By Tim Huether
The Bennett County High School football team ended their season Oct. 23 in round one of the playoffs with a hard fought 28-20 loss to Custer.
Custer advanced to face top rated Winner Oct. 30, in Winner in the second round of 11B football playoffs.
Custer put points on the board first with a 17 yard touchdown run by Kenneth Myers and the kick after made it 7-0 with 1:13 to play in the first quarter.
Bennett County tied the game on a 50 yard touchdown pass from Joe Merrival to Sam Ireland with just eight seconds gone in the second quarter. Wade Porch’s kick after made it 7-0.
The Warriors Layne Sharp put a solid hit on a Custer ball carrier and Sawyer Rous recovered the ball at the 42 of Custer, setting the Warriors up in good field position.
With 9:16 to play in the half, Brad Hahn scored from two yards out to put Bennett County on top. The kick after by Wade Porch was just wide left, making it at 13-7 game.
Custer’s offense came alive from there as they scored on a 32 yard touchdown pass from Chase Glazier to Clayton Wahlstrom with 6:54 left in the half. The pass for conversion was good, putting Custer on top, 15-13.
After a Warrior punt, Custer would score again on a two yard run with 3:48 to play in the half. The kick after made it 22-13.
Bennett County moved down the field to the Custer 19, but Merrival was intercepted at the five yard line and the Wildcats had 58 seconds in the half to go 90 yards after the return.
After several successful first down runs that stopped the clock, the Wildcats used a trick play with three seconds to go with the would be quarterback throwing a backwards pass to the real quarterback, Chase Glazier, for a 40 yard touchdown pass to Israel Parsons who was wide open down the middle of the field for a half ending touchdown. The conversion failed making it a 28-13 halftime score.
Bennett County shut down the Custer offense in the second half, while Joe Merrival found Sam Ireland for a 29 yard passing touchdown with 2:14 to play in the third quarter. Wade Porch’s kick after made it 28-20.
Custer threatened to score again with a first and goal, but the Warriors shut the door on four straight plays and took over at the 10 yard line with 6:44 to play in the game.
The Warriors were forced to punt, then got the ball back after holding the Wildcats. They started moving the ball and reached midfield before fumbling on two straight plays, the last a fourth and five, and Custer took over and came away with the 28-20 win.
Sophomore Sam Ireland had a good game on both sides of the ball. He had three receptions for 81 yards and two touchdowns. He also had 7 solo and 9 assisted tackles.
Junior Brad Hahn had 111 yards rushing on 25 carries for 1 touchdown. He also had 6 solo tackles and 10 assisted tackles.
The Warriors finished the season with a 4-5 record.
Rushing: Sam Ireland 2 carries, 0 yards; Joe Merrival 7 carries, 1 yard; Brad Hahn 25 carries, 111 yards, 1 touchdown.
Passing: Joe Merrival 6 of 12, 148 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions
Receiving: Sam Ireland 3 receptions, 81 yards, 2 touchdowns; Jeremy Huether 1 reception 42 yards; Wade Porch 2 receptions, 25 yards
Tackles: Sam Ireland 7 solo, 9 assisted, 1 fumble recovery; Brad Hahn 6 solo, 10 assisted; Chandler Bakley 6 solo, 8 assisted; Wade Porch 4 solo, 8 assisted; Brady Hicks 5 solo, 6 assisted; Dustin Hicks 5 assisted; Joe Merrival 3 assisted, 1 blocked punt; Cody Larson 1 solo, 2 assisted, 1 forced fumble, 1 pass deflection; Jeremy Huether 2 assisted, 1 pass deflection; Lattrel Terkildsen 2 assisted; Layne Sharp 3 assisted, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble; Sawyer Rous 3 assisted, 1 fumble recovery; Tate Petrak 1 assisted.
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