Click the video above to see highlights of O’Gorman’s win over Roosevelt
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The 2021 Dakota Bowl was postponed from Saturday, August 28 to Monday, August 30. The first half began on Monday at 4 p.m., but the second half didn’t finish until 5 p.m. on Tuesday.
Roosevelt cruised to a 48-0 win over O’Gorman in last year’s Dakota Bowl. A year later, the Dakota Bowl was postponed nearly two days due to severe weather. Following the first half on Monday, more severe weather came postponing the second half to Tuesday, where the Knights finally earned the 14-12 win.
“Obviously, it was the longest game that we’ve ever played, starting Saturday night to here, but it’s game one, with an inexperienced team and I think you saw that,” O’Gorman head coach Jayson Poppinga said. “You saw the mistakes, things that happened, but we made big plays, our defense comes up with a stand at the end and offensively we did just enough. Obviously, we weren’t happy with ourselves and penalties really hurt us down the road, but we did enough to win and wins are all that count at the end of the season.”
“It took a while to start playing. We weren’t expecting that, nobody could, but we fight through adversity, you know, we play one half on Monday, one half today, so it is what it is, but we got the job done,” O’Gorman senior Manny Struck said.
The O’Gorman defense led the way as they forced a fumble, an interception and came up with a goal line stand on Monday and a two point conversion stand on Tuesday.
“Stopping the run, holding them out of touchdowns in the first half, the big stand to keep them out of the endzone, here the two point conversion and stopping them there and then coming up with the onside kick. I mean, those are three huge stands that we had that obviously made the difference in the football game,” Poppinga said.
O’Gorman took their largest lead at 14-6 when Bennett Dannenbring connected with Manny Struck on the games longest play… a 74 yard touchdown.
“We just had the matchup we wanted. We had man-to-man and you know, Bennett trusted me to run a post and coach trusted me and I got a beat and got the job done,” Struck said.
“He won his man-to-man battle and a good throw, a good enough throw for him and he scored a touchdown. It was that simple that he won his man-to-man,” Poppinga said.
For the fifth straight season, O’Gorman opened the season with a victory, but now they’ll have to prepare for the top team in 11AAA.
“We’ve got to go up. I mean, obviously it’s great to get a win, in the past couple years games like this, you know, we were losing these games and trying to build back out of it, so the victory always covers up mistakes pretty fast. We’ve got a long ways to go against arguably the best team in the state next week,” Poppinga said.
“We’ve got a big one on Saturday and then should definitely help our morale and just give us a boast for Saturday,” Struck said.
O’Gorman will play at top-ranked Harrisburg on Saturday. Kick-off is set for 6:00 p.m.