RAPID CITY—These days, mismatches abound, and mercy rule outcomes settle about half of the games in Lakota country. But three games this weekend reminded the football faithful of what a great game it can be. Red Cloud arrived in Todd County with a team that had outscored its last two opponents, 107-0, but Todd County had outscored there’s 94-20, and when the smoke cleared, the Falcons won, 39-24. The problem for both teams is injuries. Mark Rogers is probably lost for the year for Todd County, and Ale Rama is hobbled for Red Cloud, and without him, the Red Cloud express takes an off ramp.
Down at 9-man they probably played the best old school football game none of us even saw. Bon Homme and Gregory locked horns in an attrition war of defensive excellence, and the Cavaliers outlasted the Gorillas, 7-6. As good as Bon Homme is, that was an upset of the defending and undefeated state champs.
Had you told football folks in the know that Belle Fourche could go down to Hot Springs and lead the Bison 21-0 before the half, and still lose, 28- 21, they would not have believed that possible. But that’s what happened.
There is one upset that bears mention, given Sturgis will visit Pine Ridge on October 12. The Scoopers managed to lose to previously hapless Spearfish, 32-21. There is always one strange football outcome every weekend that can’t be explained. The Scoopers had just been coming off a huge win over arch nemesis St Thomas More.
St Thomas More played host to Cheyenne-Eagle Butte, and the only question was, would the Cavaliers mercy rule the Braves before halftime. They came darn close, 41-0. In the end they prevailed, 53-0 over Cheyenne-Eagle Butte. NSNT covered that game, although that is a mistake won’t happen again, because we should have been 20 miles east on I-90 where New Underwood was hosting the Jones County/White River Wolverines. JC/WR won big, 68-18. Having dropped down from 11- man to 9-man, the Wolverines seem to have found their niche. It is difficult making a single team out of schools that have spent a century being the other’s top rival.
There are only a few weeks left in the season, to this point only two things stand out, the Sioux Falls area schools are dominating all the Rapid City area schools, and it is getting worse, every single year. Also, the tough football played by the West River teams south of Chamberlain along the Missouri River, is slipping a bit. It is still great football, but the days of winning the state championship by lop sided shut outs may be over. The teams just over on the east side of the Missouri, have risen to the challenge and are now the equal of their cross-river rivals.
SF Washington 41, RC Stevens 10 The problem here is that too many good athletes at Stevens are not even bothering to play football.
SF O’Gorman 41, RC
Central 7 Central cannot stand up to the O’Gorman line, on either side of the ball, simple as that.
Harding County 36, Faith 20
Mitchell 55, Douglas 22
Hill City 32, RC Christian 30
Bison 42, Edgemont 18
Burke/South Central 55, Centreville 6
Colome 62, Alcester/ Hudson 8
Groton area 28, Mobridge/ Pollock 26
Harrisburg 23, Aberdeen Central 21
Lyman County 24, Philip 20
Madison 30, West Central 21
Mt Vernon/Plankinton 30, Winner 28
Pierre 28, Brookings 0
Pine Ridge 50, Crow Creek 0
Timber Lake 74, Lemmon/ McIntosh 6
Wall 56, Kadoka Area 14
Watertown 27, SF Lincoln 10
Woon/WessSpr/SanCen 13, Chamberlain 12 OT Can we please get a combined name like Tri-City?
Yankton 38, Huron 27. The Tigers were rated number one but now have two consecutive losses.
(James Giago Davies is an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota tribe. He can be reached at skindiesel@ msn.com)