Bobcats blast Tigers in opener, 40-0

Sean Welsh/Register: Brookings’ Rhett Zelinsky (15) trips up Huron’s Tyson Lien (40) in the end zone for a safety to open the scoring during the Bobcats’ 40-0 season-opening defeat of the Tigers on Friday night at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium.

BROOKINGS – The Bobcat defense never wavered in a season-opening 40-0 defeat of Huron on Friday night at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium.

Koby Bartels intercepted three passes, returning one for a score. The home team recorded a pair of safeties and blocked a punt.

“I mean, Koby Bartels had a night he’ll never forget,” said BHS coach Lee Schmidt. “It was awesome. I love that kid; he’s such a good kid; and he made some really nice plays on balls tonight. He was in the right place a couple times, but to get into the end zone in high school – we haven’t had that for a while, so hat’s off to him and hat’s off to the way our defense played. We were pretty solid defensively tonight.”

Five different Brookings players found the end zone.

The Tigers quickly punted on their opening drive and the Bobcats moved to the 1-yard-line on their first possession. However, they didn’t come away with any points, getting stopped on fourth-and-goal at the 3.

Not to worry, as Rhett Zelinsky tripped up Tyson Lien in the end zone two plays later for a safety as the Bobcats grabbed a 2-0 lead at the 2:46 mark.

Payton Theodosopoulos’ field-goal attempt from 33 yards early in the second sailed just wide to the left.

Bartels’ first pick came soon thereafter. His short return moved the ball to the Huron 31.

Later, quarterback Tanner Shepardson rolled right looking to pass and decided to run, working his way to paydirt from 7 yards out. Theodosopoulos’ PAT kick made it 9-0 6:58 before the break.

Bartels’ second INT came after a pass deflected off the back of a Bobcat player’s helmet. The senior snatched the ball and ran 35 yards to the end zone. Another Theodosopoulous PAT pushed the margin to 16-0.

Brock Longville then blocked a punt, setting Brookings up in the red zone with just under 3 minutes left in the half. But a missed field goal attempt – wide right – from 36 yards out left the score at 16-0 at intermission.

“I think we gave up a lot of opportunities early, but we kept grinding; we didn’t let up,” said Schmidt. “When we had some mistakes in our kicking game and on offense where we didn’t score, it seemed like our kids went out and made up for it on defense.”

Brookings finished off drives while taking control in the third quarter.

Carter Eidem bulled in up the middle for a 7-yard score on the opening drive.

The second safety came after a snap sailed over Huron’s punter’s head into the end zone.

Shepardson found Rykhus for a 7-yard touchdown toss with 3:59 to play in the third to make it 30-0.

Bartels had another pick soon thereafter.

Theodosopoulos booted a 37-yard field goal 9 seconds into the fourth.

Late in the game, Cole McKeown caught a 26-yard pass from backup QB Jaxon Bowes on fourth-and-16 to move the ball to the 4-yard-line. Cody Caraway ran right on the next play and scampered untouched into the end zone. Theodosopoulos’ PAT provided for the final margin with 4:05 showing on the clock.

“We showed some depth tonight. Some young kids stepped in and played and did a nice job for us,” added Schmidt. “You’re always happy when you can get all the kids in so you get a chance to see them and see how they react to the varsity game. I thought Huron, defensively – they didn’t give us much. We didn’t have the big plays; we had to grind it out and take a little bit at a time.

“I think we’re going to have to improve on our passing game, there’s no doubt about that. We’re going to have to be not quite so one dimensional. But for tonight, it was a good test of us just every play grinding it out, being patient, not making mistakes, not having turnovers – those are important things. And getting turnovers.”

Next week, Brookings is host to Lennox and Huron welcomes Milbank.


Huron       (0-1) 0    0    0    0      0 

Brookings (1-0) 2  14  14  10    40

First Quarter

BHS – Safety, 2:46

Second Quarter

BHS – Tanner Shepardson 7 run (Payton Theodosopoulos kick), 6:58

BHS – Koby Bartels 35 interception return (Theodosopoulos kick), 4:49

Third Quarter

BHS – Carter Eidem 7 run (kick failed), 7:44

BHS – Safety, 6:04

BHS – Parker Rykhus 7 pass from Shepardson (kick failed), 3:59

Fourth Quarter

BHS – Theodosopoulos 37 FG, 11:51

BHS – Cody Caraway 4 run (Theodosopoulos kick), 4:05

BHS Athletics Hall of Fame

Brookings High School inducted five members – Bill Iverson, Jackie Ramey, Steve Holwerda, Ann Miller and Dellas Cole – to its Athletics Hall of Fame during halftime of Friday’s game.

The 1963 Class A state champion boys’ basketball team was recognized as the 2019 “Bobcats” Team of Honor. Members of the team are Don Dahl, Iverson, ron Otterness, Bill Gamble, Gary Schuljer, Doug Lakman, John Murphy, Jim Nelson, Henery Nelson, Dave Burst, Reed Sanderson, Tim O’Connor and Ron Milfs (manager). Dal Eisenbraun was the head coach and Wayne Haufschild was the assistant coach. The team posted a 21-3 record and defeated Sioux Falls 42-39 in the state final.

Bill Iverson (1962)

Iverson was a three-sport athlete at BHS. He was a co-captain and honorable mention All-State halfback in football as a senior. He was a guard on a pair of well-balanced BHS basketball teams that qualified for state tournaments, winning the title in 1962. He was a tri-captain and MVP and received All-Tournament and All-State honors in 1962. He averaged 10.7 points and 7.8 rebounds as a senior. Iverson also played on the golf team, twice qualifying for state. Additionally, he was elected by his peers as Student Body President. Iverson graduated from South Dakota State, where he played both baseball and basketball.

Jackie Ramey (1970)

Ramey graduated before Title IX legislation granted female athletes equitable participation in school sports. Despite limited training and competitive opportunities, Ramey set BHS records that passed the test of time. The SDHSAA conducted its first state girls’ track & field meet in 1969, and Ramey won the 220-yard dash as a junior and senior with a personal-best time (converted to 200 meters) of 26.15 seconds – still the No. 4 all-time mark at BHS. She also won the long jump (17 feet, 1 1/4 inches) in 1969 and the 440-yard dash (59.55 converted to 400 meters) in 1970. The marks rank sixth and fifth, respectively, in school history. Ramey also participated in gymnastics – prior to SDHSAA sanctioning – and won a state title in the vault. Ramey was a gymnast and held records in the 220-yard dash, 440-yard dash and long jump at South Dakota State.

Steve Holwerda (1980)

Holwerda was a versatile student-athlete for the Bobcats. He earned All-Eastern South Dakota Conference recognition in cross country on three occasions, with a personal-best 5K time of 16 minutes, 52 seconds, and was selected as Most Inspirational by the team that won the 1978 ESD and region titles and finished third at the state meet. As a senior, Holwerda was captain and MVP on the basketball team, totaling 282 points, 108 rebounds, 64 assists and 49 steals while earning second-team All-State honors. He also played No. 1 singles and double in tennis, and was MVP as a senior while winning the ESD title at No. 1 singles and placing third in the state. Holwerda was a thespian, selected for South Dakota Boys State and honored as the 1980 BHS Boys’ Athlete of the Year. Holwerda played basketball at South Dakota State.

Ann Miller (1995)

Miller was an exemplary student-athlete. Her basketball honors included team Most Improved and MVP as well as All-Eastern South Dakota Conference. As a senior, she scored 182 points, pulled down 170 rebounds and blocked 71 shots while leading the Bobcats to the state tournament. She was a hitter on the volleyball team, earning Most Inspirational, All-ESD, All-Tournament and All-State recognition as a senior for posting 330 kills, 40 solo blocks, 78 aces and 157 digs while BHS finished fourth at the Class AA state tourney. Miller was also a sprinter and All-ESD long jumper for the track and field team. Her 16-4 long jump is No. 8 on the BHS all-time list. Miller was chosen for South Dakota Girls State, the South Dakota Honors Choir and All-State Band and earned a National Merit Scholarship. Miller played volleyball at Gustavus Adolphus College.

Dellas Cole (Voice of the Bobcats)

Cole graduated from South Dakota State University in 1982 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism. He was selected as Sports Director for KBRK Radio that year and began broadcasting BHS sports contests. He made the call for Bobcats football, boys’ and girls’ basketball, volleyball and wrestling contests, and served as emcee for the BHS All Sports Awards Ceremony. Cole has been honored with many awards, including the S.D. Athletics Administrators and S.D. Basketball Coaches “Friend of Athletics,” S.D. High School Coaches and S.D. Sportscasters & Sportswriters “Sportscaster of the Year,” “Bobcat Backer” of the Year, SDSU Journalism Department “Outstanding Alumnus” and South Dakota High School Activities Association “Distinguished Service Award.”  Brookings High School is extremely grateful for DC’s significant contributions.


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