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Central comes up short against top-rated Tea Area

Aberdeen Central’s Karson Carda, center, finds an opening on a running play during a game against Yankton at Swisher Field earlier this season. Carda rushed for 141 yards and a touchdown in a loss at Tea Area Friday night. Photo by John Davis taken 9/3/2021

TEA – Nearly all the numbers were fine for Aberdeen Central Friday night except for one, and that proved to the difference for Golden Eagles.

Turnovers proved to be costly as Central fell to top-rated Tea Area 42-20 in non-conference football action.

“We outrushed them. We had as many passing yards. We had as many plays. We had more time of possession. We had more first downs, but we also had more turnovers,” said Central coach Scott Svendsen. “That’s the key stat there.”

Central lost two fumbles and had two interceptions in the contest.

The tone for the night may have been set right from the start when Central fumbled the upcoming kickoff and the Titans scored moments later.

From turnovers and penalties to short throws and dropped passes, Svendsen said it robbed the Eagles of scoring opportunities. Otherwise, Central was able to move the ball all game.

“Our game plan that we had in was spot on, but turnovers kind of killed us,” Svendsen said. “Our kids realize we can play with anybody in the state when we play like this. We have to eliminate turnovers. That’s the key.”

While the Titans scored 21 points in the third quarter to break the game open, Svendsen said the Eagles played hard and did not back down from a challenge in the trenches.

“We fought hard the whole game. We played them as physical as anybody has played them all year long. Our kids got after their tails and played hard,” Svendsen said. “We made some big strides in some areas, but we still have some things to improve on.”

Sam Rohlfs finished with 242 yards passing and fired a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Merxbauer, who had five receptions for 94 yards. Karson Carda rushed for 141 yards and a score. Avery Ligon had Central’s other touchdown.

The Eagles, 3-4 on the season, will play host to second-rated Pierre at 7 p.m. Friday at Swisher Field. The Governors scored 52 points in a win over Watertown this week.

“Pierre is a good ballclub. Obviously, they have some great tradition there,” Svendsen said. “They’re a high-powered offense.”

Aberdeen Central 0 6 6 8 – 20

Tea Area 8 6 21 7 – 42

First Quarter

TA – Klayton Sattler 6 pass from Cael Lundin (Lundin run), 10:03.

Second Quarter

AC – Karson Carda 2 run (pass failed), 7:33.

TA – Jaxon Weber 10 run (kick blocked), 3:53.

Third Quarter

TA – Weber 29 run (Chase Van Tol kick), 9:19.

TA – Van Tol 8 run (Van Tol kick), 7:38.

AC – Avery Ligon 2 run (pass failed), 3:59.

TA – Sattler 18 pass from Lundin (Van Tol kick), :13.

Fourth Quarter

AC – Jacob Merxbauer 10 pass from Sam Rohlfs (Carda run), 7:53.

TA – Jackson Smythe 1 run (Van Tol kick), 4:13.

OFFENSE: Aberdeen Central rushing 34-217 (Carda 22-141, Rohlfs 9-71), passing 13-27-2 for 242 (Rohlfs 13-27-2 for 242), receiving (Merxbauer 5-94, Drew Salfrank 3-42, Alec Voegele 2-59, Carda 1-25), first downs 22; Tea Area rushing 33-195 (Weber 11-102, Van Tol 10-65, Nathan Babb 5-20), passing 9-14-1 for 194 (Lundin 9-14-1 for 194), receiving (Sattler 4-86, Weber 3-74, Gabe Grant 1-22, Blake Thompson 1-12), first downs 17.

DEFENSE: Aberdeen Central, Parker Bauer 8 tackles, Jacob Waltman 7 tackles, Ashton Lenling 6 tackles, Aiden Heimann 4 tackles; Tea Area, TJ Krietlow 8 tackles, Thompson 7 tackles, Isaac Johnson 6 tackles, Smythe 5 tackles.

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