Yankton cruises to win against Tigers

PHOTOS BY MIKE CARROLL/PLAINSMAN Huron’s Cashton Caudell carries the ball as teammate Kolby Hofer (22) blocks during a game against Yankton on Thursday at Tiger Stadium.

HURON — The Huron Tiger football team ran into a buzzsaw in the Yankton Bucks as they closed the book on their regular season with a 56-21 loss Thursday night at Tiger Stadium.

Yankton will carry a 8-1 record into next week’s first round of the Class 11AA playoff, while Huron ends the regular season at 4-5 and it appears the Tigers will be headed to Yankton to battle the Bucks in the opener on Thursday.

“That is a very good team,” said Huron coach Dru Strand after the game. “Hats off to them and their coaching staff. They had a game plan and they executed it. They just keep attacking all night.”

The onslaught began in the first quarter, as after a short Huron possession to open the game, Yankton took over at its own 38 and methodically moved down the field. The Tiger defense held the Bucks’ rushing attack in check, but had no answer for Yankton quarterback Lucas Kampshoff. Kampshoff completed three passes on the drive which was capped by a four-yard run from Evan Serck.

Huron’s next possession took less than a minute, and Yankton took over near midfield. From there an 18-yard pass to Serck and an 18-yard run by Austin Goble put Yankton in business at the Huron 12 and Kampshoff made to sleight-of-hand fakes and jogged into the end zone on a 12-yard run as Yankton took a 14-0 lead after the first quarter of action.

Huron teammates Tyson Pfitzer (24) and Ethan Olson (42) converge to make the tackle against Yankton’s Evan Serck during their game Thursday at Tiger Stadium.

Huron mounted a drive on its next possession, as Colt McNeil began to connect on some short passes and Cashton Caudell began to find some holes to run the ball. Facing a fourth-and 12 from the Yankton 30, McNeil lofted a pass toward the endzone that was intercepted, becoming a de-facto punt.

Yankton converted two first downs, but the Huron defense rose up and forced a punt. Two incomplete passes forced the Tigers into a third and long and Yankton linebacker Bryce Kral stepped in front of the attempted screen and set sail for the endzone, on the 44-yard pick six.

Another interception on the next Tiger possession turned the ball back to the Bucks at the Huron 24, and three plays later Kampshoff found Cohen Zahrbock on a back-shoulder pass in the left corner of the end zone for a 7-yard touchdown.

Determined to get on the board in the first half, the Tigers mounted their best drive of the game to that point, riding Caudell and taking advantage of a pair of Yankton penalties to move to the Bucks’ 30-yard line, before a jarring tackle resulted in a Huron fumble and the drive ended.

With nearly 6 minutes to play in the half, Kampshoff began to throw short passes and move the Bucks down the field, capping the 10-play, 2:28 drive with a 16-yard pass from Kampshoff to Carson Ness.

The Bucks weren’t done yet, as after the ensuing Tiger possession resulted in a turnover on downs, Kampshoff connected with Ness for 39 yards and ended the half with a 5-yard pass to Matthew Sheldon.

Josue Trujillo-Melgoza booted his sixth point after of the half and Yankton took a 42-0 lead to the halftime break.

As many fireworks as were seen in the first half, the second half - particularly the third quarter - nearly matched it.

Yankton ran its first string offense to open the half and after two short passes, Kampshoff ran the option play to the left, pitching the ball late to Serck and he cruised in from 52-yards out for the Bucks, at the 9:13 mark.

Huron’s Gavin Moeding hands the ball to teammate CJ Gainey on a reverse during a kickoff return in Thursday’s game.

Huron quickly moved down the field, the beneficiary of two Yankton penalties and Logan Leyendecker shook loose in the middle of the Bucks’ defense and McNeil hit him for an 11-yard touchdown pass, to get the Tigers on the scoreboard, at 49-7.

The momentum was short lived, however, as Serck took the ensuing kickoff, hit a seam on the right side and set sail for an 84-yard return for the score.

After the Tigers got the ball back Kolby Hofer took off on a 57-yard run, after taking a shovel pass from McNeil, that put the ball deep in Yankton territory. Staying on the ground, Huron moved down into the red zone and Landon Hulst capped the drive with a one-yard plunge for the score, with 2:11 to play in the third quarter.

Huron wasn’t done, however, as after stopping the Bucks, Thackary Hanson cut through the line, made one Yankton player miss, then hit the jets, outrunning the Buck defense for a 65-yard touchdown run that ended the scoring in the game.

Kampshoff ended the game with 233 yards through the air, on a 20/27 night, that included three touchdown passes. Serck accounted for 73 yards on the ground for the Bucks, with two scoring runs.

Caudell ended the game with 93 yards on 12 carries and Hanson had 81 yards on eight carries. McNeil was 8/20 through the air for 101 yards and one touchdown

“We’ve faced the best of the best in Pierre and Yankton,” Strand said. “We know what we need to do and where we need to be. We did some good things in the second half tonight and hopefully we can build upon that, heading into the playoffs next week.”

Score by quarters
Yankton     14 28 14 0 — 56
Huron       0   0 14 7 — 21

Scoring summary
1st quarter
YANK — 6:30 - Evan Serck, 4-yard run. (Josue Trujillo-Melgoza kick)
YANK — 4:10 - Lucas Kampshoff, 12-yard run. (Trujillo-Melgoza kick)

2nd quarter
YANK — 10:45 - Bryce Kral, 46-yard interception return. (Trujillo-Melgoza kick)
YANK — 8:36 - Cohen Zahrbock, 7-yard pass from Kampshoff. (Trujillo-Melgoza kick)
YANK — 3:21 - Carson Ness, 16-yard pass from Kampshoff. (Trujillo-Melgoza kick)
YANK — :12 - Matthew Sheldon, 5-yard pass from Kampshoff. (Trujillo-Melgoza kick)

3rd quarter
YANK — 9:13 - Serck, 52-yard run. (Trujillo-Melgoza kick)
HURON — 5:44 - Logan Leyendecker, 11-yard pass from Colt McNeil. (Micah Larson kick)
YANK — 5:30 - Serck, 84-yard kickoff return. (Trujillo-Melgoza kick)
HURON — 2:11 - Landon Hulst, 1-yard run. (Micah Larson kick)

4th quarter
HURON — 9:53 - Thackary Hanson, 65-yard run. (Micah Larson kick)