Tri-Valley has been as consistent as any program in Class 11B when it comes to bids to the DakotaDome. Since 2007, the Mustangs appeared in five title games, last winning in 2011 to go with back-to-back titles in ’07 and ’08.
This season, Tri-Valley (4-4) has faced a gauntlet schedule against mostly ‘11A’ teams, and some of the best that class has to offer.
The Mustangs ended their regular season with losses against state championship hopefuls West Central and Sioux Falls Christian, falling 24-14 to the Trojans and 16-8 to the Chargers. Tri-Valley also dropped narrow losses to Canton, 21-14, and ‘11A’ seven-seed Lennox, 23-21.
When the Mustangs kick off their postseason Tuesday with a home game against Beresford, last season’s opening-round loss to McCook Central/Montrose won’t be on their minds.
Instead, they’ll keep a watchful eye on the Watchdogs team they beat 41-0 on Oct. 2.
9-man preview: Baltic readies for postseason return
Tuesday’s ‘11B’ slate features three other regular-season rematches. Custer (6-2) plays host to Little Wound (4-4); the Wildcats won 44-6 when the teams played on Oct. 2.
Region 2 one-seed Sioux Valley (5-3) had a comparably tougher time with McCook Central/Montrose (3-5) when those teams met in the penultimate game of the regular season. Sioux Valley prevailed 37-31 on the road in Salem, and the Cossacks get a home tilt Tuesday night.
Region 4 two-seed Bennett County (5-3) lost to its opponent, Lead-Deadwood (3-5), by a score of 22-18 when they met on Sept. 11. Since then, the Warriors capped their season on a four-game winning streak while Lead-Deadwood dropped its last two games of the year.
Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan (5-3), in its first year in ‘11B’ after moving up from ‘9AA’, visits 6-2 Chamberlain. The Cubs have struggled when facing premier competition, while B-E/E’s only losses have come, in somewhat close fashion, against ‘11A’ playoff squads Sioux Falls Christian, West Central and Tea Area.
Aberdeen Roncalli (7-1) and the lone undefeated team in ‘11B’, Winner, should advance against Red Cloud and Parkston, respectively. The Cavaliers have controlled every opponent outside of undefeated ‘11A’ St. Thomas More, while Warriors dispatched Parkston 43-0 just a few weeks ago.
Groton Area (6-2) plays host to Mobridge-Pollock (3-5), a Region 1 rival the Tigers defeated 27-8 earlier in the season.