Govs advance after defeating Brookings 35-14
The Governors football team kept their playoff hopes alive Thursday night, defeating Brookings 35-17 on a cold, blustery night at Hollister Field.
Playing with the wind at their backs, the Govs got the scoring started in the first quarter when Hudson Rohrbach ran into the endzone on a short scamper for the first points of the game. Govs quarterback Peyton Zabel ran through the defense to put the Govs up 14-0. Zabel connected with Michael Lusk for a touchdown pass for their third score of the first quarter. The Govs scored twice more, and went into halftime with a 35-7 lead. Both defenses tightened up in the second half. Brookings would score on a short run in the fourth quarter but that would cap the scoring for the game.
Govs running back Hudson Rohrbach had over 130 rushing yards on 18 carries in the first half alone. Govs coach Steve Steele said that with the conditions being what they were, running the football was a focal point.
“We knew the wind was going to be howling,” Steele said. “When you’re going with the wind, you’re able to throw it a little bit, but when you’re going against it, it’s going to be harder to throw, and that’s even with a strong armed quarterback like Peyton Zabel. We knew we were going to have to establish a ground game because of that. That was probably the best game I’ve seen Hudson play, just from running the ball, since I’ve been here.”
The Govs used a lot of their first half timeouts in the first quarter. While that usually wouldn’t be the case, Steele said there was a reason.
“The wind was pretty tough for them to punt against or run against,” Steele said. “We kind of used those timeouts as part of our strategy. In the second half it was more about controlling the ball and controlling the clock.”
At times, the Govs played wide receiver Garrett Stout and tight end Jack Maher at quarterback in the first half. While they normally wouldn’t be getting quarterback reps, Steele said there was a reason for them playing a new position.
“Obviously, Peyton’s a little banged up,” Steele said. “He got dinged up there in the Aberdeen game last week. We want them (Maher and Stout) to get some game reps just in case anything happens, and to give Peyton some plays off so he’s a little more rested and ready.”
Zabel said that playing in conditions like what the two teams played in, with the temperature and wind both in the 30s, communication was of high importance.
“You’ve got to communicate,” Zabel said. “Communication is a big thing when you’re playing in the cold and the wind. It (the wind) swirls around in your helmet, which makes things a bit loud. You’ve got to learn to communicate in those conditions and pick up your blocking assignments.”
As of yet, the Govs do not know who they’ll play, since the game between Douglas and Yankton was postponed to Friday due to Yankton not feeling comfortable enough to drive to Douglas. With the game being on Friday, and also being broadcasted online on The Cube, both Steele and Zabel said they plan on watching the game as a team.
“We’ll watch it and see what those teams are doing, and see what they’re about, since that’s who we’ll play next,” Zabel said “We’ll start developing our game plan, and hopefully we can execute that game plan next week.”
Full results for South Dakota High School Football Playoffs
(Higher seeds are home teams)
No. 1 Sioux Falls Washington over no. 8 Rapid City Central, 56-14
No. 4 Sioux Falls O’Gorman over no. 5 Aberdeen Central, 21-14
No. 2 Sioux Falls Roosevelt over no. 7 Watertown, 30-16
No. 3 Brandon Valley over no. 6 Rapid City Stevens, 35-17
No. 1 Pierre T.F. Riggs over no. 8 Brookings, 35-14
No. 2 Mitchell over no. 7 Sturgis Brown, 41-12
No. 3 Harrisburg over no. 6 Huron, 27-8
No. 1 Madison over no. 8 Tea Area, 43-0
No. 5 Milbank over no. 4 Todd County, 55-0
No. 2 Dakota Valley over no. 7 Pine Ridge, 58-0
No. 6 St. Thomas More over no. 3 Dell Rapids, 21-20
No. 1 Sioux Valley over no. 8 Aberdeen Roncalli, 46-0
No. 5 Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan over no. 4 Winner, 18-8
No. 2 Sioux Falls Christian over no. 7 Groton Area, 48-14
No. 3 Woonsocket/Wessington Springs/Sanborn Central over no. 6 Red Cloud, 60-6
No. 1 Gregory over no. 8 Wolsey-Wessington, 24-8
No. 4 Miller/Highmore-Harrold over no. 5 Arlington/Lake Preston 40-24
No. 7 Kimball/White Lake over no. 2 Bon Homme, 30-6
No. 3 Irene/Wakonda over no. 6 Garretson, 42-28
No. 1 Corsica-Stickney over no. 8 Timber Lake, 54-0
No. 4 Howard over no. 5 Avon, 34-0
No. 2 Warner over no. 7 Lyman, 53-0
No. 3 Britton-Hecla over no. 6 Canistota/Freeman 32-20
No. 1 Sully Buttes over no. 8 Burke/South Central 56-0
No. 5 Colome over no. 4 Harding County, 52-0
No. 2 Colman-Egan over no. 7 Faulkton Area, 30-14
No. 6 Castlewood over no. 3 Wall, 54-0