With a drama-filled week one in the books, area prep football moves on. We will again be treated to a series of top prep match ups on Friday and Saturday, including a number of rivalry games. Our featured games include O'Gorman/Roosevelt, Lincoln/Washington, Flandreau/McCook Central/Montrose, Colman-Egan/Deubrook Area and Avon/Hanson. All of these teams will butt heads and provide a lot of thrills in action-packed gridiron theatre. Check out the previews below for an in-depth look at the games.
Prognosticating: In week one, we finished 4-1, missing only the Spearfish loss to St. Thomas More, 7-0. Over the past two years, we sit 108-23 for 83 percent. This week, we project SF O'Gorman, SF Washington, Deubrook Area, Flandreau and Avon to come out on top in our featured games.
Here is a breakdown on "Focus on Five" games.
Don't forget to check out Friday Night Lights with Sports Director Erik Thorstenson and Dylan Scott after the games.
#4 Sioux Falls O'Gorman (0-1) at #3 Sioux Falls Roosevelt (1-0), 11AA, Howard Wood Field, Dakota Bowl, Saturday Night
Roosevelt Notes: The Rough Riders, the defending state AA champion, has won two straight and three-of-four games against rival O'Gorman. A year ago, they ended the Knights season with a 23-16 win in the playoff semifinals that elevated the Rough Riders to the title game at the DakotaDome. Kim Nelson's squad successfully opened the 2012 season with a 49-6 victory over Aberdeen Central. Sophomore quarterback Taryn Christion stood out in his first career start. He had 46 yards rushing and was 8-of-13 passing for 196 yards with three TDs (47, 61 20) and an interception. Senior running back Mikal Smith, who had five carries for 24 yards, scored two TDs, including a three-yard run and a 48-yard pitch and catch with Christion. Seth Bjordahl led the Rough Riders with 56 yards on 13 carries while Jeremiah Clark had three carries for 59 yards. Wide receiver Tanner Hennings had a big game with three receptions for 83 yards, including a 61-yard TD. Senior wide receiver Lucas Wilber had two catches for 38 yards and a 20-yard TD reception as well as two carries for 31 yards and a six-yard TD run. The Roosevelt defense limited Aberdeen Central to 156 yards in total offense (87 yards rushing), forced four turnovers and recorded a defensive score on a 53-yard interception return by Kory Lindquist
O'Gorman Notes: The Knights, which have won eight overall playoff championships with 14 title game appearances since the playoffs era began in 1981, will attempt to give veteran head coach Steve Keuter his 260th career win. The Dakota State graduate is just 25 wins way from the all-time leader Max Hawk, who had 284-78-2 record wins at Yankton until retiring in 1994 after leading the Bucks to the AA title. O'Gorman dropped an 18-15 home decision to #2 Brandon Valley to open the 2012 season. The Knights have five athletes going both ways, including Max Smith, Nic Steffl, Alex Williams, Austin Pharis and Ryan Erickson. Sophomore Tanner Schulte could also be among that group as he starts at cornerback on defense and plays a heavy load at QB and running back on offense. Against the Lynx, the Knights rushed for 215 yards on 44 carries, led Schulte, who had 17 carries for 102 yards and threw a 21-yard TD pass. Senior Nic Steffl added 13 carries for 91 yards and caught the 21-yard TD pass from Schulte that tied the game at 15-15 in the third quarter. Late in the game, an O'Gorman fumble seemed to set BV with an opportunity to put the game away but Schulte picked off Marso on third down from the six-yard line with 2:37 on the clock. Schulte nearly broke free on the interception return before being stopped at the 44-yard line. O'Gorman, benefited by an interference penalty, had a shot at a tie but Alex Pujado's 37-yard field goal attempt was short. The Knights defense had a pair of sacks in a strong defense effort.
Inside slant: Will Roosevelt or O'Gorman control the ball and the clock? Which defense is better as both opened with strong defensive efforts? Can the team's young quarterbacks shine on another big stage? Will there be more than 20 totals passes thrown by teams that like to pound the ball?
Coaches: Kim Nelson of Sioux Falls Roosevelt, 29-7 at Roosevelt, overall, 219-119, .648; Steve Keuter of O'Gorman, 35 years (34th at O'G), 259-72-1, .782
Last Week: Roosevelt, 49 Aberdeen Central, 6; Brandon Valley 18 O'Gorman, 15
Series Records: O'Gorman leads the all-time series (started in 1991), 24-5. A year ago, Roosevelt won twice against O'Gorman, 19-14 in the regular season and 23-16 in the playoff semifinals. O'Gorman won the initial 14 games of the series but Roosevelt has won three of the past four contests. The Knights is 5-3 in playoff match ups between the rivals. Here is the rest of the games by year: 2010 - OG 28 RHS 27 (playoffs), RHS 12 OG 9; 2009 -- OG 7 RHS 0, OG 37 RHS 26 (playoffs); 2008 -- OG 24 RHS 17; 2007 -- OG 14 RHS 7; 2006 -- OG 21 RHS 14, RHS 28 OG 21 (playoffs); 2005 -- OG 24 RHS 14, OG 14 RHS 6 (playoffs); 2004 -- OG 14 RHS 3, OG 14 RHS 7 (playoffs); 2003 -- RHS 14 OG 7; 2002 -- OG 12 RHS 7; 2001 -- OG 41 RHS 15; 2000 -- OG 22 RHS 21; 1999 -- OG 20 RHS 14; 1998 -- OG 21 RHS 6; 1997 -- OG 28 RHS 9; 1996 -- OG 54 RHS 0; 1995 -- OG 38 RHS 14; 1994 -- OG 34 RHS 7; OG 41 RHS 7 (playoffs); 1993 -- OG 35 RHS 21; 1992 -- OG 14 RHS 0; 1991 -- OG 48 RHS 14; OG 20 RHS 0 (playoffs).
Bottomline: Both teams will try and get their running games going. O'Gorman will pound Ryan Erickson and Nic Steffl while utilizing sophomore quarterback/wingback Tanner Schulte on the edge. Can Roosevelt's young quarterback Taryn Christion shine against one of AA's top defenses? Roosevelt will look to throw under their terms not those dictated by the Knights. On the ground Seth Bjordahl, and Mikal Smith could create some problems for the Knights. Lucas Wilbur is a dynamic talent to watch.
Who Wins? Is it possible that O'Gorman falls to 0-2 to start the season? In this match up of rivals, expect to see a few big plays at HWF on Saturday night. We think that Tanner Schulte and Nic Steffl will lead O'Gorman to a 22-20 win over the Rough Riders in another wire-to-wire game between rivals.
9B #3 Avon (1-0) at 9A Hanson (1-0), Alexandria
Avon Notes: The Pirates, the 9B runner-up a year ago, will try for a second straight win to open the season. Led by head coach Tom Culver, Avon is one of the state's most successful programs with four playoff titles and seven championship games appearances. On opening night, Brandon Kocmich had seven carries for 96 yards rushing and two TDs as Avon rolled to a season-opening 38-8 win over Tripp-Delmont/Armour. Also for the Pirates, Devin Tolsma had seven carries for 56 yards and a TD. In his first start as quarterback, sophomore Logan Mudder had a solid game, directing the Avon wishbone/option attack and finishing with four carries for 52 yards and a TD. He completed 3-of-5 passes for 15 yards. Tolsma led a strong defensive effort with four tackles and a sack.
Hanson Notes: The Beavers, which has won four playoff championships, including three straight titles from 2008-10, opened the season with a 22-14 win over Woonsocket/Wessington Springs/Sanborn Central. Hanson was led by senior quarterback Tyler Pringle, who completed 3-of-4 passes for 94 yards and two TDs. Pringle's 29-yard pass to sophomore Jordan Marguardt with only 39 seconds to play proved to be the game-winning score. Marguardt finished with 17 carries for 74 yards and had two TD receptions. He also had 10 tackles on defense. Hanson's ground attack primarily featured Jacob Paradeis, who had 14 carries for 155 yards and a TD. Jim Haskamp's team accumulated 232 rushing yards and 110 passing yards for 342 yards in total offense.
Inside slant: Which team will find greater success running the ball? With both teams hit hard by graduation, which newcomers shine in this contest between two of the traditional powers in 9-man football? Will Tom Culver of Avon pull off a trick play as he did a year ago in a win?
Coaches: Jim Haskamp of Hanson, 28 years, 158-76, .675; Tom Culver of Avon, 131-35, .789 overall; 118-26, .819 at Avon
Last Week: Avon defeated Tripp-Delmont/Armour, 38-8; Hanson over Woonsocket/Wessington Springs/Sanborn Central, 22-14
Series Records: Since the two schools starting playing in 2007, Hanson has won four of six games, including two in the playoffs. A year ago, Avon upended Hanson, 32-28, in the FCA bowl in Sioux Falls. In 2010, Hanson won a playoff game, 46-30. In 2009, Avon took the regular season battle, 30-0, before falling in the playoffs, 20-16. Hanson won, 34-20, in 2008 and 20-16 in 2007.
Bottomline: This will be a tight battle between two quality teams. Both teams were hit hard by graduation and are counting on a number of new players to step in and carry on the success and tradition of the respective school's football programs. This game will feature a lot of ground work. Pringle's ability to throw may be a big factor. It will be important for the Beavers to read the Avon option or big plays may result for the Pirates.
Who Wins? This is a toss-up. We think Avon will find a way to sneak out a 26-24 decision in a game decided late in the fourth quarter.
McCook Central/Montrose (1-0) at 11B #3 Flandreau (1-0), Friday
McCook Central/Montrose Notes: The Fighting Cougars, the 11B runner-up a year ago, opened the season with a 12-7 win over Platte-Geddes/Dakota Christian. McCook Central/Montrose, which was hit hard by graduation, showed that they are intent on continue their winning ways. With a season-opening win, MC/M has won 11 of the past 13 games. The Fighting Cougars, directed by head coach Riley Evans, utilized special teams play to edge past P-G/DC. Tim Gassman scored on a 43-yard punt return for the Fighting Cougars. MC/M's other TD was a 22-yard TD pass from senior quarterback Brandon Reif to senior wide receiver Jacob Heumiller. As usual, the squad played strong defense, limiting P-G/DC to one TD.
Flandreau Notes: The Fliers, which won the 11B title two years ago, is looking for a return trip to the DakotaDome later in the year. Until the playoffs, they have work to do. But based on the game one performance, they are a run-focused team that plays tough defense. In a game one 36-22 win against Deuel Area, Flandreau unleashed a strong rushing attack, which produced 370 yards on 43 carries. Early on Deuel Area held a 14-0 lead but gradually the punishing ground attack enabled the Fliers to take control of the game. Senior running back Jacob Patterson had 24 carries for 176 yards and a TD while also recording an interception, sack and six tackles on defense. In his first start, junior quarterback Jace Christiansen didn't throw the ball much (1-of-4) and didn't need to as the Fliers controlled the game on the ground. He finished with eight carries for 118 yards and TD runs of eight and 45 yards. Senior running backe David Parsley had nine carries for 62 yards and a 41-yard TD. Flandreau broke from a 14-14 halftime tie to defeat Deuel. Flandreau's defense was stellar, except for two big pass plays. Going against a talented quarterback in Lincoln Swenson, the Fliers allowed an 83-yard to Justin Cassels (2 rec., 100 yards) and a 55-yard TD pass to Trevor Cassels (2 rec., 90 yards). two brothers, who are talented as well and likely to cause problems for other Deuel opponents this season. Other than that, they were solid with four sacks, two interceptions and just 59 yards rushing to Deuel Area. Jacob Scofield led Flandreau with 10 tackles while Kyle Scofield had nine tackles and a pick. Carter Ziebarth was solid upfront with nine tackles.
Inside slant: Will McCook Central/Montrose find a way to slow down a strong Flandreau rushing attack? Will the game with a repeat of the 10-7 Flandreau win a year ago? Will anyone pass much>
Coaches: Chad Stadem of Flandreau, 62-29, .681, 29-12, .707 at Flandreau; Riley Evans of McCook Central/Montrose, 19-12, .613
Last Week: Flandreau 36 Deuel Area, 22; McCook Central/Montrose 12 Platte-Geddes/Dakota Christian, 7
Series Records: While overall records are not available, since 2004, Flandreau has won seven of nine games. A year ago, Flandreau won the regular season encounter, 10-7, with McCook Central/Montrose defeating the Fliers, 28-7 in the players. Other past games are as follows: Flandreau 28-7, 2010; 14-0 in 2009; 16-14 in 2008; 22-0 in 2006; 39-13 in 2005 and 35-0 in 2004. MC/M won 27-0 in 2007.
Bottomline: It appears that Flandreau is a team that may contend with Tri-Valley and Winner for all the marbles in 11B. The Fliers feature an outstanding rushing game and own a physical defense. However, we can't discount this McCook Central/Montrose team that opened with a win. While they have suffered heavy graduation losses, they play stout defense and still run the ball effectively. They also have the propensity to make something happen on special teams.
Who Wins? At this point, Flandreau looks like one of the best in 11B and they will pull away in the second half and take a 26-12 decision.
9A #5 Colman-Egan (0-0) at 9AA #3 Deubrook Area, Friday
Deubrook Area Notes : Deubrook Area made a run and fell just short of playing for the school's first ever 9AA championship a year ago. As head coach Adolph Shepardson and the Dolphins open the season on Friday, the veteran team has designs on making another playoff run with their eye on a state championship. The Dolphins have high hopes for a good season with the return of 14 letter winners, including seven starters on offense and five on defense. The Dolphins will feature running back Ryan Knutson, who has 1,183 career rushing yards and 10 TDs. A year ago, he had 100 carries for 809 yards, 7 TDs, including four games rushing over 100 yards. Directing Deubrook Area's multiple I-Pro offense, will be senior quarterback Taylor Olson (2-of-4-79 yards, TD). Olson will throw to a pair of wide receivers who may be as good a tandem as there is in South Dakota's 9-man ranks. Riley Hanson was named All-State after recording 26 receptions for 572 yards and four TDs, including two 100-yard receiving games. A dangerous return specialist, he averaged 23.2 yards on punt returns, including a school-record 90-yard TD return. The other wideout will be junior Dustin Troinen (20 rec., 456 yards, 8 TDs). The defense will be anchored by Tyler Jensen, who was an all-league nose tackle after recording 96 tackles, three sacks and a fumble recovery. Other key returnees include senior Josh Kruse (70T, int., FF) at linebacker and Hanson (42T, 3 int., FR) and Knutson (80T, 5 int., TD return) in the secondary .
Colman-Egan Notes: The C-E Hawks, which finished 8-1 but lost to Hansen in the playoffs, will try to have a successful opening night under first year coach Shawn Flanigan. The C-E were hit hard by graduation but return some talented performers from a team that a year ago generated 30.1 points and 271.7 total yards and 193.2 rushing yards. Flanagan will install a new system which means adjustments for the team. The quarterback position will be an open competition but could be filled by senior Riley Clark, who saw limited action behind center last year. He was a big-play receiver with 12 catches for 246 yards and six TDs while rushing for 62 yards and a score. The C-E Hawks return speedy senior Haiden Schmidt, who finished sixth in 100 meter dash and accumulated 343 yards rushing on 48 carries and five combined TDs. Last year, the defense allowed just 95.1 yards rushing and 51.2 yards passing along with 8.4 points per game. Clark will anchor the linebacking corps, which will also include Wanberg and Action. As they look to 2012, Colman-Egan hope to strike early and often as they did a year ago when they outscored opponents 131 to 46 in the first half and 88-to-8 in the third quarter.
Inside slant: Will the Dolphins or the C-E Hawks control the ground game? Will Deubrook Area's Taylor Olson be an able replacement for Trevor Peterson at quarterback? How quick will Colman-Egan start under new coach Shawn Flanigan?
Coaches: Adolph Shepardson of Deubrook Area, 29-65, .309; Shawn Flanigan of Colman-Egan, 0-0
Last Week: Neither team played.
Series Records: Deubrook Area has won seven of eight games in the series since 2004. A year ago, Colman-Egan took a 18-12 decision to stop a losing skein. From 2004 to 2010, Deubrook Area won seven straight including 30-18, 2010; 22-14, 2009; 22-14, 2008; 38-12, 2007; 43-7, 2006; 44-14, 2005; and 50-0 in 2004.
Bottomline: This game features a number of standout players, led by Ryan Knutson and Riley Hansen of Deubrook Area and Riley Clark of Colman-Egan. Both teams will look to open fast. While both teams will try to establish the run, expect to see the ball in the air frequently.
Who Wins? In this match up, we see a tough battle being decided in the fourth quarter. We see the Dolphins emerging with a 24-16 win over Colman-Egan.
#1 Sioux Falls Washington (1-0) vs. #5 Sioux Falls Lincoln (1-0), Friday, Howard Wood Field
Washington Notes: Washington, which owns 37 all-time titles (2 playoff and 35 mythical crowns), opened the season with a big win. This is a team focused on returning to the DakotaDome for an unprecedented sixth time (for AA schools). Led by senior quarterback Jon Hander, the Warriors scored on all of its first half possessions to build a 43-0 halftime advantage en route to a 49-7 road victory against Rapid City Central. Sam Cooke ably replaced Devonte Clay, leading the Warriors rushing attack with 16 carries for 138 yards and two TDs (3, 12). Hander completed 10-of-14 passes for 211 yards and 3 TDs (20, 52, 22). Washington had 428 yards in total offense on 54 plays, including 263 through the air. SFW scored on all of its first half possessions. Senior wide receiver Nate Gerry had a 20-yard TD reception on his only catch. Zac Lupica had a 50-yard TD catch while Jordan Determan caught a 22-yard scoring pass. Last Friday, Washington scored seven TDs and but did not use more than 3:03 on any drive. In fact, three drives were 42 seconds or less and on six of seven drives, the Warriors took 2:22 or less to score. Washington had three TD drives of three plays or less and just one over 10 plays, a 12-play 63-yard drive that took 3:03 capped by Cooke's three-yard TD run in the first quarter.
Lincoln Notes: Coach Aaron Beavers will try and pick up his 100th career win when the Patriots match up with SF Washington. These two teams met twice a year ago, with Lincoln rallying to end Washington's 27-game winning streak in a 37-36 win in week 2 of 2011. Washington was able to exact a little revenge with a 42-7 win over the #1 seeded Patriots in the playoff semifinals. As the 2012 season opened, Beavers had a squad that returned just two starts on both offense and defense. The Patriots paid that little heed as they rolled to a 50-6 win in week one. Junior quarterback Connor Burchill, who took over for one of the state's best-ever in graduated Alex Schultz, fared well in game one by completing 8-of-15 passes for 174 yards and three TDs (2 int.). Junior sensation Caden Quintanilla finished with 19 carries for 130 yards and two TDs and looks to be one of the best backs in the state. Evan Decosse had a 95-yard kickoff return (seventh longest in history), while Trevor Naasz had four receptions for 133 yards and two TDs (39, 52). Lincoln, which led AA in scoring a year ago with over 44 points per game, finished with 419 yards in total offense, including 245 rushing yards on 43 carries. The Patriots allowed just 44 yards in total offense to RC Stevens.
Inside slant: Will Lincoln's defense have the capacity to slow down Washington's veteran offense? Can Burchill have another strong performance for the Patriots? Will Sam Cooke continue to shine in the Warriors' ground game? Will Washington defense slow down Lincoln?
Coaches: Aaron Beavers of Sioux Falls Lincoln, 99-52, .656, 53-44, .546; Brian Hermanson, 71-16, .816
Last Week: Washington 49 Rapid City Central 7; Lincoln 50 Rapid City Stevens 6
Series Records: SF Washington leads, 36-19. Hermanson is 7-3 vs. Lincoln. The Warriors have won 7-of-10 since 2005. A year ago, Lincoln won, 37-36, in the regular season to end the Warrior's 27-game winning streak. Washington won the playoff encounter, 42-7. In 2010, Washington won twice, 39-12 and 42-0 (playoffs). In 2008, the Warriors captured a 49-21 decision. During 2008, the teams split with Washington winning the regular season contest, 41-22, but Lincoln defeating the Warriors, 27-20, in the AA title game. Washington also picked up victories in 2007 (24-7) and 2005 (15-13) while Lincoln won, 31-14, in 2006.
Bottomline: It will be a big challenge for Lincoln to bring down the top-ranked Warriors. Washington is talented, deep and experienced, led by Jon Hander, one of the top two quarterbacks in AA this season, Hander was on target all night in week one, connecting with an assortment of receivers. Nate Gerry, who has signed with Nebraska and is one of the top players to come out of the area in a few years, had just one reception (TD) in week one. But and with his size and speed Gerry will break out soon. Gerry, though, is just one of many weapons for the Warriors. On defense, Washington was dominating in week one but face a team that has produced yards and points in a big way over the past few seasons. Lincoln will need to score to frequently to keep up with the Washington attack. Will it happen? Stay tuned.
Who Wins? A year ago, the two teams played a classic during the regular season. Will we treated with another classic? Hard to tell but we think it is highly unlikely that we will see Lincoln pulling off an upset as they did a year ago. Look for a lot of offense in this battle between traditional rivals. The Warriors will hang on to the #1 ranking with a big performance. Our pick is Washington 31 Lincoln 17.