The Colman-Egan Hawks continued their drive for a second straight state championship – this time in Class 9B – with a 54-13 dismantling of Castlewood in Friday night’s semifinal.
Second-seeded Colman-Egan, 11-0, will face top-seeded Sully Buttes, also 11-0, as the Chargers downed Colome, 36-20, in in Onida in the other semifinal.
The Class 9B title game kicks off at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday in the DakotaDome in Vermillion.
On Friday night in Colman, the Hawks got on the scoreboard first when Bodee Groos looked to be stood up by three Warriors for a short gain, but then lateraled to Keith Crisp, who broke one tackle on the way to a 22-yard touchdown with 4:45 left in the first quarter.
Castlewood answered right back on its next play from scrimmage as Kaden Eng broke off a 65-yard run to paydirt.
Wyatt Mack’s extra-point kick gave the Warriors a 7-6 lead with 4:34 on the clock.
For the rest of the half, it was Kade Groos’ turn to shine as the senior wingback scored on an 11-yard run just before the end of the first quarter; scampered 56 yards around left end for another TD four minutes into the second; and then, started up the middle and broke it out to the right side for a 7-yard score with 6:46 remaining. His PAT run made it 26-7.
Castlewood moved the ball into Hawk territory but a Brandon Benike pass attempt was tipped by a Colman-Egan lineman and Kade Groos intercepted the ball in stride as he returned it to the Castlewood 17.
Facing third-and-five from the 12, Crisp went up the middle and carried a Castlewood defender the final 5 yards for another Hawk score with 51.5 seconds left before halftime.
Bodee Groos powered in for two points to give Colman-Egan a 34-7 halftime lead.
But Castlewood didn’t roll over and play dead as the Warriors drove the ball downfield on the first possession of the second half.
Facing a fourth-and-six with the ball on the Hawks’ 15, Benike rolled right and connected with Kevin Munoz for a touchdown that pulled Castlewood within 34-13 with 7:14 left in the third.
The Hawks recovered the ensuing onside-kick attempt to start at their own 34; were called for holding on a 14-yard run; and then, Kade Groos went to the house from 50 yards out.
Crisp’s PAT run made it 42-13 with 6:56 on the clock.
Colman-Egan sent the game into run time when Bodee Groos tacked on a 31-yard TD with 4:24 remaining in the third.
Eli Brown’s 5-yard touchdown run less than two minutes into the fourth quarter accounted for the final margin.
Statistically for the Hawks, Kade Groos finished with 160 yards on 21 carries as Crisp added 90 on eight touches.
Bodee Groos went 1-of-4 passing for 25 yards, with the reception going to Kade Groos on the final play of the first half.
Eng led the Warrior offense with 105 rushing yards on 16 attempts, while Benike completed 10-of-24 passes for 64 yards with one TD and one interception.
Caleb DeKam pulled down six passes for 32 yards; Munoz caught one for 15 and a TD; and Dylan JoPage 8 Nov. 8
hnson went for 10 yards on one catch as Castlewood finished 9-2 on the season, with both losses coming at the hands of Colman-Egan.