DEADWOOD — Lead-Deadwood scored on its first four possessions and defeated Rapid City Central’s junior varsity 44-18 in the Golddiggers’ homecoming football game Friday night at Ferguson Field.

“This was the most energetic and enthused I’ve seen our group of guys,” said Lead-Deadwood head coach Tom Tieszen, whose team led 28-0 after the first five minutes. “I could tell that they were ready, and they were confident coming in.”

Rocke Rainey’s 62-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage gave the Golddiggers the upper hand. An unsuccessful conversion attempt kept the score at 6-0.

Lead-Deadwood recovered the ensuing onside kick at the Rapid City 49. A six-play drive ended on Cody Rakow’s 25-yard touchdown run. The conversion try failed, but the Golddiggers led 12-0.

Rapid City was forced to punt, and an errant center snap gave Lead-Deadwood the ball at the Cobblers’ 6-yard line. Rainey scored a touchdown on the next play; Rakow’s two-point conversion run boosted the Lead-Deadwood edge to 20-0.

Golddigger Miles Crippen recovered the onside kick at the Rapid City 34-yard line. Rainey found the end zone on a 31-yard run, with Rakow’s two-point run extending the Lead-Deadwood edge to 28-0.

Rainey sprinted 67 yards for a touchdown on the second quarter’s first play. Ryan Rantapaa caught the two-point conversion pass as the Golddiggers moved ahead 36-0.

Rapid City got on the scoreboard just before halftime on Isaac Phillips’ 1-yard touchdown run. An unsuccessful conversion try made the halftime score 36-6, Lead-Deadwood.

Ulysses Evans (8-yard run) and Deakon Goodman (3-yard run) scored Rapid City touchdowns in the third quarter. Both conversion tries failed, and the Cobblers trailed 36-18.

Lead-Deadwood sealed the win on Rainey’s 9-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Crippen added the two-point conversion for the 44-18 final.

Chamberlain was originally to be Lead-Deadwood’s opponent, but COVID-19 in the East River city forced cancellation of that contest. Rapid City Central’s JV stepped in earlier this week to fill the gap.

“With all the crazy that is this year, I’m very thankful for Rapid City Central coming to play,” Tieszen said. “It was just a great thing to be able to play our homecoming game.”

Tieszen said many players stepped up for Lead-Deadwood. He cited Mekieh Hon, Rakow, Rainey, and the offensive line (Carter Estes, Eli Heisinger, Brody Neill, Tyler Rohn, and Gage Mau).

This game does not impact Lead-Deadwood’s playoff seeding because the opponent was a junior varsity squad. Tieszen said his main concern was for the Golddiggers to play well.

Lead-Deadwood is scheduled to visit Hot Springs on Friday, Oct. 2.

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