SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The O’Gorman Knights will host fifth ranked Sioux Falls Washington on Friday at McEneaney Field and the game will be livestreamed on KELOLAND.com.
Sioux Falls Washington scored 28 unanswered points in the second half on their way to a 35-14 win over Rapid City Stevens, earning the Warriors their second straight victory.
“The kids just kind of put the pedal to the metal and the kids maybe didn’t react to adversity as well right away in the first half and in the second half, they just put their mind to it and they went. They didn’t think so much, they just played,” Evans said.
Coach Evans and the Warriors have been working on improving their first down success all season. Last Friday, the Warriors and coach Evans saw that improvement on the field.
“We’re trending to be better and better on first down and it’s something we worked on in situations in practice,” Evans said. “The ideal yardage amount would probably be five to six yards on first down and that sets you up for a lot of situations on second and third (down).”
Now the Warriors will prepare to face cross town rival, Sioux Falls O’Gorman, who has won both of the last two meetings between the two teams.
“The Knights are extremely well coached and they are athletic. In certain spots they are super athletic. We need to be able to keep them in front of us when they are on the attack,” Evans said. “(OG Quarterback Teegan) Schlimgen and the boys run a good scheme. They are a physical ball club, they really are.”
O’Gorman is coming off their first win in a month, as the Knights picked up a 51-8 win over Rapid City Central.
“Obviously, I think we’ve played a lot better over the last three weeks. We played really good teams, take nothing away from them, but we felt, on our end, that we made a lot of key mistakes, that really put us in bad situations,” Poppinga said.
The strengths of O’Gorman has been their defense. The Knights are allowing just 11 points per game, outside of their blowout loss to Roosevelt.
“Our defense has played well enough all year, besides the Roosevelt outing where we gave up four touchdown passes of fifty yards plus, where they just torched us in coverage. I mean our defense has really held,” Poppinga said.
The Knights will now host fifth ranked Washington and face their fourth ranked opponent, in the last five games.
“Sometimes you get away with a mistake by your left guard, or a mistake by your tackle, or a receiver runs the wrong route and all of those things may be hidden against a team that isn’t as athletic as you, but a team that is more athletic than you, those things are going to get exposed. That’s why I think football is the ultimate team game,” Poppinga said.
O’Gorman is looking for their third win of the season, while Washington is looking for their third straight victory. However, the key to winning is the same, for both teams.
“We need to come out, rockets firing right away. We’re pretty good at getting going when the game hits the second quarter, but we need to hit lights out right away,” Evans said.
“Realistically the start has been important for us. The games we play really well, we come out and have really good starts. We’ve executed at a high level in the first quarter, we’ve put points on the board in the first quarter and those sorts of things,” Poppinga said.
O’Gorman will host Washington on Friday at McEneaney Field in Sioux Falls. Kick-off is set for 5:00 and you can watch the game on KELOLAND.com, as part of our high school football coverage.