SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Fourth ranked Sioux Falls O’Gorman will hosts top ranked Sioux Falls Roosevelt in the 2020 Dakota Bowl, on Saturday, September 12.
The game will be livestreamed on KELOLAND.com as the Game of the Week.
Sioux Falls Roosevelt advanced to 2-0 on the season with a blowout win over Sioux Falls Lincoln, 42-19. The Rough Riders used some early turnovers and great field position to grab an early lead.
“Get some turnovers and keep them out of the endzone the first half. It was 35-6, but it could’ve been 35-28. We were fortunate there, but sometimes you get a break, sometimes it goes against you, so we took advantage. I thought we played pretty well,” Roosevelt head coach Kim Nelson said.
The Rough Rider defense has faced two of the best offenses in class 11 ‘AAA’, but are only allowing 20 points per contest, which coach Nelson knows his team can do better.
“I think trying to be more consistent with our run defense. Defensively, we would give up some yards, but then we would have some plays in a row where we would just stuff them and get the ball back,” Nelson said. “You don’t want to have to do that with your backs to the endzone. You’d like to do it early in the drive, if you can. So we need to be better on our first down with our defense.”
Roosevelt has scored 65 points in just two games, which ranks as the third most in class 11 ‘AAA’. While they have found success on offense, efficiency can be the key to more Rough Rider touchdowns.
“When we get the ball back (on offense), we need to be efficient again and also take care of the football. We can’t rely on a big play, we need to be able to move the chains and keep the ball and give out defense a chance to rest on the sideline,” Nelson said. “Efficiency on both sides is probably the key word for us.”
The O’Gorman Knights suffered their first loss of the young 2020 season, with a 20-14 decision against second ranked Brandon Valley. The Knights played a competive game against the Lynx, but coach Poppinga would like to see his team take the next step.
“We just want our kids to execute at a high level and the coaching that gets put into that, the effort of the coaching staff trying to put kids in the right place to make plays and win, is our goal every week. When you see kids do that, then it is a lot of fun, to see the rewards of their efforts,” O’Gorman head coach Jayson Poppinga said.
O’Gorman is scoring nearly thirty points per game this season. Much of that success can be credited to one of their returning starters, in quarterback Teegan Schlimgen.
“He plays a vital role in our offense and Teegan (Schlimgen) week one, didn’t play as well as he would’ve wanted to, but last week we felt like he played a really good game. We thought he was the reason we were in that Brandon (Valley) game and he’s important for us just because he’s been through it and through a state championship game last year,” Poppinga said. “He’s done a great job of leading a very inexperienced team right now.”
The Knights defense has allowed the fewest points of any team in class 11 ‘AAA’, while also holding a team to zero points, which to this point, is the lone shutout of the ‘AAA’ season.
“They’ve been huge for us. If you look at the first week, our defense gave up zero points and last week we felt like they only gave up seven,” Poppinga said. “Of the twenty Brandon Valley put on the board, we felt the two (touchdowns) was the offense handing them the points that they got. We’re really proud of our defense and our linebacking core has played really well.”
Normally, the Dakota Bowl is played in front of thousands of fans at Howard Wood Field, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the attedance will be limited and the location has been changed to McEnenaey Field.
“Obviously we’re dissappointed that we don’t get to have the potential of a 10,000 person crowd at that’s why it was supposed to be at Howard Wood,” Poppinga said. “We’re excited, I mean we would’ve gotten to only play three games at the Mac (McEneaney Field) as home games this, so to get that fourth game at home, with the kids in front of the home crowd, that’s exciting for us too.”
The Dakota Bowl is O’Gorman’s largest fundraiser as it has raised more than $100,000 for the school, just this year. However this year’s Dakota Bowl will feature two long time, 41st Street rivals.
“It’s actually our third bowl games in a row. We played in Brandon Valley’s season opening bowl game and then President’s Bowl last week for us and now the Dakota Bowl,” Nelson said. “We like that, it’s a big game because it has a name and a title. More people come to the game and watch.”
“The Dakota Bowl is always special, it doesn’t matter who you play. The fact that it is Roosevelt, kind of our cross town rival because they are the closest school to us and our kids play against and with each other,” Poppinga said. “They grew up on the same junior football teams and little league baseball teams playing with each other and now they are on opposite sidelines. It just adds to the fun of this event.”
Fourth ranked Sioux Falls O’Gorman will host top ranked Sioux Falls Roosevelt on Saturday at McEneaney Field.
Kick-off is set for 7:00 p.m. and you can watch the Game of the Week on KELOLAND.com as part of our high school football coverage.