This week's game preview is sponsored by the JL Arend Insurance Agency of Emery! For all your insurance needs contact Steve Arend at (605) 449-4261.
The Seahawks came into the 2020 season riding a 12 game winning streak from their undefeated championship team in 2019. BEE was able to stretch that winning streak to a program record 23 games, earning themselves their fourth straight 11B Championship game appearance. However, BEE fell just short, falling to Winner 18-14.
The Seahawks opened up the season with big wins over Wagner and Elk Point-Jefferson, which set up a top ranked match-up between BEE and Sioux Valley on Week 3. The Seahawks were able to hold off the Cossacks and came away with a 21-12 win. That was the only game during the regular season that was decided by 28 points or less as the Seahawks rolled through their regular season, outscoring opponents by a total of 348-46. BEE kept the train rolling into the post-season posting wins over Lead-Deadwood (53-0), Woonsocket/Wessington Springs/Sanborn Central (42-6) and a highly touted Mobridge-Pollock team in the semi-finals (46-0). That set the stage for a re-match of the 2019 11B title game between the Seahawks and Winner. Despite falling behind 18-7 in the third quarter, BEE seemed to be gaining momentum after the third score by the Warriors. Bodie Burnham returned the following kickoff 70 yards to set the Seahawks up in Winner territory. A few plays later Burnham scored from one yard out to cut the lead to 4, 18-14. Late in the fourth, BEE drove down inside the Winner 30 yard line and had a chance to win the game, however a last second pass attempt was incomplete and the Seahawks fell 18-14.
Koby Kayser had an outstanding season as a junior for BEE, setting a team record for points scored, rushing yards, rushing TDs and tied Jamin Arend's record for total TDs at 29.
As a team, BEE set program records for offensive yards, rushing yards, rushing attempts, rushing TDs and first downs offensively. Defensively, the Seahawks allowed a program record of least points scored at 70. The defense also set records for the least total yards and rushing yards allowed and intercepted a record 21 passes.
The Seahawks will return 5 with starting experience this season.
That includes SR RB/LB Koby Kayser. Kayser rushed for 1,412 yards and 24 TDs last season and caught 11 passes for 203 yards and 2 TDs. Kayser finished fourth on the team in tackles with 58 and added 12 tackles for loss, 3 sacks and 3 interceptions.
SR QB/DB Kaden Klumb returns after completing 38-of-65 passes for 648 yards and 12 TDs. Klumb also rushed for 277 yards and 6 TDs. Defensively, Kaden had 34 tackles and 2 interceptions.
SR WR/DB Jay Storm caught 5 passes for 70 yards and 2 TDs, both of which came against Sioux Valley. Storm tallied 17 tackles, 1 tackle for loss and had 4 pass break-ups.
JR QB/WR/DB Sam Hofer stepped up big last year filling in for Klumb at QB. Hofer completed 8-of-9 passes for 290 yards and 5 TDs. Defensively, Hofer was 7th in tackles with 46 and intercepted 2 passes.
JR WR/DB Sutton Arend tallied 13 tackles and had one interception.
After graduating all 5 lineman from last season, look for SR Jackson Harberts (6'2, 195lbs), SR Ryder Clendening (6'1 225lbs), SR Dylan Johansen (6' 250lbs), SR Joe Kirby (6'4 195lbs), JR Brody Riggs (6' 230lbs), SR Lukus Mentele (6'2 240lbs) and SR Aaron Wollmann (6' 225lbs) to compete for starting spots.
Other key contributions are expected from SR RB/LB Clay Hohn (6' 205lbs), JR RB/DB Riley Endres (6' 180lbs) SR TE/DL Ty Neugebauer (6'2 210lbs), SR TE/DB Hunter Bailey (5'11 180lbs), JR TE/LB Aguer VanSickle (6'4 215lbs) and JR RB/LB Skylar Hopkins (5'10 165lbs).
After going a combined 10-9 in 2018 & 2019 with first round playoff exits, the Cossacks rebounded in the 2020 season with a record of 9-2, falling just short of a state championship game appearance. The Cossacks went 7-1 in the regular season, with their only loss coming in week 3 to the Seahawks 21-12. Sioux Valley defeated Redfield (50-12), Tri-Valley (12-6), Flandreau (34-12), Elk Point-Jefferson (44-26), McCook Central/Montrose (30-20), Beresford (42-20) and Garretson (14-3).
The Cossacks opened playoff action against Chamberlain and rolled to a 56-6 win. Quarterfinal action matched Sioux Valley up against conference foe Elk Point-Jefferson. The Cossacks jumped out to a 22-7 lead after one quarter and never looked back, rolling to a 44-21 win and ending the Huskies' season. The win matched Sioux Valley up with undefeated Winner in the semi-finals. Winner led 14-6 at halftime and held off the Cossacks in the second half to win 28-14.
Sioux Valley accumulated 3,899 yards of offense in 2020 (2,814 rushing, 1,085 passing). Parker Puetz completed 58-of-93 passes for 1,085 yards with only 3 interceptions. Puetz, a dual-threat QB, threw for 15 TDs and ran for 8 more to lead the Cossacks. Jaxton Schiller, named 11B's 2020 All-American, rushed for 1,053 yards and 11 TDs. Schiller also caught 40 passes for 711 yards and 9 more TDs.
Sioux Valley returns 5-6 starters on both sides of the ball and it's no secret they will be looking to lean on SR QB/LB Parker Puetz. Puetz has 2,816 career passing yards and has improved each season. As a sophomore, Puetz threw for 1,151 yards with 16 TDs and 9 interceptions. Though the yardage and TD totals were ever so slightly less in 2020, Puetz did a much better job of taking care of the ball, throwing only 3 interceptions to 15 TDs. He is also a threat to run the ball, with 20 career rushing TDs. He was also fourth on the team in tackles in 2020 with 68.
Other top returnees for the Cossacks include SR WR/DB Damian Danziesen, SR RB/LB McKade Rentsch and SR TE/LB Carson Christopherson. After Schiller, Danziesen was Puetz's top target in 2020, catching 8 passes for 225 yards and 6 TDS. Rentsch was second in rushing yards for the Cossacks last year, rushing for 754 yards and 8 TDs. Christopherson led Sioux Valley in tackles last year with 114 and also had 100 receiving yards.
The Seahawks traveled to Volga in week 3 of last 2020 for their toughest test of the season up to that point as they took on the 4th ranked Cossacks of Sioux Valley.
The home team came out firing offensively. After receiving the opening kickoff Sioux Valley marched down the field on a 9-play, 69 yard drive that was capped off by a 5 yard TD run by Parker Puetz. BEE answered right back with an 8-play, 53 yard drive capped off by a 7 yard TD pass from Kaden Klumb to Jay Storm and the Seahawks led 7-6 after one quarter. After stopping the Cossacks on 4th down on their own 42 yard line, BEE took advantage of the short field and took a 14-6 lead on a 2 yard run by Klumb. The Cossacks answer back on their ensuing drive, amassing 70 yards over 13 plays, when Puetz completed a 14 yard TD pass to Damian Danziesen to cut the lead to 14-12 heading into half time.
It looked like BEE was going to lengthen their lead to open the second half as the Seahawks marched inside the Cossack 20 yard line, but an incomplete pass on 4th down turned the ball over to Sioux Valley. Neither team would muster much offense until the fourth quarter when Klumb connected on his second TD pass of the night to Storm from 34 yards out to take a 21-12 lead. Eric Gustafson intercepted a Sioux Valley pass on the ensuing drive and BEE was able to run the clock out.
Koby Kayser led BEE with 103 rushing yards on 19 carries. Klumb completed 3-of-7 passes for 74 yards & 2 TDs, while rushing for 15 yards and a TD. Bodie Burnham rushed for 62 yards and caught a pass for 33 yards. Storm caught 2 passes for 41 yards & 2 TDs.
Defensive leaders for the Seahawks included Rylee Schultz (10 tackles), Brooks Jansen (9 tackles, 1 sack, 2 tackles for loss), Sam Hofer (9 tackles), Eric Gustafson (8 tackles, 1 interception), Brandon Jansen (8 tackles, 1/2 sack, 1 tackle for loss, and Josh Bartscher (8 tackles).
Puetz completed 8-of-17 passes for 97 yards with 1 TD and 1 interception for the Cossacks. Puetz also rushed for 48 yards and a TD. Jaxton Schiller rushed for a team high 65 yards on 12 carries and also caught 5 passes for 49 yards.
The Cossacks outgained the Seahawks in total yardage 253-247. BEE had 173 rushing yards & 74 passing yards. Sioux Valley rushed for 156 yards and passed for 97 yards.
BEE is 8-1 all time against Sioux Valley, with the Seahawks outscoring the Cossacks 230-88, or an average of score of 26-10.
The Seahawks are riding a 22 game home winning streak dating back to 2017. Since moving up to 11-man BEE is 29-2 in Bridgewater, outscoring their opponents a combined 1,138-136, or an average score of 37-4. The Seahawks have held their opponents to 7 points or less in 27 of those 31 games. The last home loss was to Sioux Valley in 2017 during the regular season.
The Seahawks are ranked #2 in the preseason South Dakota Prep Media football poll behind Winner. The Warriors received all 16 first place votes. Sioux Valley is 3rd, followed by St. Thomas More at 4th and Woonsocket/Wessington Springs/Sanborn Central at 5.
Tonight's game will be broadcast online on Bridgewater-Emery's YouTube Channel. A link for livestreaming can be found on the home page.
The forecast at kickoff tonight in Bridgewater calls for partly sunny skies, a temperature of 77 degrees with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Winds will be out of the southwest around 10-15 mph.
The Seahawks JV team will participate in a jamboree on Saturday, August 20th in Flandreau. First game will start around 10 AM.
The JV team will also host Sioux Valley on Monday in Bridgewater at 4:30 PM. The Junior High team travels to Volga on Tuesday to take on Sioux Valley with kickoff at 4:30 PM.