TRAPPERS ON EDGE OF POSTSEASON
JEREMY WALTNER – PUBLISHER
Even though the Jim River Trappers have concluded their regular season — they have a bye this week in the ninth and final week of play — they’re still practicing this week. That’s because there’s a chance the Menno/Scotland football cooperative will sneak into the postseason.
“We don’t know the picture but are preparing as if we are going to get in,” said head coach Ryan Robb, who on Friday watched his team top off the regular season with a 38-6 win over Tripp-Delmont/Armour/Andes Central/Dakota Christian in Scotland’s homecoming game. “But we won’t know until after Friday night.”
The Trappers finished the regular season with a 4-4 mark and are currently No. 17 in seed points in the Class 11B standings. All 16 teams in front of Jim River play this Friday night.
Sixteen teams qualify for the playoffs.
The Trappers certainly helped their cause with last week’s win over the Nighthawks.
The Trappers struck first on the defensive side of the ball when Ajay Herrboldt intercepted Nighthawks quarterback Mason Reiner for a pick-six, and then went up 12-0 when Logan Sayler returned a punt 50 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter.
It was a 12-6 game at the half before Trappers quarterback Kadeyn Ulmer connected with Herrboldt for an 18-yard touchdown that made it 18-6. Jim River’s three touchdowns in the fourth quarter came on a Stephen Johnson 2-yard run; a fumble recovery by Tate Plooster following a 42-yard run by Sayler; and a 2-yard run by Izayah Ulmer with a successful two-point conversation by Dawson Hlavac.
Jim River tallied 321 yards while holding T-D/A/AC/DC (2-5) to just 110 yards. That defense effort was led by Tyrus Bietz, who had four solo tackles — two for losses — and was also in on six others. Blake Rames had four solo tackles and three assists while Johnson had five solo tackles and an assist. Sayler added four solo tackles and was in on two others.
The Trappers’ offense effort was led by Sayler’s 129 yards on 14 carries and Herrboldt’s 60 yards on 12. Sayler also returned three punts for 92 yards.
Jim River had 18 first downs compared to the Nighthawks’ 7 and the Trappers were 6-for-13 on third down conversations while the visitors were just 1-for-12.
The Oct. 7 win followed a tough 21-19 loss to Flandreau the week before in which Jim River got down 21-0 and couldn’t come all the way back.
“We were disappointed that we let the game get away from us,” Robb said. “We got ourselves in a hole early and couldn’t climb out. We had opportunities but did not execute well enough.”
But that’s history. Now Robb and the Trappers will focus on practice this week and wait to see how the playoff picture unfolds. Should they get in, they’ll hit the road for the first round of the postseason next Thursday, Oct. 20. Stay tuned.
Ashton Massey and Julia Buechler go up for a block in Menno’s Cornbelt battle with Canistota on Tuesday. The Hawks won 27-25, 26-24, 18-25, 25-21.