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    The Monday Morning Buzz: Week Eight

    The past week the Buzz put off all responsibilities to take a vacation smack dab in the middle of midterm week. While the Buzz was catching a tan, watching Oregon demolish Arizona State and engaging in a twitter feud with a former Sportscenter host and current left-wing blowhard, the rest of the good boys and girls were attending school and focusing their attention on their tests. While the college season is just at its midway point, the high school football season is wrapping up as is the Monday Morning Buzz, making quite possibly its last appearance ever on this fantastic website.

    The regular season is now in our collective rearview mirrors and the first-round playoffs loom on the horizon as fans zip up their jackets and prepare for the cold weather and what they hope will be an extended postseason for their favorite team.

    While the Buzz may not have been around the general South Dakota area, the Buzz was still very much following what was transpiring across the state. After hearing about all of the semis being turned over on South Dakota interstate, the main thing the Buzz missed was the wind. A handful of games were cancelled due to the high winds (some reported at 69 miles per hour) and playoff seeding was subsequently delayed an extra 24 hours.

    We put an extra intense focus on nine-man football this week as it was evident that many of the games going into the week would have bearing on playoff pairings and may make the difference between a first-round exit and making the playoffs at all.

    The Lyman Raiders entered week eight/nine looking to play spoiler against perennial heated rival Wall as the Eagles looked to improve their playoff positioning and avoid facing a one seed going into the playoffs. The Eagles, finding their offensive groove since Lane Blasius took over at quarterback, overwhelmed the Raiders, 42-14. The Eagles have now averaged 35 points per game since Blasius took over as signal-caller for Wall, a position that he filled so admirably last year when the Eagles made their trip to the DakotaDome. With the victory, the Eagles moved to third in their region and will face…

    …The New Underwood Tigers, who last year missed the playoffs in spite of a 5-3 record, improved their record by one game this year and will head to Wall to start things off. This is a rematch from week two/three which the Eagles won in New Underwood 31-20 thanks in large part to a huge second half by the Eagles offense. The Buzz does not prognosticate often and this game is no exception, fans should get their money’s worth in this much-anticipated matchup.

    The Eagles, who seemed dead to rights midseason, have really turned their season around and now have a legitimate chance of making it back to the state quarterfinals. Great job by Coach Anderson to salvage what was looking like a complete fiasco earlier in the year.

    New Underwood’s opponent Friday night, Jones County, will now take on Harding County to start the playoffs. The Coyotes, much like Wall, have underachieved throughout the season but now have a chance to make some noise as the season starts anew for every team come playoff time. That’s right, the Buzz isn’t crazy, the Coyotes absolutely have what it takes to pull the upset. What reasoning could the Buzz possibly have to make such a bold statement, one might ask? Look no further than the 2005 version of the Coyotes, a team much less talented than this year’s version facing a just as or more talented than this year’s Harding County squad in Buffalo and pulled the 22-16 upset to propel the Coyotes to the third round. That game was and still is living proof that nothing is certain when it comes to nine-man football in South Dakota.

    As the Buzz was lounging in a pool in Phoenix with its good friend Max, an Avenged Sevenfold song came on the radio and the following conversation took place.

    Buzz: Wasn’t this song on their Bat Country album?

    Max: No, I think it was on their Scream album.

    (Pause as we listen a little more to the song)

    Max: Wait a second, isn’t this song Scream?

    Buzz: Ah, yes it is. Well then, I assume it’s on the Scream album.

    (We think about it, nod our heads in agreement, and realize we’re idiots)

    It was at that point—nine o’clock in the morning cooling off from the already-75 degree heat that I realized Harding County football in the past decade was a lot like Avenged Sevenfold: impressively consistent yet indistinguishable from year to year. All of the Ranchers’ success seems to run together and you can’t remember which team accomplished what in which season. A third round playoff appearance is commonplace around the Buffalo area and this year’s team has a good chance of replicating—or possibly even exceeding last year’s postseason success.

    The last nine-man team to focus on is the top squad in 9A that just took the aforementioned Ranchers to the wire. That team of course, is the Faith Longhorns. Turns out, they know how to do more than just play basketball up in Faith as the Longhorns’ considerable girth across the frontline caused the Ranchers troubles throughout in a hard-fought 28-26 Ranchers victory. The Buzz must point out that one of its very own very nearly predicted to exactitude the final score of the game, while completely whiffing on a prediction of its own. The Longhorns now get the Fighting Eisenbrauns of Kadoka—a group of resilient kids who have faced nothing if not adversity over the past two years. Though Kadoka is an at-large four seed and has to travel 105 miles to face off with the Longhorns, the Kougars have proven to be a squad that doesn’t listen to surrounding talk and plays its game regardless of its opponent. Don’t be surprised if this game turns out to be a grind-it-out slugfest played in the low twenties.

    Turning our attention towards big-school action, few teams need to be mentioned (because of certain first-round exits) except for St. Thomas More, Hot Springs, Spearfish and Winner. Of course, all of those games are nearly guaranteed victories, otherwise the Buzz wouldn’t have listed them. Cruising to a first-round victory will give the respective teams a chance to rest and prep for what’s coming in the second round. The Buzz wishes all West River teams the best—especially the eleven-man squads, in the playoffs.

    Lastly, a game played between two of the best teams in their respective classes came down to the wire as expected. The Colome Cowboys, aided by the blustery wind harassing western South Dakota, took down the previously undefeated White River Tigers 28-22, in Colome Thursday night. Both the Cowboys and Tigers are serious contenders in their respective classes and Thursday night’s matchup did nothing to disprove that theory. White River plays Newell to open up postseason play while Colome hosts Bison Tuesday night.

    If you have questions or comments for Nick, he can be reached at nick@sdsportsbuzz.com

    For up to the minute area happenings, follow Nick on twitter @njheeb

     

    4 Responses

    1. Coach Morehart Says:

      Nick, I beleive the Wall vs NU game is in Wall at 6:00pm.

      Coach M

    2. Nick Heeb Says:

      Thanks coach, consider it fixed.

    3. footballfanatic Says:

      Game in Wall VS. New Underwood @ 7:00PM Tuesday.

    4. Coach Morehart Says:

      Thanks Footballfanatic!

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