never get sentimental with picks, I’m going against my own advice. Gettysburg may have been 0-7 in state finals, but Potter County is going to be 1-0.
Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan and Arlington kick off at 2:30 p.m. in the 9AA game. B-EE has a rich history that started when Bridgewater won the 9B in the first state championships in 1981. Emery/Ethan won titles in 1993, 2003 and 2007, while taking second in 2004 and 2005. After the co-op was formed B-EE won back-to-back titles in 2010 and ’11. Arlington has had a run too, but much smaller with two straight titles in 2004 and ’05. All that leads me to think B-EE knows how to play and how to win this game.
West Central and Madison meet up in the 11A championship at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday. The teams’ championship experience could not be more polar opposite. West Central has a bit of a celebrated past. The Trojans have been as dominant a football team as the state has with 11 state titles. West Central won the 11A title in 1993 and then won three in a row in ’96, ’97 and ’98. They rebuilt in 1999 before winning six straight titles from 2000 to 2005. After a year off, title 11 came in 2007. They haven’t been invincible. They did lose the title game in 1994 and 2011. Madison, on the other hand, is making its first trip to the dome. The Bulldogs beat the Trojans 24-21 in Madison on Sept. 27. I can’t see Madison beating West Central twice in one season. I don’t think I will either.
Friday at 11 a.m. is the 9B championship between Hamlin and Avon. Both teams have had a lot of success in the past. Hamlin won four 11B titles in the ‘90s. Avon won three 9A and one 9B title in the 2000s. Avon can score more points and will, besides, I have already picked the other two teams that wear red to win. A pattern has developed in my 9-man picks.
The 11B title game is at 2:30 p.m. on Friday. Flip a coin. Parkston handed Canton its only defeat, 21-4 in Parkston the second week of the season. Parkston’s only loss was 14-7 in Winner. Neither team has a rich state finals history. Canton has won two state titles, taking Class 11A in 1986 band 2006. Parkston was 1B runner-up in 1991 and 2002. I’m taking Canton, but I went 0-2 in 11B last week.
Watertown and Pierre play in the 11AA championship game at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. Pierre beat Watertown 35-24 in week one in Watertown. Same result will happen in Vermillion.
The new 11AAA class plays Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the battle of the Sioux Falls past presidents schools. Lincoln is undefeated. Roosevelt has one loss, to Lincoln 35-28 in mid September. Lincoln also beat all their common opponents a little more than Roosevelt did. The Patriots are riding the crest and will finish an undefeated season.