Dominant defense leads Cossacks over Watchdogs

Andrew Holtan/Register: Sioux Valley's David Knutson (12) and Boden Schiller (30) tackles a Beresford runner during a 24-0 win in Volga Friday night.

VOLGA – Sioux Valley concluded the regular season with a dominating performance on defense. The Cossack football team shutout Beresford 24-0 Friday night on senior night.

“[Coach Jordan Fast] was able to have a great game plan going into the game, against a great offense that has been scoring over 40 points a game,” said Sioux Valley head coach Dan Hughes. “Then he was able to adjust as the game went on, and adjust with kids and personnel. He’s so brilliant at what he does. Shutting this team out was incredible. They haven’t been shut out all year, they’ve been averaging how many points, and we absolutely had everybody in the right spot and he did a great job. I’m so proud of them.”

The Cossacks held the Watchdogs to 215 yards of offense and forced two turnovers, one of which was a 34-yard interception return for a touchdown by Parker Puetz.

“The players did a great job tackling. Fundamentally they were very sound. A lot of ordinary things on defense were done very well,” Hughes said.
After forcing a turnover on downs in their own territory the Cossacks took over a little over midway through the first quarter. That’s when Puetz found David Knutson for a 76-yard touchdown to make it 6-0 with 6:50 left in the first quarter.

The Watchdogs then drove inside the Cossack 10 yard line, but a false start pushed them back to the 11. Peyton VanOtterloo’s pass was batted down near the goal line on fourth down and Sioux Valley took over.

The Cossacks struck quick again as Puetz found Damian Danzeisen for a 62-yard touchdown pass with 11:23 left in the first half to make it 12-0.

“Danzeisen is just hard to cover. He’s very quick, and he’s obviously very fast. He’s just a great athlete,” Hughes said.

Sioux Valley’s defense stood strong the rest of the half and the Cossacks took a 12-0 lead into halftime.

On Sioux Valley would score on its second drive of the half. McKade Rentsch took a pitch to the right side from five yards out and powered his way into the end zone. The Cossacks would fail on the two-point conversion once again and it was 18-0 with 2:34 left in the third quarter.

The Cossacks ran the clock in the fourth quarter. Beresford would get the ball back with a little over two minutes left and that’s when Puetz had the pick six.

Puetz finished the night 7-of-14 with 179 yards passing. He also had 17 carries for 68 yards.

Rentsch had 13 carries for 83 yards. Danzeisen had three catches for 90 yards and Knutson’s lone catch was the 76-yard touchdown.

Peyton VanOtterloo was 9-for-19 with 87 yards. Peyton Fridrich had 96 yards on 21 carries and Tate VanOtterloo had 10 carries for 46 yards. Jake Goblirsch had one catch for 31 yards and Isaiah Richards had three catches for 29 yards.

Carson Christopherson led the Cossacks on defense with 10 tackles. Knutson and Boden Schiller each had nine tackles. Joe Hornick had eight tackles.

Sioux Valley finished the regular season with a record of 7-1. The Cossacks lost 20-16 to Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan in their first game of the season and followed it with seven-straight wins. They outscored their opponents 274-94 in their final seven games of the season.

Sioux Valley will be the No. 2 seed in the Class B Playoffs. The Cossacks will host every game of the playoffs except for the championship game, which will be played in the Dakota Dome in Vermillion. Sioux Valley will play its first playoff game on Thursday.

“We’re going to enjoy this one for 24 hours. We’ll worry about playoffs when that comes,” Hughes said.

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