Photo 1: Flandreau’s Dakota Petersen (77) brings Garretson running back Cody Bonte to the ground as Flier teammate Jacob Scofield (25) tries to strip the ball away.
Photo 2: Jace Christiansen hands the ball off to his running back David Parsley (20) during Friday’s 21-6 win over Garretson.
Photos by ML Headrick
by Billy Stitz
Flandreau Public uses another big first half to propel their way past a feisty Garretson team on the road last Friday night. The 21-6 victory by the Fliers improves their record to 5-0 and remains as the team to beat in 11B.
Garretson entered their Homecoming game on Friday at 2-2 with their losses coming to No. 2 Tri-Valley and Bon Homme.
It didn’t take long for the explosive Flier offense to get on the board. Jacob Patterson took the hand off from quarterback Jace Christiansen and beat the Blue Dragon defense for a 16-yard score, just three minutes into the first quarter – Andrea Valsecchi converted on the extra point to give Flandreau a 7-0 lead.
Both defenses stifled one another for the rest of the first quarter. The teams exchanged a few punts before the clock hit zeros and turned over to the second quarter.
Flandreau got back on the board early in the second quarter after a David Parsley three-yard touchdown run. Valsecchi was successful on another point after to extend the Flier lead to 14-0 with seven minutes left in the first half.
Coach Stadem took the entire stadium by surprise when he dialed up a pass play from Christiansen to Geno Taylor-Burshiem for an 84-yard touchdown toss. The touchdown was Christiansen’s first touchdown pass of the season and just his 10th completion in 24 tries. Valsecchi added his third successful extra-point of the game to give Flandreau a 21-0 lead heading into halftime.
The Blue Dragons were able to silence the potent Flier offense in the second half. Flandreau was held scoreless in the second half for the second game in a row. Luckily for Flandreau in both cases, their defense was able to pick up the slack left by the offense in for the final 24 minutes of the game.
Garretson scored their only touchdown of the game with 42 seconds left in the third quarter on a seven-yard pass from senior quarterback, Patrick Whetham, to junior Jesse Brockhouse. The Blue Dragons were unable to add the two-point conversion and trailed 21-6.
The score would not change for the remainder of the game. Flandreau was struck by the turnover bug, fumbling twice in the second half to halt their momentum.
Coach Stadem was happy with how his team came out and played early. “We played very well in the 1st and had the lead 21-0 at the half. Garretson is a very good team that plays very hard.”
Stadem was discouraged by the late fumbles but credits the Garretson defense for most of the second half woes. “They did a nice job in the second half against us and we helped by fumbling the football twice. We just didn’t get our game going like we did in the first half but Garretson had a part to play in that as well. Overall our kids played hard and our defense once again played well.”
Patterson led the Flier offense with 131 yards on the ground and a score. Mitchel Foster tallied 92 yards on 12 carries and David Parsley rounded out the Flier ground game with 26 yards on nine carries and a score. The Fliers are averaging an astonishing 7.8 yards per carry on the season with just less than 1,700 yards total on the ground.
Christiansen had his best game through the air – throwing for 117 yards on just two completions and a touchdown. Other than Taylor-Burshiem’s 84-yard touchdown catch, Patterson caught a ball for 33 yards to round out the receiving stats for FPS.
Foster led the defensive attack for the Fliers with 14 tackles. Kyle Scofield added 12 stops of his own. Patterson added eight of Flandreau’s 69 tackles for the game.
The win improves the Flier record to 5-0 and 2-0 in Big East Conference play. FPS will take to the road this Friday to take on Big East Conference foe, Sioux Valley. Sioux Valley will enter the game 1-4 coming off a 56-6 drubbing of Crow Creek last Friday. The game is slated for 7:00 in Volga.