Aberdeen Central’s Dillon Stoebner scored on a 70-yard run and quarterback Austin Huff threw for two scores as the Golden Eagles downed Rapid City Central 20-18 in the second game of the Rushmore Bowl played Friday at O’Harra Stadium.
Stoebner, playing on a sprained foot, rushed 16 times for 126 yards. Huff threw scoring passes of 17 yards to Reece Buckhard and 14 yards to Sam Rohlfs as Aberdeen Central won a game during which momentum ebbed and flowed for both teams.
“It was such a rollercoaster of a game,” Aberdeen Central coach Mitch Kranz said. “Our kids made plays and then we gave up some plays. Our kids gave everything, just everything.”
“We had our chances. We just can’t seem to finish for whatever reason,” Rapid City Central coach Erik Iverson said. “This week is another gut punch, so we’ll see where we’re at. It’s nothing scheme-wise. It’s things we can fix.”
The Rushmore Bowl finale featured a little bit of everything — big plays, untimely penalties, critical turnovers and players stepping up to the task at crucial moments of the game.
For Rapid City Central, Jeremy Weidmann carried the load. The Cobbler senior rushed 24 times for 158 yards and a touchdown. His rushing touchdown — a 68-yard scamper — lifted the Cobblers into their only lead of the game, 12-7 at the 2:49 mark of the first quarter.
“He’s the energizer bunny. He keeps going and going and going,” Iverson said. “He didn’t have much there. He did a lot of it on his own.”
Then in the third quarter after carrying the ball six straight times, Weidmann threw a 6-yard TD pass to Wyatt Jungclaus on the last play of the third quarter that pulled Central within 20-18.
The injury bug hit Rapid City for the second straight week. Last week the Cobblers lost Liam Porter for the game to a foot injury in the first quarter and Weidmann for the second and third quarters to an ankle sprain.
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This week Aaron Iverson, the Cobblers starting wing back and middle linebacker, banged his knee on the turf late in the first half. Coach Iverson said the knee tightened up during halftime and he wasn’t able to play the final two quarters.
“He’s our guy who seals the edge on our sweeps. He also runs the counter for us,” Erik Iverson said. “He runs our defense and makes all the calls. All the adjustments on the field, a guy who hasn’t played won’t be able to do that.”
Huff wasn’t spectacular throwing the ball — he finished 5-of-16 for 106 yards — but he came up with two TD tosses that put the Golden Eagles on the scoreboard first and then back in the lead late in the game. He also rushed 10 times for 49 yards, including a 20-yard run ahead of throwing his second scoring pass of the game, the 14-yarder to Rohlfs.
“He was a calming influence for us tonight,” Kranz said. “He made plays out there. His vision throwing the ball and then running the ball was very good for us.”
Down 20-18 when the fourth quarter started, Rapid City went on a long drive that started at its 15-yard line. Weidmann ran for 18 yards on third-and-9 to keep the drive alive, and then provided a block that gave Kohl Meisman enough room to get a first down on a third-and-9 scramble.
The drive stalled in Aberdeen territory when Meisman just missed completions to Wyatt Jungclaus on second- and third-and-15. The ball went over to the Golden Eagles on downs when Burckhard sacked Meisman for a 4-yard loss.
The Cobblers put up 310 yards of total offense, but also had four turnovers. A holding penalty negated a 14-yard touchdown run by Aaron Iverson with under a minute to play in the second quarter during a drive that ended at the Golden Eagles 13 with two seconds left in the first half.
Meisman completed 7 of 15 pass attempts for 110 yards and an 18-yard TD toss to Jungclaus for the Cobblers’ first score.
Rapid City Central (0-2) takes to the road for its next game, a Friday faceoff with Watertown (0-2). The game kicks off at 6 p.m. MT. Aberdeen Central (1-1) is on the road again next week, playing at Brandon Valley.