The 2022 South Dakota High School Football Playoffs are set to begin Thursday October 20. There was a technical problem recording our weekly show, "Football Insiders" so instead of foregoing the show I am simply publishing my informal notes that I've compiled from talking to coaches. Football Insiders will be back next week. 


Class 11 B 

16 Lead-Deadwood at 1 Winner 

9 St. Thomas More at 8 Deuel 

13 Tri-Valley at 4 Mount Vernon/Plankinton 

12 Sioux Valley at 5 McCook Central/Montrose  

15 Mobridge-Pollock at 2 Roncalli

10 Bridgewater-Emery/E at 7 Hot Springs

14 RC Christian at 3 Elk Point-Jefferson 

11 Redfield at 6 Woonsocket/WS/SCWWSSC


Lead-Deadwood at Winner

Previous Meeting: Winner won 44-17 on 9/17/22

  • Winner

    • Winner 3 Punt Return TDs

    • 328.4 rush yds/game 25.0 pass yds/game

    • Barfuss 87 rush, 705 yds, 11 TD

    • Orel 48 rush, 598 yds, 10 TD

    • Karson Keiser 29 rush, 373 yds, 4 TD

  • Lead-Deadwood

    • Sam Kooima 64-120 1029 yds, 14 TD; 102 rush, 427 yds, 7 TD

    • Crew Rainey: 30 rec, 540 yds, 8 TD


St. Thomas More at Deuel

  • St. Thomas More

    • QB Lee Neugebauer is back 

  • Deuel

    • Only loss on the year to Roncalli 14-7 in August.

    • Stout Defense! Only allowed 5.6 points per game

    • Coach Dustin Hourigan Comments
      • "STM is an athletic team that is finally getting healthy.  They are quick on defense and efficient on offense.  They have multiple players with big play abilities."
      • "For us to be successful we will need to control the line of scrimmage on defense and limit their opportunities to take shots down the field in their passing game.  Offensively we need to get our ground game going, which allows us to be effective in our play action game.  We need to be able to sustain drives and shorten the game as a result."
      • "This year's team is an experienced group with 10 Seniors and 2 Juniors on Offense and 10 Seniors,  1 Junior and 1 Sophomore on the Defensive side of the ball."

MY PICK: DEUEL in a very close game

Tri-Valley at Mt. Vernon/Plankinton

  • Tri-Valley

    • 4-4 on the season

    • 23.6 ppg, 22.8 OPP ppg
  • Mount Vernon/Plankinton

    • Fourth in scoring offense

    • Only loss on the season vs. WInner 34-8 last week

Previous Meeting: MVP won 32-6 on 9/23/22

MY PICK: Mount Vernon/Plankinton

Sioux Valley at McCook Central/Montrose


SV: 5-3 - 31.8 - 20.1

MCM: 7-1 - 29.5 - 7.9

Previous Meeting: MCM won 18-14 on 9/23/22

  • Sioux Valley

    • QB Jace Christensen, RB Donovan Rose, Boden Schiller

    • Coach Dan Hughes, "We learned that fundamentals, blocking, tackling, communicating determine the outcome of the game [from their first game against MCM]. We have a load of players who have improved every week. I think it will be a great game, we see each other every year."
  • McCook Central/Montrose 

    • Boston Katzer 114-183, 1442 yds, 14 TD (LEADS 11B in yds, com %)

    • J. Remmers 180 rush, 888 yds, 14 TD

    • Team Balance 182 pass yds/GM 126 rush yds/GM

MY PICK: McCook Central/Montrose 

Mobridge-Pollock at Roncalli

Previuos Meeting: ABR won 56-6 on 9/16

  • Mobridge-Pollock

    • Lost four of last five games. Beat Groton last week to qualify for postseason

  • Roncalli

    • First conference title since 2015 and first regular season unbeaten record since 2014

    • Jackson Isakson committed to SDSU (Kicker/Punter)

    • Coach Billy Young, “. Last year we beat Redfield early in the season by 30 points and barely got by them in the first round of the playoffs. I know Mobridge will come ready to play. We will need to match that enthusiasm and I am confident we will.“

    • Maddox May 105 rush, 749 yds, 11 TD

    • Jackson Isakson 47-92, 457 yds, 7 TD

    • Zane Bakous (So) 60 tkls, 11 TFL, 7.5 sacks, 7 QB hurries, 2 DEF INT

MY PICK: Roncalli

Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan at Hot Springs

Last meeting: BEE won 48-6 last playoffs

  • BEE

    • 5-3 entering playoffs last year and made it to the dome

    • Lost three in a row

    • Riley Endres 98 rush, 488 yds, 8 TD (Didn’t play last 3 weeks)

    • QB Macklen Weber 284 yds, 4 TD (4 passing TD, 7 INT)

    • Auger VanSickle: 53 tkls, 9 TFL, 4 sacks, FF

  • Hot Springs

    • Haven’t hosted a playoff game since 2015

    • Coach Ben Kramer, “We will have to play our best game of the season, get points on the board early and force them into some uncomfortable situations.” 

MY PICK: Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan in a close one

RC Christian at Elk Point-Jefferson


RCC: 4-4 - 26.0 - 23.6

EPJ: 8-0 - 47.8 - 3.5

  • RC Christian

    • QB Simon Kieffer became all time leading passer at the school last week

  • EPJ

    • Given up 415 yards of total offense this season

    • Given up 3.5 points per game 
    • Rotate 9 Defensive Linemen and 2 RBs to stay fresh

    • Chace Fornia back after missing four weeks with knee injury

    • Most successful season in EPJ history

MY PICK: Elk Point Jefferson

Redfield at Woonsocket-WS-SC


RED: 5-3 - 22.8 - 15.0

WWSSC: 6-2 - 22.1 - 13.4

  • Redfield

    • Lost to ABR, Hot Springs and Deuel

    • 5-3 record

    • 22.8 ppg, 15.0 OPP ppg

    • 6-2 record
    • 22.1 ppg   13.4 OPP ppg
    • Coach Kenny Huether

    • Only losses to MVP, MCM

    • Holden Havlik QB, Camden Jost RB have been their leaders on offense. 

MY PICK: Woonsocket/Wessington Springs/Sanborn Central


16 Stanley County at 1 Wall

9 Ipswich at 8 Bon Homme

13 Viborg-Hurley at 4 Hamlin

12 Platte-Geddes at 5 Hanson

15 Kimball/White Lake at 2 Elkton-Lake Benton

10 Florence/Henry at 7 Freeman/Marion/FA

14 Britton-Hecla at 3 Howard

11 Leola/Frederick Area at 6 Parkston


Stanley County at Wall

  • Wall

    • Burk Blasius .829 comp % 175 yds/game

      • Needs four TD passes to break the school record
    • Cedar Amiotte 13.6 ypc, 16 TD

    • Rylan McDonnell 21 rec 601 yds, 9 TD

    • Head Coach Lex Heathershaw, "We play Stanley County in the 1st round. It is going to be a really fun game. The Stanley County head coach and I are old college roommates and we coached together under Tom O'Boyle while I was at Stanley County. It will be fun to have a game of chess with an old friend. We are looking forward to the game and are preparing hard for a 1st round win."
  • Stanley County

    • Colton Brady has had a big year as a freshman running back


Ipswich at Bon Homme

  • Bon Homme only losses to ELB, Parkston, Gregory

    • Coach Byron Pudwill, "Ipswich has a great team, their only two losses are to Warner and Herried-Selby.  Both of those two games were tight.  We've seen nothing but good things about them on film. They really throw the ball well, and often." 

    • Riley Rothschadl 53-110 (48%), 736 yds, 9 TD; 111 rush, 805 yds, 13 TD

    • Isaac Crownover 48 rush, 290 yds, 3 TD; 56.5 tkls, 5 sacks, 2 FR, DEF TD

    • Logan Winckler 16 rec, 310 yds, 4 TD
  • Ipswich only losses to Warner, Herreid/Selby Area

    • Ian Beyers 114-162 (70.4%), 1894 yds, 24 TD

    • Tyler Hettich 59 rush, 660 yds, 13 TD
    • Trevor Heinz 32 Rec, 507 yds, 5 TD
    • Tyler Hettich 34 rec, 424 yds, 8 TD


Viborg-Hurley at Hamlin

  • Viborg Hurley 4-4
  • Won first three games of hte season (1-4 since)
  • Hamlin Coach Jeff Sheehan “Viborg/Hurley is a good football team and they have played a tough schedule.  It should be a good football game.”

    • Only loss to Warner

  • Tyson Stevenson 45-66 (68.2%) 941 yds, 17 TD

  • Luke Fraser 115 rush, 1254 yds, 14 TD
  • Jameson Nebel 10.5 TFL, 4 sacks
  • Kasen Prouty 42 tkls


Platte-Geddes at Hanson

  • Hanson Coach Jim Haskamp “Platte-Geddes is the 2-time defending state champions. They are very fundamentally sound team both on offense and defense. They have always been tough to run the ball on and are very good with their zone pass coverage. On offense you can always expect them to put some new wrinkles in to try and take advantage of areas they might see as a take advantage of against our defense.”
  • Jackson Jarding, Hadley Wallace and Brock Tuttle having outstanding years. 

Kimball White Lake at Elkton-Lake Benton

  • Kimball/White Lake has played the toughest schedule in 9AA (OPPONENTS WIN % is .708)
  • Elkton
    • Coach Ethan Pearson “"Kimball-White Lake is a very good 15 seed. They have played the toughest schedule in 9-man football in my opinion. (OPP WIN% is .708)  They are big on both sides of the ball, and are physical in what we have seen. We have to be ready and win all three aspects of the game, through all 4 quarters."
    • "We are happy with how our season ended 8-0, and it got us the #2 seed. We now enter a new season, the mentality now is; you win you survive one more week, you lose you have to hand in your pads the next day. Let's not be the team handing our pads in. We have felt that feeling before - it isn't a good one."
    • Balanced team with 261 rush yds/gm 175 pass yds/gm
    • Ryan Krog 64-115, 1381 yds, 24 TD; 104 rush, 1102 yds, 15 TD
    • Tanner Stein 26 rec, 718 yds, 12 TD

MY PICK: Elkton-Lake Benton

Florence/Henry at Freeman/Marion/Freeman Academy

  • FREEMAN/MARION/FA Coach Dustin Tschetter
    • Florence/Henry is a very experienced team that has had a lot of success the last few years. They have one of the more explosive athletes in Mehki Keller who we were able to keep in check last week but if we want to advance we'll have to find ways to do it again this game. This is our first year as a coop and this will be our first playoff game for our program. 
  • Riley Tschetter 130-226, 1796 yds, 26 TD
  • Maddox Kihne: 55 rec, 761 yds, 11 TD


Britton-Hecla at Howard

  • Howard Coach Pat Ruml “Britton-Hecla has a big line and a very good QB.  They have some speed at the receiver position, and they run the ball pretty well by spreading the field.  Assignment football will be the key for our defense and playing physical on both sides of the ball is always what we rely on.  We have a played a pretty good schedule to get us ready for the playoffs. “
  • Karsyn Feldhaus and Griffin Clubb both over 700 yards rushing with Taiden Hoyer 577 pass yds

MY PICK: Howard

Leola Frederick at Parkston

  • Leola/Frederick losses to Warner, Hamlin and Ipswich
  • Leaders on offense Brayden Sumption, Hans Lapka
  • Parkston loss to Hanson only
  • Parkston could be the surprise team in 9AA
  • Kaleb Weber and Brayden Jervik have been leaders

MY PICK: Parkston

Class 9A

16 Burke at 1 Warner

9 Canistota at 8 Alcester-Hudson

13 Chester Area at 4 Harding Co/Bison

12 Estelline/Hendricks at 5 Philip

15 Oldham-Ram/Rut at 2 Lyman

10 Timber Lake at 7 Castlewood

14 Iroquois/Lk Preston at 3 Gregory

11 Deubrook6 Wolsey-Wessington

16 Burke at 1 Warner

  • Warner 40.3 PPG   11.1 OPP
  • Warner made it to the dome in 2012, 2016, 2020
  • Burke 1-7 (tough schedule)

MY PICK: Warner

9 Canistota at 8 Alcester-Hudson

  • Canistota toughest opp win % of anyone in playoffs
  • A-H worst opp win % of anyone in the playoffs
  • Alcester has 3-headed monster with Evan Brown, Mateo Kleinhans (QB) and Jose Topete-Lopez who all have rushed for over 600 yards. 
  • Coach James Strang “Alcester-Hudson looks very successful on film. Their running game will be challenging to stop as they have a multifaceted approach between FB, QB, RB, and WR jets. Defensively they get downhill quickly, and it shows in the limited number of points they have given up this year. At this time of year, it would be great to be at home, but we didn’t get there, so the road is one more opportunity to try and conquer this playoff season.” Last year was .500 going to the playoffs and made it to the dome.

MY PICK: Canistota

13 Chester Area at 4 Harding Co/Bison

  • Coach Jay Wammen: “Chester has the fastest player in the state on their team.  Keeping him out contained and out of the open field will be priority one for our team.  They are fast defensively and have a very good passing game.  
  • Harding County/Bison has a very balanced attack on both sides of the football.  Offensively- key members are retuning QB Kelby Hett, TE Gage Gilbert, RB Rylee Veal,  All-State LG Gage Gilbert, C Dawson Kautzman.
  • Defensively the Ranchers have a lot of experience at key spots.  Dlineman Dawson Kautzman and Grey Gilbert lead the way.  At LB- Bradem Routier and Gage Gilbert set the tone.  

MY PICK: Harding County

12 Estelline/Hendricks at 5 Philip

  • Philip hasn’t been challenged since the opener against Wall
  • Lane Kuchenbecker at QB, Ryker Peterosn and Layton Terkildsen at back are all juniors. 
  • Estelline/Hendricks started 0-2, won four in a row, then lost their last two

MY PICK: Philip

15 Oldham-Ram/Rut at 2 Lyman

  • Teagan Gourneau passing 948 yds, 15 tds;
  • Tance Wagner Rushing 718 yds, 14 tds;
  • Cooper Long Rec 647 yds, 12 tds 
  • Lyman coach Mike Kieffer: We are excited to host the first round of the playoffs.  We worked hard during the regular season to secure home field.  Our guys will be focused and ready to go when ORR comes to town on Thursday night!
MY PICK: Lyman

10 Timber Lake  at 7 Castlewood

  • Coach Doug Ruesink: “ Timber Lake is a good team that is well coached. We will need to win the battle at the line of scrimmage, and stop their running game.
  • Lane Tvedt: 1095 yds passing, 334 rushing yds

MY PICK: Castlewood

14 Iroquois/Lk Preston at 3 Gregory

  • Gregory Coach Mike Murray: On film they appear to have a large front line that wants to ram the ball down your throat, but they will spread the field if necessary.  We will not overlook them.
  • Rylan Peck: 40-80, 899 yds, 12 TD; 722 rush yds 15 TD
  • Owen Hanson, Kade Stukel, Eli Fogel (10 sacks), Trey Murray all key players

MY PICK: Gregory

11 Deubrook at 6 Wolsey-Wessington

  • Wolsey-Wessington
  • Blaze Herdman big week at QB last week with 333 yards passing against Avon
  • Herdman 89-148 (.601) 1759 yds, 19 TD; 70 rush, 328 yds, 10 TD
  • Keegan Haider: 79 rush, 348 yds, 5 TD
  • Tate French 29 rec, 512 yds, 4 TD
  • Colin Hughes: 70 tkls
  • Caleb Richmond 23 rec, 500 yds, 6 TD
  • Deubrook
  • 4-4, losses to ELB, Flor/Hen, Canistota, De Smet

MY PICK: Wolsey-Wessington

Class 9B

16 Lemmon/McIntosh at 1 Herreid/Selby Area

9 Faulkton Area at 8 Avon

13 Potter County at 4 Sully Buttes

12 Irene-Wakonda at 5 Corsica-Stickney

15 Jones Countyat 2 Hitchcock-Tulare

10  DR St. Mary at 7 Faith

14 New Underwood at 3 Kadoka Area

11 Colome at 6 De Smet


16 Lemmon/McIntosh at 1 Herreid/Selby Area

  • Brenden Begeman: 142 rush, 2083 yds, 29 TD
  • HSA Seniors will be in their 12th post season game
  • Coach Clayton Randall: “We are getting 340 yards a game on the ground and the film shows that we are getting it done up front (winning 1 v 1 matchups). Our backs are getting to second level before having to make reads and cuts. Puts a lot of pressure on someone to tackle our guy with a 5-8 yard head start. “

9 Faulkton Area at 8 Avon

  • Avon runs for 278 yards per game (Paxton Bierma 506 yds, 12 TD)
  • Avon Coach Tom Culver -Faulkton is a good team that we will need to play well against to beat. They are well coaches and have some athletes that concern me. Running back runs hard and they have a very good wide receiver that has given teams fits during the season. Their QB throws a nice ball and is accurate. We are going to need to be physical and control the ball to keep it away from their offense. Their defense is solid and appear to be good tacklers.

13 Potter County at 4 Sully Buttes

  • Thomas Farries and Landon Hepker are senior team leaders for Sully Buttes
  • Coach Tom Moore: “They are big up front and have some athletic play makers that can touch the ball.  We were able to beat them earlier in week 2, but they are a much improved team from when we played them.  It will be a good battle.”
  • Landon Hepker QB/LB: 634 yards passing- 13 TDs; 535 yards rushing- 7 TDs
  • Thomas Farries  RB/WR/LB: 708 yards rushing- 6 TDs; 189 yards receiving- 5 TDs

MY PICK: Sully Buttes

12 Irene-Wakonda5 Corsica-Stickney

  • CS coach Gregg Olawsky
  • Waylon Bolle 130 rush, 1049 yds, 15 TD as a freshman
  • Carter Wright leader on defense

MY PICK: Corsica-Stickney

15 Jones County2 Hitchcock-Tulare

  • Hitchcock-Tulare undefeated season
  • Carter Binger 58-103, 1183 yds, 18 TD
  • Erik Salmen 850 yds rushing, 13 TD
  • TJ Salmen 10.5 sacks
  • Landon Puffer 26 rec, 554 yds, 12 TD (12 def INT)
  • HT best defense in the class allowing 6.8 ppg (28 INT as a team)
  • Coach Tom Salmen: “They [Jones County] have some solid players; their seniors 1, 5, 32, 35 are impact players with 22, 23, 10, and 16 does a good job at QB."

10  Dell Rapids St. Mary at 7 Faith


  • Nic Gaspar and Gabriel Lindeman have been outstanding despite some injuries to key team members


  • Jess Harper: 64-141 (.454) 1068 yds, 20 TD, 64 rush, 227 yds, 4 TD
  • Matthew Gray: 100 rush 468 yds, 4 TD
  • Caden Selby: 19 rec, 456 yds 4 TD
  • Rylan Palmer: 18 rec, 357 yds, 8 TD
MY PICK: Dell Rapids St. Mary

14 New Underwood at 3 Kadoka Area

  • They just played in the final regular season game and Kadoka won 56-6
  • Coach Chad Eisenbraum: We don’t have one really big stand out guy anyone can key on, although we do have Reece Ohrtman returning this year as he was selected as an All-State class 9A Defensive Lineman in 2021. We run double wing and so we spread the ball around a lot. We’ve just got a bunch of really good, unselfish players that work really well together. We have five seniors who played in Kadoka’s first ever semi-final game in 2020 as sophomores (lost to DRSM by two) and they are hungry to get back to having a deep playoff run after getting knocked out in 2021 in the first round of the 9A playoffs by Castlewood. We had some injuries that made the end of the season last year a bit of a struggle, and we feel that if we can stay healthy, we can make a run at things in 9B this year.
  • Kadoka Area: 52 yards passing per game
  • Tyus Williams, Gus Stout, Reece Ohrtman all avg over 50 yds rushing/gm

MY PICK: Kadoka Area

11 Colome at 6 De Smet

  • Colome
  • won two of their last three games scoring 44 and 58 points
  • De Smet
  • 26.4 ppg, opponents 13.9 ppg
  • Britt Carlson, Kadyn Fast  have been key offensive producers

MY PICK: De Smet

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