AURORA — With temperatures hovering around 10 degrees and the wind chill below zero, it felt like basketball weather Friday night.
But for South Dakota State basketball recruit and all-state hoops player Baylor Scheierman, there’s still work to do on the football field before he heads indoors.
Despite the frigid conditions, the 6-foot-6 left-handed quarterback completed 26 of 46 passes for 371 yards and three touchdowns to lead No. 2 Aurora to a 35-10 semifinal playoff win over No. 3 Wahoo before an estimated 1,200 spectators.
“Basketball practice starts Monday, but not for us,” Scheierman said. Aurora’s second basketball game ironically is at Wahoo, the defending C-1 state champions.
“I’m excited to be out here still playing football.”
Aurora (12-0) advances to the Class C-1 state championship game against No. 4 Ord Nov. 20 at 2:45 p.m. in Memorial Stadium. It will be Aurora's seventh appearance in the finals, the other six coming in Class B. The Huskies won back-to-back crowns in 2008 and '09 and was state runner-up in 2015.
Trailing for the first time all season at halftime, 10-7, the Huskies outscored the Wahoo 28-0 in the second half to post their second win of the season over the Warriors (10-2).
It was much different than Aurora's 55-21 win over Wahoo in week 3 when the Huskies sprinted to a 20-0 lead after one period and held a 41-14 halftime advantage.
“I thought we could do it. We did all week in practice, including Wednesday morning when it pretty cold,” said Scheierman, who was 12 of 21 for 242 yards after intermission.
“I give credit with Wahoo, they came out with a helluva game plan defensively in the first half, and it was working,” added Scheierman, who broke Scott Frost’s C-1 record for total offense in a season with his performance Friday night.
“We told our guys at half it was a four-quarter game. We usually put the points up in the first half, but I told our guys there’s no reason why we can’t put them up in the second half.”
Scheierman threw a 21-yard TD pass on Aurora’s first possession of the second half to take a 14-10 lead. Scheierman then hooked up with Cy Bullerman for TD connections of 41 and 55 yards in a span of 1:03 late in the third and early in the fourth period to build the margin to 28-10.
Bullerman finished with four catches for 114 yards.
Moural, who had 1-yard TD run to open the scoring in the first quarter, added a 16-yard run in the final period to close out the scoring.
“As coaches, we weren’t sure what might happen when we were faced with adversity, but these guys did a great job handling the weather and what Wahoo threw at us defensively,” Aurora coach Kyle Peterson said. “We were close to breaking some big plays in the first half, and in the second half, we made those plays.”
Wahoo’s strategy was to play keepaway from Aurora’s potent attack with standout junior running back Trevin Luben, who finished with 265 yards on 45 carries. His 67-yard run in the second quarter set up Wahoo’s lone TD, a 2-yard quarterback sneak by Thomas Waido that gave the Warriors’ their three-point halftime edge.
Luben injured his leg on the long run, but he continued to play despite the injury.
“We knew our running game had to be part of the recipe to win, and we did a pretty good job of that in the first half. We weren’t able to do it in the second half,” Wahoo coach Chad Fox said. “Aurora played great defense, and we also hurt ourselves with some penalties. I don’t know if it would’ve changed the outcome, but it would’ve kept it closer.”
AURORA 35, WAHOO 10
AUR--Moural 1 run (Hunter kick)
WAH--Zaragoza 32 FG
WAH--Waido 2 run (Zaragoza kick)
AUR--Moural 21 pass from Scheierman (Hunter kick)
AUR--Bullerman 41 pass from Scheierman (Hunter kick)
AUR--Bullerman 55 pass from Scheierman (Hunter kick)
AUR--Moural 16 run (Hunter kick)