SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The 2021 Presidents Bowl is the largest in school history as four games will be played over the course of two days. Two of those games will be played on Saturday including Washington vs. O’Gorman and Roosevelt vs. Brandon Valley.
All four games in this year’s Presidents Bowl will be livestreamed on KELOLAND.com. KELOLAND.com’s Grant Sweeter will be on the call for all four games, while KELOLAND’s Tanner Castora will join him for the first game of each day.
O’Gorman will meet Washington in Saturday’s first game with kick-off set for 1 p.m.
The O’Gorman Knights sit at 1-1 following a narrow 14-12 win over Roosevelt in their first game and a twenty point loss to Harrisburg a week later. The main concern for the Knights has been protecting their first year quarterback, Bennett Dannenbring.
“I mean, that’s something that we always are concerned about. Our offensive line coach, coach Olson does a great job getting our guys ready every week, but there’s always limitations,” O’Gorman head coach Jayson Poppinga said. “When your guys are undersized up front, it depends on them playing perfect technique and even then sometimes it isn’t going to matter. Football is a game of physicality and right now up front, you have to give the nod to Washington on that one.”
Washington also sits at 1-1 following a loss to Jefferson and a win over Rapid City Central. The Warriors were outscored 17-6 in their first two quarters of the season. Since that point, Washington has outscored their opponents 70-14 as they’ve allowed just one offensive touchdown in that stretch.
“They’re starting to get their feet under them. They’re trying to figure out who they are. We hope to keep trending in that way, keep feeding on that energy and play with confidence, all within of what we do and great things can happen,” Washington head coach Ryan Evans said.
The difference on Saturday will come down to the small things.
“We just need to do the simple things right. We’ve got to be able to tackle in space. We need to be able to fill gaps,” Poppinga said. “We need to cover and obviously on offense we need to be able to run the ball better than what we have.”
“We want to control the time of possession for sure, as best we can. We need to run the football. We need to control the line of scrimmage, both offensively and defensively and we should have a chance in the end,” Evans said.
O’Gorman and Washington will kick-off on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Brandon Valley is one of three teams in class 11AAA with an unbeaten record. The Lynx defense has led the way this season as they are allowing just 10.5 points per contest. Despite a 2-0 start, Brandon Valley knows they’ll have to keep improving throughout the season.
“You want to stay healthy. You want to stay hungry. You want to get wins and you want to learn lessons along the way. You’re right about that,” Brandon Valley interim head coach Matt Christensen said. “You don’t want to peak now. Nobody wants to peak in September. We’ll just keep looking for ways to put our kids in the best spots to make plays.”
Unlike the Lynx, Roosevelt is off to a tough start following two narrow losses to O’Gorman Rapid City Stevens. Despite these early setbacks, the Rough Riders are looking forward.
“We had a real good day yesterday and our kids are fighting back and they’re kind of feeling good about where we are,” Roosevelt head coach Kim Nelson said. “Otherwise, I think we’re ready for a game, but we do need some practice and the Saturday game helps us to have an extra day to prepare. We’re going to try to use it as best we can.”
Similar to the first game Saturday and many other 11AAA games, coach Nelson and coach Christensen say the difference will come down who can do the small things the best.
“One play at a time. We talk about that everyday. We can’t look at our record anymore. We can’t look back on our 0-2 start,” Nelson said. “We have to look forward. We’re playing a good team, in front of a nice big crowd, in a nice big venue. It’s a big ballgame and we have to think about one play at a time.”
“The takeaway margin is huge. We need to win it and we need to control the clock too. We need to have the ball. We need to control our composure as well and if things don’t go well, we need to have short memories,” Christensen said.
The Rough Riders and Lynx will meet in the final game of this years Presidents Bowl. Kick-off is set for 5 p.m. in Saturday.