The Bulldogs’ football team heads to the playoffs tomorrow, October 28, to take on the Canton C-Hawks in Canton. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
Pair Ups for all 11A Games: No. 8 — Sioux Falls Christian (4-5) at No. 1 Madison (9-0)No. 5 — West Central (4-5) at No. 4 Dell Rapids (6-3) No. 7 — Milbank (6-3) at No. 2 Canton (8-1)No. 6 — Tri-Valley (5-4) at No. 3 Vermillion (6-3)* All games start at 7 p.m.
The Bulldogs are going in fresh off a 42-0 victory against Sisseton. The win brought Milbank’s season record to 6-3 and should serve to give the Bulldogs an extra boost of confidence for post-season play. Although the drubbing the Bulldogs gave the Redmen was a much-needed win and is considered a blowout, it didn’t quite rival some historic games from South Dakota’s past. The state’s top-10 whoopin’s are listed below.
Blowouts always seem to come with contention and remain controversial — especially those games in which the difference in scores is close to or over 100 points — but, we’ll leave that debate for another time. Blowouts are rare today and generally that’s due to South Dakota enacting a Mercy Rule.
Until 1994, South Dakota’s Mercy Rule only applied to 9-Man games. The Mercy Rule terminated any game that had a 45-point disparity at halftime or anytime in the second half.
In 1994, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFSHSA) recommended a Running-Clock Rule and South Dakota adopted it for 11-man teams in 11A and 11B. According to the South Dakota High School Activities Assocation (SDHSAA), the rule worked like this: In the second half, if a team is ahead by 45 points or more, the scorekeeper switches to a running clock and it only stops for events such as a touchdown, an official’s timeout, or a team timeout.
In 2000, South Dakota amended the rule to: If one team is ahead by 50 points, the game is automatically over at that point. This was adopted by 11A and 11B (and now 9-Man). In 2007, South Dakota’s Running Clock Rule was updated to shrink the Mercy Rule deficit to 35 points or more. Since then, it has also been extended to games at the state championship level.
South Dakota’s 11AA and 11AAA remain opposed to the Mercy Rule and have not implemented it. Teams cite issues such as extensive travel times for many games and the large number of players on their rosters as some of their reasons
Regardless of the politics, the Pierre Governors defeated the Spearfish Spartans 103-0 in an 11AA quarter-final game in 2019. The Spartans might have seen it coming as Pierre had also defeated Spearfish earlier that year in regular-season play to the tune of 72-0.
Top-10 South Dakota High School Blowouts of All Time
1913 Miller 113 vs. DeSmet 0, 1915 Rapid City 106 vs. Belle Fouche 0, 1922 Rapid City 117 vs. Deadwood 0, 1923 Timber Lake 111 vs. Selby 0, 1926 Flandreau 115 vs. Estelline 0, 1928 Parker 106 vs.Viborg 0 1928 Vermillion 103 vs. Centerville 0, 1958 Columbia 101 vs. Langford (unverified score) 6-man football, 1961 Rutland 102 (possibly 104) vs. Oldham 0, 2019 Pierre 103 vs. Spearfish 0
Biggest Blowout of the Decade for US High Schools or Academies
1886 Peerskill Military Academy 136 vs. Mount Bacon Academy 0 (CT) 1898 Northwest Military Academy 108 vs. Highland Park (IL) 0, 1902 Moline 172 vs. Galva 0 (IL), 1912 Muskegon 216 vs. Hastings Square 0 (MI), *1927 Haven 256 vs. Sylvia 0 (KS) *This game still holds the record for the highest scoring football game in US high school history.
1931 Clarinda 159 vs. Sidney 0 (IA), 1943 Salem 184 vs Fairfield 0 (IL), 1958 Cyril 124 vs. Fort Sill 0 (OK), 1966 Washington Street 119 vs. Holley 0 High (GA), 1973 University Christian 130 vs. Victory Christian 0 (FL), 1985 Lincoln Prep Academy 138 vs. Northeast 0 (MO), 1994 East Richland 135 vs. Newton 0 (IL), 2008 Texico 101 vs. Loving 0 (NM), 2014 Savage 106 vs. Fraser 0 (MT), 2020 Magnolia West 92 vs. Caney Creek 0 (TX)
At some point, most teams will end up on the wrong side of a lopsided victory. They can take heart. According to the Witchita Daily Eagle, in 1913, a Kansas high school football game ended with Anthony (now Anthony-Harper-Chaparral) defeating Kiowa 211-0.
To add insult to injury, the Anthony team clinched the championship title. But there’s more to the story. Anthony had suffered it’s own blowout loss earlier in the season. They had kneeled to Pratt at 86-0. Also according to the Eagle, in 1920, Kiowa returned the favor and mowed down Anthony 110-0.
What goes around often comes around or as Vince Lombardi said, “The man on the top of the mountain didn’t fall there.”