COLMAN – If it wasn’t for Zack Anderson, the officials might have been the story in Tuesday night’s 9A Region 2 playoff game between Colman-Egan and Parker.
In a game that was marred by a whopping 33 penalties totaling well over 200 yards (these games are only 48 minutes long, you know), the 6-foot-2 senior wide receiver and defensive back caught three long touchdown passes and intercepted two passes on defense to carry the Pheasants past the Hawks 36-26.
Parker was actually the aggressor when it came to collecting laundry, as they were flagged 19 times for over 170 yards unofficially. They also lost a pair of fumbles – one at the goal-line, and gave up a handful of long passes that allowed Colman-Egan to stay close. But ultimately, Anderson’s ability to go get the deep ball from junior quarterback Landon Leberman was too much.
“He ain’t bad,” Parker coach Derrek Sattler said of Anderson. “He’s a special athlete. He’s a state high-jump champion and you saw why. He can really go up and get it. He made some huge plays for us tonight.”
Tri-Valley explodes in second half in romp over Beresford
Anderson’s last touchdown catch of the day was the biggest, as he snagged a 24-yard pass from Leberman on 4th down and three with just under three minutes to go, turning a 30-26 game into a 10-point lead. Just two plays earlier, the Pheasants had been preparing to try to move the sticks on 3rd and 1 when they were set back five yards by, you guessed it, a penalty.
“We’ve had some problems with that,” Anderson said, acknowledging the penalties. “But we have a lot of determined guys that played hard tonight. We knew we could air it out. (Leberman) has an arm on him, we knew if the O-line gave us time we could take some shots.”
The pair’s first connection also came on 4th down, as Leberman heaved a pass to the back of the end zone on 4th and goal for a 12-yard score that gave Parker a 6-0 lead on the game’s opening possession. Colman-Egan answered right away, with Riley Voelker scoring from eight yards out to tie it. But Voelker went down with an injury on the two-point try and didn’t return. That hurt.
Leberman found Anderson again on the next series, this time from 36 yards out, and the conversion made it 14-6. The Pheasants fumbled at the Hawks’ 1-yard line later, but would stretch the lead to 22-8 on a 34-yard run by Chase Andersen.
Colman-Egan fought back, though, with Josh Giese pounding one in from four yards out to cut the lead to 22-12 at half. They got within a score just after the break when quarterback Bodee Groos made a spectacular play to evade a sack, reverse field and find Walker Olivier for a 23-yard touchdown, but another 2-point failure left it at 22-18.
The teams traded scores from there, before Leberman’s final connection with Anderson sealed it.
Groos finished the game with 178 yards passing for the Hawks (5-4), while Gies rushed for 93 yards subbing for Voelker. Leberman threw for 117 yards and ran for 58 and a score for the Pheasants (6-3).
11B No. 1 Sioux Valley overpowers McCook Central/Montrose
“This started in the off-season,” Sattler said. “Our guys really bought in to that if you weren’t going to be here in the off-season you weren’t going to play. (Colman-Egan) is a really good team with a lot of heart. We knew we were going to be in a scrap, but that if we played hard for four quarters and came together as a team we’d win.”