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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

High school football state championship matchups

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Riley Orel

Winner's Riley Orel runs for a 28-yard touchdown in the Warriors' Class 11B semifinal win over Elk Point-Jefferson on Nov. 5.

SDHSAA Football State Championships: Nov. 11-13 at the DakotaDome in Vermillion

CLASS 9B

Who: No. 3 Potter County (10-2) vs. No. 5 Dell Rapids St. Mary (7-3)

When: 9 a.m. MT Thursday

Notes: This is one of only two championship matchups not featuring the tournament's No. 1 seed. Dell Rapids St. Mary, after losing 48-14 to Avon in Week 2, upset the top-seeded and undefeated Pirates 32-30 in the semifinals to reach the 9B final for the second straight year...Potter County dropped a 36-18 result to Faulkton Area in Week 1 but also upset the No. 2 Trojans 22-12 in the semis.

CLASS 9A

Who: No. 1 Herreid/Selby Area (12-0) vs. No. 2 Howard (11-0)

When: Noon MT Thursday

Notes: This is the only championship matchup where both teams are trying to finish off an undefeated season. Howard staved off Wall's upset bid for a 21-17 win in the semifinals, its closest margin of victory all season. The Tigers are in their first 9A title game since 2018 and will try to clinch their first championship since 2014...Herreid/Selby Area's 16-14 win over De Smet in the semis was by its closest win.

CLASS 9AA

Who: No. 9 Platte-Geddes (9-2) vs. No. 11 Canistota/Freeman (7-4)

When: 6:30 p.m. MT Thursday

Notes: Brackets have been busted in the 9AA bracket. Platte-Geddes scored upsets over No. 8 Chester Area 35-12, No. 1 Hanson 26-24 and No. 5 Timber Lake 23-20 en route to its second straight state championship game...Canistota/Freeman upset No. 6 Florence/Henry 22-20, No. 3 Ipswich 14-0 and No. 2 Parkston 24-20 to get into the title game in its first season of 9AA since realignment. It won the 9A championship in each of the previous three years.

CLASS 11B

Who: No. 1 Winner (11-0) vs. No. 7 Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan (8-3)

When: 9 a.m. MT Friday

Notes: It's the championship matchup we've come to expect in 11B. Both squads have reached the title game for the third straight year. B-E/E claimed it 21-14 in 2019, while Winner answered with an 18-14 victory in 2020...The Warriors have crushed opponents this season are into their fifth championship over the last seven seasons.

CLASS 11A

Who: No. Madison (11-0) vs. No. 7 Milbank

When: 1 p.m. MT Friday

Notes: The 11A state championship comes as a rematch of a Week 4 slugfest where Madison squeezed out a 9-0 win over Milbank. Madison had reached the semifinals of the tournament in each of the last two seasons and fell to Tea Area Both times, but with Tea Area realigned to a different class, the Bulldogs are into the title game...Milbank has not allowed a single point since Oct. 15, shutting out its final regular season opponent before picking up 6-0 and 24-0 victories over No. 2 Canton and No. 3 Vermillion, respectively, in the first two rounds of the playoffs.

CLASS 11AA

Who: No. 1 Tea Area (11-0) vs. Pierre (9-2)

When: 6:30 p.m. MT Friday

Notes: Tea Area has made a near-seamless transition into 11AA, going undefeated and now standing one game shy of a state championship after winning two of the last three title games in 11A...Pierre will be looking for its fifth straight 11A state championship.

CLASS 11AAA

Who: No. 1 Harrisburg (11-0) vs. No. 2 Brandon Valley (10-1)

When: 6:30 p.m.

Notes: In a rematch of last year's state championship, it's only fitting that this season's 11AAA title game be between the top two teams in the class. Harrisburg won their regular season matchup, which also served as their regular season finales, 43-14, and will be looking for redemption after losing to BV in the 2020 championship...Brandon Valley's one loss on the season was to Harrisburg, and it'll be searching for back-to-back titles competing in its fourth straight championship game.

Contact Matt Case at matt.case@rapidcityjournal.com

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