HURON — The record-setting passing attack wasn’t the story this time.
No, this week it was a punishing ground attack for the Yankton football team.
And it was exactly how the Bucks planned it.
A pair of long, time-consuming drives resulted in second-half touchdowns as Yankton beat Huron 38-27 in a key Class 11AA showdown Friday night in Huron. It was the 25th straight victory by Yankton over the Tigers, a streak dating back to 1993.
Again, just how Yankton (2-3) envisioned.
“That’s what we wanted to do,” head coach Brady Muth said. “We made a concerted effort this week to pound it on the ground.”
That’s exactly what happened.
Yankton senior Caid Koletzky — whom Muth called “an absolute warrior” — rushed for 164 yards and three touchdowns. He scored on both long drives for the Bucks after halftime.
Huron got within 24-21 at the 8:12 mark of the third quarter, but Yankton proceeded to eat minutes off the clock with a 19-play drive.
A Koletzky 3-yard touchdown run helped Yankton take a 31-21 lead, and after a Huron punt, the Bucks gobbled up seven more minutes with a 15-play drive that resulted in another Koletzky 3-yard scoring run.
Huron (3-2) scored a touchdown with 1:48 remaining, but the Bucks recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.
On a night when the Yankton ground game stole the show, the vaunted passing attack still made some big plays.
Senior quarterback Ethan Wishon passed for 250 yards and two touchdowns, and broke the single-season school record for touchdown passes (he now has 16).
“We still had a few plays where Ethan made something happen with his arm, but this is what we wanted to see,” Muth said.
Yankton got started quickly, with touchdowns on its first two drives of the game — a 28-yard Wishon pass to Miles Carda (the record-breaker) and a Koletzky 2-yard run.
The Bucks later answered a Huron score with a 37-yard Wishon touchdown pass to Michael Drotzmann at the 2:01 mark of the second quarter.
Huron got within 21-14 on a Chipper Shillingstad 7-yard touchdown run, and the Tigers then intercepted a deflected Wishon pass with under 20 seconds left. Huron, though, missed a field goal, and the Bucks took a 21-14 lead into halftime.
Yankton then started the third quarter with a Cole Sawatzke 25-yard field goal, but Huron responded with a Shillingstad 52-yard touchdown run.
From there, though, the Bucks controlled the game on the ground.
To see the rushing attack compliment the already-established passing attack was a positive sign for Yankton, according to Muth.
“This is a step in the right direction,” he said. “I’ve been saying all along, we’re not a finished product, but we’re getting there.”
Yankton will host Sioux Falls Lincoln next Friday night at 7 p.m. at Crane-Youngworth Field.
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YANKTON (2-3) 14 7 10 7 — 38
HURON (3-2) 0 14 7 6 — 27
YHS — Miles Carda, 28-yard pass from Ethan Wishon (Cole Sawatzke kick); 7:01
YHS — Caid Koletzky, 2-yard run (Sawatzke kick); 2:23
HHS — Chipper Shillingstad, 4-yard pass from Jett McGirr (Thacher Dramstad kick); 4:00
YHS — Michael Drotzmann, 37-yard pass from Wishon (Sawatzke kick); 2:01
HHS — Shillingstad, 7-yard run (Dramstad kick); 17.5
YHS — Sawatzke, 25-yard field goal; 8:29
HHS — Shillingstad, 52-yard run (Dramstad kick); 8:12
YHS — Koletzky, 3-yard run (Sawatzke kick); 55.1
YHS — Koletzky, 3-yard run (Sawatzke kick); 4:07
HHS — Kobe Busch, 10-yard pass from McGirr (kick no good); 1:48