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Sioux Falls Lincoln halts Central winning streak

Aberdeen Central’s Will Heinert, top center, Aiden Heimann, right and Bodey Tracy, bottom center, try to wrap up Sioux Falls Lincoln’s Gabriel Gutierrez (32) during Thursday night’s game at Golden Eagles Field. Photo by John Davis taken 10/20/2022

Sioux Falls Lincoln disrupted Aberdeen Central’s rhythm Thursday night.

After winning five straight in similar fashion, Aberdeen Central could not find a way to slow down the Patriot offense in the first half, falling 42-7 to the Patriots in the regular season finale at Golden Eagles Field.

Central ends the regular season at 5-4 overall with all five coming in consecutive fashion over 11AA opponents. The Golden Eagles were ranked third in 11AA coming into the contest.

Central gave up 35 points in that first half to the fourth-ranked team in 11AAA, as the Patriot offense was firing quickly. Junior quarterback Tate Schafer threw for four touchdowns in that first half and five overall.

“I told the guys after the game, we’re going to take a look at this film and see what they did offensively and defensively,” said Central coach Justin Briese. “They exploited some weaknesses that we have, and we have to be able to adjust and play better.”

Schafer had touchdown tosses of 1, 57, 15, 11 and 9 yards. Two of those passes went to junior Isaac Jarovski in the second quarter. Jarovski’s second touchdown catch came off a tipped ball by Central cornerback Aiden Heimann.

The Golden Eagles, meanwhile, struggled to put together a sustained drive in the early going.

As has been their custom throughout the season, however, the Golden Eagles made some adjustments at halftime, opening up bigger holes for senior running back Karson Carda, who had 66 of his 85 yards in that second half.

“A lot of it is we just came out and played more physical,” Briese said. “We didn’t do a whole lot differently, scheme-wise. It’s just a difference in mentality after halftime. That’s really what it came down to.”

Carda capped it with a 2-yard dive into the endzone for the Golden Eagles’ lone score of the game with 8:47 to play in the fourth quarter.

Aberdeen Central’s Karson Carda, right, tries to get past Sioux Falls Lincoln’s Samuel Hindbjorgen, center, as the Golden Eagles’ Samson Flakus, far left and Andrew Jorgenson, left, help out on the play during Thursday night’s game at Golden Eagles Field. Photo by John Davis taken 10/20/2022

Despite the loss, Central will retain the No. 3 seed in the 11AA playoff scenario and will host Spearfish next Thursday at Golden Eagles field. It will mark the first time since 2009 that Central has hosted a first-round playoff game.

“Anytime you can get into playoffs, first of all, and then host a game – our guys were on that throughout the season,” Briese said. “We just need to play to our ability level once we get there.”

Aberdeen Central 0 0 0 7 – 7

Sioux Falls Lincoln 14 21 7 0 – 42

First Quarter

SFL – Isaac Carazo 1 pass from Tate Schafer (Schafer kick), 8:03.

SFL – Jack Smith 20 run (Schafer kick), 2:24.

Second Quarter

SFL – Isaac Jarovski 57 pass from Schafer (Schafer kick), 10:58.

SFL – Jarovski 15 pass from Schafer (Schafer kick), 3:19.

SFL – Samuel Hindbjorgen 11 pass from Schafer (Schafer kick), 49.4.

Third Quarter

SFL – Trenton Peterson 9 pass from Schafer (Ryder Syverson kick), 5:45.

Fourth Quarter

AC – Karson Carda 2 run (Lochlan Quinn kick), 8:47.

OFFENSE: Sioux Falls Lincoln rushing 31-173 (Dreavin Hodge 8-42, Joshua Myers 9-56, Ralph Williams 5-25, Jack Smith 1-20), passing 21-29-0 for 248 (Tate Schafer 17-23-0 for 215, Truman Spawn 4-6-0 for 33), receiving (Isaac Jarovski 7-117, Smith 2-44, Williams 4-33); Aberdeen Central rushing 27-93 (Carda 23-85), passing 5-11-1 for 65 (Hermansen), receiving (Drew Salfrank 2-17, Cooper Eisenbeisz 1-35).

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