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    WEEK 4 - MIDPOINT

    Week 4 is when coaches start to pin point the strengths and areas of improvement for their team.  It is about the time the community starts to realize their squad has what it takes to be something special.  It is the midpoint.  It is a measuring stick and a snapshot of ‘where are we now.”  It is also important to understand that most coaches will tell you that they want to play their best football in the second half of the season, starting this weekend.  Therefore, if it has been a rough start; now is the time to turn things around.  They want to get hot at the right time and prepare themselves for a playoff run.  This is the time of year new schemes are implemented or that special play that a coach has been holding on to comes out.  This is the time of year that injuries start to mount up and many times the healthiest team wins.  This is the time of year that teams may look back on as the start of something special.  This is a fun time of year, so enjoy the midpoint of the 2018 football season! 

    LEAD-DEADWOOD (3-1) @ CROW CREEK (1-2)

    Coach Tieszen’s squad took it to Little Wound last week and outscored the Mustangs 48-8 in the final 3 quarters.  The Digger offensive line deserves a ton of credit for opening holes for Janke, Stulken, and Johnson; who combined for 7 touchdowns and almost 300 yards rushing!  Looking ahead to this week, the Diggers will have a similar game plan and rely on the offensive and defensive lines.  Crow Creek has some athletic kids and Stephan is a great home field advantage.  If Lead-Deadwood can capitalize on turnovers like they have all year, they should be able to have a celebratory post game meal at Al’s Oasis before heading back to the Mountain Time Zone.

    STM (1-2) @ STURGIS (1-2)

    Coach Sullivan and the Cav’s have a growth mindset this season and showed improvement despite losing to traditional powerhouse West Central.  The Cavs were led by Huber and Kirsch on offense and Neugebauer and Lembke on defense.  The Cavs have played a grueling schedule to start the season and as they approach the heart of the Black Hills Conference, they feel like they have been battle tested and are ready to get hot at the right time.  Meanwhile, the Scoopers and Coach Koletzky have also learned from last week’s 27-53 defeat.  The Scoopers will need to be better on defense this week in order to capture some momentum.  Gavin West continues to amaze with over 100 yards passing and over 70 yards rushing last week.  Both teams are hoping to get back to .500 on the season and use this game as a building block for the 2nd half of the season.

    SPEARFISH (0-3) @ BELLE FOURCHE (1-2)

    The Broncs lost to Dell Rapids in a thriller last week 41-38.  Coach Slotten’s squad continues to greatly improve and despite losing by 3; they showed some grit and heart.  Kelby Olson is emerging as a name that you need to watch every week.  Against the Quarriers he had 94 yards rushing, 66 yards receiving, and 2 kick returns for touchdowns!  Defensively Hunter Mitchell anchored the defense with 12 tackles.  It is homecoming week in Belle and there is no love lost between the Spartans and Broncs.   Coach Slotten and his Hawaiian shirt will look to start 2-0 in the Black Hills Conference; while Coach McCarty and the Spartans would love nothing more than to spoil homecoming and pick up their first win against the Broncs.

    HOT SPRINGS (2-1) @ CUSTER (3-1)

    The Bison and Wildcats have a great Black Hills Conference rivalry.  Both teams enter the game with just 1 loss.  Last week, Hot Springs was defeated by a very physical Douglas, Wyoming squad.  Andrew Wendlend was the bell cow for Hot Springs as he had 173 yards rushing on 27 carries.  Despite the losing effort, the Hot Springs faithful can be inspired by the toughness their team showed.   Custer has been explosive this season as the Cats have scored 35 or more points in 75% of their games.  Even last week’s lost to a big, physical Stanley County team; Coach Bailey’s squad put up 21 points.  Coach Bailey will want to get the three headed monster of Dathon, Grace, and Sedlacek rolling early and often.

    NEW UNDERWOOD (2-2) @ NEWELL (0-4)

    The Tigers lost a tough one to Kadoka last week 26-36.  Coach Carmichael’s squad was led by Coy Anderson with 129 yards rushing and Dusty Merchant had 70 yards receiving.  New Underwood will travel to the sheep capital of the world, looking to get over .500 for the season.  Meanwhile, Newell would love to pick up a victory as they head into their bye week.

    HILL CITY (3-1) @ LYMAN (1-2)

    Last year’s matchup between the Raiders and Rangers was an instant classic.  The Rangers trailed 28-8 going into the 4th quarter.  In dramatic fashion and one of the most entertaining 4th quarters I have ever seen, the Rangers won 42-38 on a game winning drive.  It’s a new year with new players as Hill City got off to a hot start, but ran into a buzz saw last week against Wall.  The Rangers were defeated 51-0.  Lyman lost to Wall in the first week 20-42, and then defeated Kadoka; but last week looked like a basketball score as Jones Co/White River scored 72 points!  I believe this will be a good game as Coach Brett Eckert will have his Rangers ready to roll.  The young Raiders have some generational names back in the mix and are ready to restore tradition!

    HERRIED/SELBY AREA (0-3) @ HARDING COUNTY (3-1)

    The Ranchers lost to undefeated Timber Lake last week 56-6.  It was an uncharacteristic loss for Harding County, but Timber Lake is dang good and the Ranchers have been bit by the injury bug.  Coach Wammen’s squad will look to bounce back against Herried-Selby who is led by all world running back Clayton Randall.  Last year the Ranchers and the Wolverines played a close game that the Ranchers pulled out in the end.

    RAPID CITY CHRISTIAN (0-3) @ GREGORY (3-0)

    As a coach, it is great to see your team improve.  Coach McLaughlin’s Comet squad has gotten better each week.  Last week they led Philip 18-6 with just over 5 minutes left in the game.  The Scotties were able to make plays on capitalize on the Comet mistakes.  The Comets lost a heartbreaker 22-18.  This week the Comets travel to Gregory to take on the #1 team in the region. 

    OTHER GAMES TO WATCH:

    RC STEVENTS (1-2) travels to Aberdeen Central (0-3)

    RC CENTRAL (1-2) hosts Brandon Valley (2-1)

    Douglas (0-3) travels to Harrisburg (1-2) 

    Edgemont (0-3) hosts Faith (1-3)

    Bison (2-1) home vs Timberlake (4-0)

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