VOLGA – The Sioux Valley football team will begin its quest for an 11B title Thursday night. The No. 2 seeded Cossacks are set to host No. 15 Deuel at 7 p.m. in Volga.
The Cossacks suffered a 20-16 loss in their opening game of the season, but having been rolling since. Sioux Valley has won seven-straight and has outscored its opponents 274-94 in those seven games.
During their seven-game win streak, the Cossacks defeated four teams that are in the 11B Playoffs. The winning streak started with a 30-14 road win over No. 8 Woonsocket/Wessington Springs/Sanborn Central. Sioux Valley then came home for its home opener and won in style with a 60-6 blowout victory over Beresford.
The Cossacks then hosted McCook Central/Montrose, who is the No. 9 seed in the Playoffs, and they came away with a 42-32 victory. Sioux Valley traveled to Parker next and shutout the Pheasants 36-0.
Sioux Valley would return home for a showdown with No. 5 seeded Elk Point-Jefferson and it came right down to the wire as the Cossacks scored with six seconds left in the game to give them a 34-28 win.
The Cossacks closed the season with two dominating wins over Flandreau and No. 14 seeded Beresford. Sioux Valley beat the Fliers 48-14 and shutout the Bulldogs 24-0.
Sioux Valley is led by senior quarterback and linebacker Parker Puetz. Puetz has thrown for 1,549 yards and 15 touchdowns, while completing 65.6% of his passes. He also leads the Cossacks in rushing with 723 yards on 110 carries and has 11 rushing touchdowns.
Damian Danzeisen has put together quite the season as well. The senior wide receiver has caught 17 passes for 505 yards and five touchdowns. He is second on the team in rushing with 342 yards and three touchdowns on 59 carries.
Sophomore Boden Schiller is second on the team in receiving with 338 yards and three touchdowns on 23 catches. Senior David Knutson has caught 18 passes for 286 yards and two scores, and senior Carson Christopherson has 12 catches for 279 yards and three touchdowns.
Senior McKade Rentsch is third on the team in rushing with 290 yards and four touchdowns on 37 carries. Freshman Donovan Rose has 150 yards and a score on 10 carries and junior Lane Liebsch has 140 yards and three touchdowns on 35 carries.
Christopherson leads the Cossack defense with 102 total tackles. Schiller has 67 and Puetz and Knutson each have 56. Senior Joseph Hornick has 53 tackles.
Rentsch leads the team with four sacks. Schiller, Hornick and Jakob Ziegler each have two sacks. Christopherson has three interceptions on the year and Knutson has two. Puetz has a pick six and a fumble recovery. Skylar Trygstad has one interception and Schiller has three fumble recoveries.
Deuel enters the contest with a 5-3 record. The Cardinals’ three losses came to No. 4 seeded Groton Area, No. 6 seeded Aberdeen Roncalli and No. 11 seeded Redfield.
They lost 20-14 to Groton, 18-0 to Redfield and 19-18 in overtime to Roncalli. Deuel beat Webster 28-3, Mobridge-Pollock 3-0, Dakota Hills 38-8, Sisseton 42-0 and No. 16 seeded Clark/Willow Lake 36-34.
The Cardinals are led by their quarterback as well. Sophomore Trey Maaland threw for 739 yards and nine touchdowns, while completing 48.7% of his passes. He leads the team in rushing with 579 yards and eight touchdowns on 104 carries.
Junior Owen Quail is second on the team in rushing with 316 yards and three touchdowns on 60 carries. Junior Carver Nothem had 63 carries for 285 yards and three touchdowns.
Senior Zane Bingham led Deuel in receiving with 13 catches for 296 yards and three touchdowns.
Junior Ronnie Begalka led Deuel with 48 tackles. Junior Ty Lovre had 43 tackles and junior Dominic Constant had 39.
Bingham had four sacks and Lovre had three. Cooper Schiernbeck had four interceptions and Maaland had three.
The winner of the game between the Cossacks and Cardinals will face the winner of No. 10 Hot Springs and No. 7 Bridgewater/Emery-Ethan.
The other teams on Sioux Valley’s side of the bracket include No. 3 Mt. Vernon/Plankinton, No. 14 Beresford, No. 6 Aberdeen Roncalli and No. 11 Redfield.
Sioux Valley and No. 1 seeded Winner have home field advantage until the championship game on Nov. 12 at 10 a.m. at the Dakota Dome in Vermillion.