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Tea Area players celebrate following the Titans’ 35-16 win over Canton in the Class 11A championship game on Saturday afternoon at the DakotaDome in Vermillion.
Photo by Rodney Haas

Unfinished business
Nov 16, 2020

By Rodney Haas 

VERMILLION — Next year Tea Area will move to Class 11AA, but before the move, the Titans had some unfinished business in Class 11A.

On Saturday afternoon, the Titans won their second state title in three years with a 35-16 win over defending champions Canton.

“It’s awesome,” Tea Area coach Craig Clayberg said after the win. “It’s great for our group of guys. They played hard all year long. It’s just a great feeling right now.”

The scoring started quickly for the Titans as Austin Lake found Conner Mulder for a quick 11-yard touchdown in the opening minutes of the first quarter. The Titans added two more scores and took a 21-0 lead. Lake would find Cael Lundin for a 14-yard touchdown pass to give Tea Area a 28-0 lead at halftime.  

“He’s a great leader,” Clayberg said of Lake. “He makes calls at the line — checks. It’s like having another coach on the field and he did a great job in putting guys in position to make plays and they did.”

Lake ended the afternoon throwing for 142 yards — completing 7 of 10 passes including two touchdown passes. He added 121 yards on the ground on eight carries and ran for two touchdowns — a 30-yard run in the first quarter and a 63-yard run in the third quarter.

Kaden Johnson led Tea Area with 136 rushing yards on 13 carries including a 90-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

The Titans held C-Hawks to 177 total yards including 81 yards rushing and 96 yards passing.

“They wanted to come out and try to run the ball on us and we’ve been pretty good at stopping the run,” Clayberg said Canton’s game plan. “We wanted to make them throw and I think we kind of did that. They got a few yards here and there and we held them to 16 points.”

Seth Peterson got Canton on the board in the third quarter with a 1-yard run and added a 8-yard run with 2:48 left to play.

Peterson ended the afternoon with 22 yards on the ground on five carries to lead the team. He also threw for 96 yards — completing 8 of 25 passes.

Saturday’s win for the Titans capped off a 11-0 season and their second title in three years. Next year Tea Area moves to 11AA where they will challenge Pierre for superiority. On Friday night the Governors won their fourth straight title.

“You have to play who you play,” Clayberg said the move to 11AA. “Whoever is on your schedule, you have to play. I haven’t even thought about it.”


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