DENTON — Cole Jelinek scored five touchdowns and accounted for more than 350 all-purpose yards Saturday as Denton pulled away from Hysham for a 47-26 win in the 6-Man football semifinals.
Denton will travel to Savage for the championship game this Saturday at 1 p.m. Both teams are 11-0 on the season and were ranked No. 1 and 2 in the final 6-Man poll.
Jelinek rushed for 112 yards and three touchdowns and caught seven passes for 154 yards and a touchdown. He also had more than 100 yards in kickoff returns, including taking the opening kickoff back 40 yards for a TD.
After Hysham tied the score at 26-26 on a 41-yard touchdown run by Shad Schaak in the third quarter, the No. 1-ranked Trojans took charge.
Cole Jelinek scored on touchdown runs of 5 and 12 yards in the third quarter, and Denton put the game away in the fourth quarter on a Jarryd Lahr 6-yard TD run and a safety as Lahr sacked Hysham quarterback E.J. Warren in the end zone.
“We played really well in the second half,” said Denton coach Scott Sparks. “Hysham has some big, strong kids and they did some really nice things offensively that caught us off-guard.
“We made a few adjustments in the second half that helped slow Hysham down, and we had some kids step up and make some big plays in the second half.”
Jelinek had touchdown runs of 1 and 12 yards and caught TD passes of 67 and 5 yards from Brandon Bury.
Denton running back Joel DeVries, who had a 50-yard touchdown run in the first half, left the game in the fourth quarter with a back injury. His status for Saturday’s championship game won’t be known until later this week.
Denton, last year’s 6-Man runner-up, will be seeking its first state championship since 1990. Savage’s last state football championship was the 1984 Class C title.
“Last year’s championship loss (to Winifred-Roy) left a sour taste in our kids’ mouths,” said Sparks. “Our goal was to get back to the championship game and now we’re there. It won’t be easy, though … Savage has an outstanding team. It should be a great game.”
Jelinek also made 15 tackles, and the duo of Lahr and Garrett Bronec combined for 32 tackles and four sacks.
Hysham quarterback E.J. Warren had 248 yards of total offense, throwing two touchdown passes and rushing for one TD. The Pirates finish the season with a 6-5 record.
Hysham — Shad Schaak 39 yard pass from E.J. Warren (Jess Cunningham pass from Taylor
Watson); Shane Lackman 10 yard pass from Warren (kick failed); Warren 1 yard run (kick failed); Schaak 41 yard run (Schaak pass from Watson)
Denton — Cole Jelinek 40 yard kickoff return (kick failed); Jelinek 1 yard run (kick failed); Joel DeVries 50 yard run (kick failed); Jelinek 67 yard pass from Brandon Bury (Bury kick); Jelinek 5 yard pass from Bury (kick failed); Jelinek 12 yard run (Julius Frehse run); Jarryd Lahr 6 yard run (Bury kick); Safety, Lahr sacked Warren in end zone.
Savage 41, Big Sandy 38
BIG SANDY — Chris Reynolds ran the ball 20 times for 189 yards and second-ranked Savage bumped off fourth-ranked Big Sandy 41-38 in the 6-Man football semifinals Saturday.
Defensively, Shad Stanford returned an interception 30 yards for a score for Savage (11-0). The Warriors will host top-ranked Denton Saturday at 1 p.m. for the state championship. Offensively, Stanford was 7 of 14 for 100 yards and two touchdowns from the quarterback position.
Big Sandy’s Trevor Lackner finished 13 of 24 passing for 291 yards, but did throw three interceptions. Ryan Miller ran the ball 24 times for 139 yards.
Reynolds scored on touchdown runs of 17, 50 and six yards and hauled in a 44-yard TD reception.
Savage (11-0) — Chris Reynolds 17 run (kick failed), Shad Stanford 30 interception return (Stanford kick), Reynolds 44 pass from Stanford (kick failed), Reynolds 50 run (Stanford run), Reynolds 6 run (kick failed), Braden Ler 16 pass from Stanford (Stanford kick).
Big Sandy (9-2) — Dallas Briese 36 pass from Trevor Lackner (kick failed), Colter Darlington 25 pass from Lackner (kick failed), Kaden Beck 34 pass from Lackner (Briese kick), Ryan Miller 5 run (kick failed), Lackner 14 run (kick failed), Miller 51 pass from Lackner (pass failed).