PREVIEW: Presidents Bowl Day One Set; Jefferson and Lincoln to host R.C. Stevens and Harrisburg

KELOLAND.com Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The annual Presidents Bowl returns in 2021 and this year, there are four games and eight teams featured over the span of two days. Two games will be played on Friday including Rapid City Stevens vs. #5 Jefferson and #1 Harrisburg vs. #4 Lincoln.

Both games will livestream on KELOLAND.com as the Friday Games of the Week! Play-by-play will be provided by KELOLAND.com’s Grant Sweeter and KELOLAND’s Tanner Castora.

The Jefferson Cavaliers enter Friday’s contest with a 1-1 record, following a week 1 win over Washington and a week two loss to Brandon Valley, 33-21.

“I think our kids are playing really hard. Our playmakers are making plays whether it’s Taylen (Ashley) or Griffin (Wilde) or Beau (Giblin) and London (Kolb) on defense, they guys that are our leaders are making plays and now we’ve got to keep getting the rest of the group up to speed and I think we’ll be in good shape,” Jefferson head coach Vince Benedetto said.

“I think our kids are playing really hard. Our playmakers are making plays whether it’s Taylen (Ashley) or Griffin (Wilde) or Beau (Giblin) and London (Kolb) on defense, they guys that are our leaders are making plays and now we’ve got to keep getting the rest of the group up to speed and I think we’ll be in good shape,” Jefferson head coach Vince Benedetto said.

The Cavs will look to simplify the game plan as they prepare for Rapid City Stevens, who also sits at 1-1.

“I think as coaches, we tend to put in a lot of plays and a lot of schemes and we’re average at all of them and that’s what we’re going to focus on this week, is simplifying out scheme and trying to let our players play fast,” Benedetto said. “Against Brandon and even against Washington at times, they were playing slow, probably because there was too much information. So we’re going to focus on simplifying and get good at what we’re good at.”

Jefferson is set to meet Rapid City Stevens who lost to Brandon Valley in game one, but bounced back with a 44-33 win over Roosevelt.

Despite the Raiders recent success, the Cavaliers will keep their focus on improving themselves.

“Every week is an opportunity to get better and we’re a long ways from where we need to be, but we need to have a good day of practice today, Wednesday, Thursday and hopefully play our best football on Friday,” Benedetto said.

Jefferson will meet Stevens at 4 p.m. on Friday.

Harrisburg is off to a strong 2-0 start, thanks in part to their talented senior class.

“When you have 26 seniors, you don’t have to focus a lot on the culture piece of practices and how drills work and stuff. That’s the biggest thing is we can just get after football and really fine tune it,” Harrisburg head coach Brandon White said.

The Tigers own 11AAA’s top scoring offense as they are scoring an impressive 50 points per contest. Much of that success can be credited to the help they get from their defense.

“Momentum plays defensively is what is causing that. They’re getting timely stops, you know three and outs or they get a first down and they get a stop right after that, so we have to hang our hat on our defensive staff and those players over there about getting us the football back, in the right spot and giving us somewhat short fields,” White said. “It’s also our big strike capability with the players that we have.”

The Tigers will meet Lincoln in Friday’s second game. The Patriots are coming off a 31-26 win over Watertown that saw the Patriots lose their lead late, only to win the game via a walk-off, hail mary touchdown.

“Things just kind of broke down and we broke down mentally and so, for us to escape with a win like that, I mean, beyond extremely fortunate, but that’s what you get when you have a really inexperienced group of guys,” Lincoln head coach Jared Fredenburg said. “As long as we can learn from it and get better every week, that’s what we’re really going for.”

As the Patriots prepare to face top-ranked Harrisburg, they are keeping the focus on themselves, in hopes they can rise up for the Tigers.

“We worry about us and so we know that we have some stuff to fix. We know that they’re the number one team, coming into our place and so we just have to rise to that level,” Fredenburg said. “Play to the level of competition and we’ve got to rise and we’ve got to meet it.”

The key to success is a little different for both coaches as one looks to start fast, while the other coach wants his team to compete.

“It’s going to be an early game where we have to get off to a fast start. If you keep a young team around for a while, it’s going to be a tall task at the end game,” White said. “Just like last week, they find a way to win.”

“They’re the number one team, I mean they’re everybody’s favorite, and we’ve just got to come out and take whatever shot they can give us and manage to give one back and not be afraid and not back down and just go out there and compete,” Fredenburg said.

The Patriots and Tigers will cross paths on Friday at 8 p.m. Both that game and the Jefferson vs. Stevens game will be featured on KELOLAND.com.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Continuing The Conversation
See Full Weather Forecast

Trending Stories

Don't Miss!

More Don't Miss