We’re starting to see the temperatures cool down a bit, but that just means things are starting to really heat up in South Dakota high school football.
The state’s nine-man, Class 11B teams wrap up the regular season this weekend. The playoffs in these classes will begin on Thursday, October 14. The battle for playoff spots and positioning continues next week for the rest of the state’s 11-man squads.
There are still such good matchups in the area this week, highlighted by the visit of third class 9A Castlewood to fifth class 9AA Elkton-Lake Benton at 7 p.m. Friday with the Dakota Valley Conference football title in Game.
Both teams have talented quarterbacks. Ryan Krog led Elkton-Lake Benton 7-0. He rushed for 827 yards and 13 touchdowns and had 1,214 yards and 21 touchdowns so far this season. Castlewood’s offense is led by Lane Tvedt, who rushed for 352 yards and 10 scores and passed for 794 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Here are other northeastern South Dakota games on the schedule this week:
Lake Clark-Willow at Aberdeen Roncalli, 7 p.m.: Here’s a game with playoff implications. Clark-Willow Lake (4-3) is currently the 16th seed in Class 11B. The top 16 teams go to the playoffs. It’s possible that a loss to the undefeated and fourth-seeded Roncalli (7-0) won’t stop them from entering, but a win would certainly be beneficial. Roncalli is currently tied for the No. 2 seed and wouldn’t mind the field throughout the playoffs.
Potter County at Sunshine Bible Academy, 2:30 p.m.: Potter County (2-5) is No. 15 and Sunshine Bible (0-7) No. 18 in the Class 9B standings. The top 16 qualify for the playoffs.
Britton-Hecla vs. Herreid-Selby Area, 6 p.m. at Dacotah Bank Field in Aberdeen: The undefeated Wolverines (7-0) are the top rated in the 9AA class and the No. 1 seed right now. Britton-Hecla (4-3) is currently the No. 14 seed in the 9AA class.
Spearfish at Watertown, 7 p.m.: It seems like every game is important for the Arrows (2-5), but this one could be the most important yet. Spearfish (3-4) is currently the No. 6 seed and Watertown (2-5) is No. 9. Only the top eight teams in the 11AA class qualify for the playoffs. The Arrows snapped a four-game skid with a win at Mitchell last week and need to make it two in a row.
Aberdeen Central at Yankton, 7 p.m.: Third-class 11AA Yankton (4-3) and fourth-ranked Aberdeen Central (4-3) are currently tied for the No. 3 seed in the standings. Can the Golden Eagles win five in a row?
Sisseton at Baltic, 7 p.m.: Class 11B’s playoff chances don’t look good for either team. Sisseton (1-6) wants to end a six-game losing streak. Baltic (0-7) just wants its first victory.
North Central at Ipswich, 7 p.m.: Ipswich (5-2) is No. 9 and North Central (1-6) is No. 19 in the state’s Class 9AA standings.
Milbank at Chamberlain, 7 p.m.: Any playoff hope for Milbank (1-6) and Chamberlain (2-5) likely hinges on winning this game. Chamberlain is currently No. 10 and Milbank No. 12 in the Class 11A standings, with the top eight qualifying for the playoffs.
Faulkton Area at Leola-Frederick Area, 7 p.m. at Leola: The game features two teams expected to make the playoffs. Faulkton Zone (4-3) is #9 in Class 9B and LFA #12 in Class 9AA.
Sioux Valley at Flandreau, 7 p.m.: The Cossacks (4-3) are No. 12 and Flandreau (3-4) No. 14 in the Class 11B standings, so a win would be good for either team.
Warner at Northwestern, 7 p.m. at Mellette: The top-rated Monarchs (7-0) have already clinched a playoff berth, retaining the top spot in Class 9A. Northwestern (1-6) is currently No. 18 and needs to make a move.
Florence-Henry at Freeman-Marion/Freeman Academy, 7 p.m. at Freeman: Two Class 9AA probable playoff teams meet. The FMFA is 5-2 and No. 8 in the standings and Florence-Henry 4-3 and No. 10.
Groton Area at Mobridge-Pollock, 7 p.m. at Mobridge: Each team is 3-4 and tied for 18th in the Class 11B standings. Any playoff hope likely hinges on a win.
Deuel at Redfield, 7 p.m.: This Northeast Conference battle pits Deuel 6-1 against Redfield 5-2. Both teams are currently eighth (Deuel) and 11th (Redfield) in the Class 11B standings.
Hitchcock-Tulare vs. Great Plains Lutheran, 7 p.m. at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium in Brookings: Hitchcock-Tulare (7-0) is seeded second and second in Class 9B. Great Plains Lutheran (3-4) is No. 17 in the 9AA class. A win should land a playoff berth for GPL.
Langford sector in Waverly-Rive-Sud, 7 p.m. in Waverly: The playoffs may not be the concern here, as the Langford area is No. 19 in Class 9B and Waverly-South Shore No. 20 in Class 9A. The real good news is that one of the two 0-7 teams will win.
Dell Rapids St. Mary at Estelline-Hendricks, 7 p.m. at Estelline: Estelline-Hendricks is 4-3 and No. 12 in Class 9A. Dell Rapids St. Mary is 3-4 and No. 14 in Class B. The top 16 teams in each class qualify for the playoffs.
Oldham-Ramona-Rutland at Iroquois-Lake Preston, 7 p.m. at Lake Preston: ORR is 2-5 and #14 in class 9A and ILP 1-6 and #15 in class 9A. The top 16 teams go to the playoffs.
From Smet to Deubrook Area, 7 p.m. to White: The Bulldogs (4-3) are seeded fifth and eighth in Class 9B. The Dolphins (4-3) are the No. 11 seed in Class 9A. Both teams should be in the playoffs.
Arlington at Colman-Egan, 7 p.m. at Colman: Arlington is 0-7 and No. 20 in the 9B class. Colman-Egan is 0-7 at No. 19 in Class 9A. Again, someone gets their first win.
McLaughlin at Tiospa Zina, 2 p.m. at Agency Village: Both All-Nations conference teams are wrapping up their regular seasons. McLaughlin is 3-4 and Tiospa Zina 4-3.