Governors rebound with win over Huron

PIERRE — The Pierre Governors bounced back from their first loss of the season in a big way, defeating the Huron Tigers 35-0 Friday at Hollister Field in Pierre.

The Tigers got the ball to open the game on their own 35 and quickly found success on the legs of running back Caston Caudell. The senior back gained 11 yards on his first carry of the game, but the Tigers ended up in a third-and-five situation near midfield.

That’s when Colton McNeil found Gavin Moeding on a short route that Moeding turned into a big gainer, getting nipped at the 9-yard line to prevent a touchdown. However, at that point, the Tigers went backward, eventually turning the ball over on downs on the Pierre 6-yard line.

Pierre then put together an impressive, methodical drive, using up more than seven minutes of game time to go 94 yards on 18 plays, mixing in rushes and a few passes as well. Brock Moser took the ball into the end zone from three yards out and Asher VandenBos added the extra point to give the Governors a 7-0 lead.

With little time left on the clock in the first quarter, the Tigers got stuffed on offense and opened the second quarter with a punt on a three-and-out.

Pierre got the ball on their 43-yard line and ran into Huron territory right at the marker, but the Huron defense turned back the Governors on fourth-and-short, earning the ball back on downs.

The Tigers then looked to be punting away after one first down by Caudell before Trey Lewis of Pierre fumbled the punt and Bubba Peterson recovered the ball on the Pierre 14.

The Tigers went backward from there, and Nick Kleinsasser missed a 34-yard field goal well short.

Pierre got the ball back, and the Huron defense forced the Governors backward, but on third and 13 from the 17, Pierre quarterback Cade Kaiser hit tight end Jett Zabel over the middle behind the defense, and he sprinted the rest of the way for an 83-yard touchdown. The extra point made it 14-0 Pierre with just under five minutes left in the first half.

The Tigers were stuffed up and forced to punt, and the Governors got a good return to their own 47-yard line.

Moser picked up 18 yards on two carries, and Kaiser ran for 11 on two carries, with the Tigers getting flagged for an unsportsmanlike penalty at the end of the run that put the Governors on the Huron 11-yard line. After an incompletion, Lewis ran in from 11 yards out. After the kick, the Governors held a 21-0 lead.
Huron was able to get a big pass from McNeil to CJ Gainey for 33 yards and a roughing the passer penalty by Pierre that put the Tigers into Governor territory, but the Tigers couldn’t make the final play they needed, ending up with a heaved-ball interception near the goal line as time expired.

The Tigers opened the second half with momentum as Mason Jurgens picked off a Kaiser pass and returned the ball into Pierre territory, but he then spiked the ball in celebration, drawing a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. The Tigers got a pair of solid runs from Thackery Hanson to get a first down, but then went backward, leading to a punt.

Lewis attempted to receive the punt, dropped it on the ground, and picked it up hemmed in by Tigers defenders, but somehow he emerged from the pack and outraced the Huron coverage for a 79-yard punt return to make it 28-0.

Huron went backward on the next possession, leading to a punt.

The Governors ran a methodical 8-play drive that featured four runs and four passes, capped off by a Kaiser pass to Zabel for a 19-yard touchdown. Pierre went up 35-0, leading to a running clock the rest of the game.

After another Huron punt, Pierre stayed on the ground, using nine plays to gain just 22 yards, but eating up a heavy amount of the clock.

Huron had one more threat, starting on their own 35. Hanson ran for seven yards and then Moeding sprinted around end for 14 yards and a first down in Pierre territory.

McNeil found Gainey for seven yards and then a pass interference penalty put the Tigers with a first down on the Pierre 22, but after a pair of incompletions, the running clock ran out on Huron

Huron coach Dru Strand saw the game pretty simply.

“They made plays,” Strand stated. “We couldn’t execute to make the plays ourselves. That was the difference.”

Pierre moves to 6-1 behind 129 yards and two touchdowns through the air and 71 yards on the ground from quarterback Cade Kaiser. Brock Moser ran for 90 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. Jett Zabel caught four balls for 113 yards and a pair of scores.

The Tigers fall to 3-4. Colton McNeil threw for 101 yards and one interception. Cashton Caudell led Huron with 37 yards rushing on 15 carries. CJ Gainey grabbed three balls for 44 yards.

Strand stated that even in the loss, he was happy with his team’s effort, hoping to see more of the same as Huron hosts Mitchell Friday.

“They fought all night and showed a lot of fire,” Strand expressed. “They never gave up all night, and we need to carry that effort over next week against Mitchell.”

Huron     0   0   0 0 — 0
Pierre     7 14 14 0 — 35

Scoring Summary
1st quarter
1:21 - P - Brock Moser 3-yard TD run. (Asher VandenBos PAT kick)

2nd quarter
4:57 - P - Cade Kaiser 83-yard TD pass to Jett Zabel. (VandenBos PAT kick)
1:54 - P - Trey Lewis 11-yard TD run. (VandenBos PAT kick)

3rd quarter
9:48 - P - Lewis 79-yard punt return for TD. (VandenBos PAT kick)
5:01 - P - Kaiser 19-yard TD pass to Zabel. (VandenBos PAT kick)