The Tigers polished off the regular season with a 73-0 win over McLaughlin in McLaughlin on Friday.
The game was decided in a hurry. The Tigers scored seven touchdowns in the first quarter, while running just 11 offensive plays. The Tigers forced Mustang turnovers early and often. The first six touchdowns were scored on drives all shorter than 30 yards before the defense took control and scored the seventh touchdown.
Tucson Freeman scored two touchdowns on runs of one and 27 yards. Isaac Olson hit the end zone twice, scoring on runs of 15 and seven yards. Reese Cerney scored twice, catching a 15-yard pass from Caden Halsey, and Jayce Chasing Hawk scored on an 18-yard run.
The junior varsity took over from there and scored four touchdowns in the second quarter. The Reinert brothers took care of the touchdowns. Gavin Reinert scored on runs of six, five and 55 yards, while Zane Reinert hit the end zone on a 17-yard touchdown pass from Cayden Eisemann.
Coach Paul Goehring said he was pleased with the way the Tigers went out and took care of business.
“It’s always nice to not play down to your opponents,” said Goehring. “A lot of times teams step down to the opponents’ level.”
The only bad thing was that the Tigers lost Chasing Hawk for the postseason. On Chasing Hawk’s touchdown, his first as a Tiger, the senior broke his collarbone.
“It’s kind of sad to see Jayce get hurt,” said Goehring. “We wanted to get him a touchdown against his former team, but it got him hurt.”
After all the games played out on Friday, the Tigers finished in a three-way tie for first place in Class 11B Region 1 with Aberdeen Roncalli and Groton Area. The tie was not just in matching 5-3 records, but also in seed points as each team finished with 41.375 points. After reaching the seventh tie-breaking procedure (the average of the tying teams opponents’ seed points), Roncalli was the number one seed, Groton Area number two and the Tigers number three.
That means the Tigers open the postseason in Groton on Thursday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
It is a rematch of the Sept. 21 game when the Tigers were stopped inside the one-yard line on the last play of the game and fell 28-26 to Groton Area.
“I told the team, let’s not lose by two feet this time, let’s win by two touchdowns,” said Goehring.
Goehring said the team had a good film session on Sunday. They watched the first Groton Area game and the players saw the mistakes they made and learned how and where to correct them.
He said the Tigers also understand that they are going to have to give their best effort to beat a Groton Area team that has beaten the Tigers 14 times in a row since the last Mobridge win in 2001.
“It’s definitely going to be a battle again,” said Goehring. “I’m pleased with the way the kids are playing, but we all agree that we can step it up.”
This is the 28th meeting between the Black and Orange Tigers and the Black and Gold Tigers, and the fifth in the postseason. Groton Area is 16-11 overall against the Tigers, including 3-1 in postseason matchups. The Tigers beat Groton 39-16 in the 1995 playoffs, but since then Groton won a 42-0 game in 2007, 41-0 in 2014 and 27-21 in 2015.
Mobridge-Pollock (5-3) 45 28- 73
McLaughlin (3-5) 0 0- 0
MP- Tucson Freeman 1 run (Noah Feyereisen kick)
MP- Isaac Olson 15 run (conversion failed)
MP- Freeman 27 run (Feyereisen kick)
MP- Jayce Chasing Hawk 18 run (Feyereisen kick)
MP- Reese Cerney 15 pass from Caden Halsey (conversion failed)
MP- Olson 7 run (conversion failed)
MP- Cerney 45 interception return (conversion failed)
MP- Gavin Reinert 6 run (conversion failed)
MP- Zane Reinert 17 pass from Cayden Eisemann (conversion failed)
MP- G. Reinert 5 run (Braden Goehring pass from Eisemann)
MP- G. Reinert 55 run (Ashton Pfitzer run)
Mobridge-Pollock: Rushing 19-189 (G. Reinert 5-74, Freeman 5-48, Olson 3-29, Chasing Hawk 1-18, Braden Goehring 1-8, Tucker Holzer 3-7, Pfitzer 1-5); Passing 3-5-0-50 (Braden Goehring 1-1-0-18, Eisemann 1-2-0-17, Halsey 1-2-15); Receiving (Bryston Goehring 1-18, Z. Reinert 1-17, Halsey 1-2-0-15); 3 first downs; 0 turnovers; 4-30 penalties. Defense: Jimmy Richards 3 tackles, sack, Pfitzer 3 tackles, Holzer 3 tackles, fumble recovery, Favian Sanchez 3 tackles, fumble recovery; Josh Norder sack, 2 recoveries; R. Cerney interception; Trace Cerney sack.
McLaughlin: Rushing 17-(-24); Passing 4-18-1-10; 0 first downs; 6 turnovers; 2-15 penalties.