SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Semifinal Friday is here as 28 teams take to the field in fourteen games across the state, and one of them can be seen on KELOLAND.com.
Top seeded Sioux Falls Roosevelt will host fifth seeded Harrisburg at Howard Wood Field, in a rematch of their September 25 contest.
Roosevelt wrapped up the regular season with a perfect 7-0 record. Following their 49-6 win over Watertown in the quarterfinal round, the Rough Riders enter the semi-finals with a perfect 8-0 record.
The Rough Riders boast the top scoring offense in class 11AAA as Roosevelt is scoring more than 43 points per game. The Rough Rider offense has been led by dual threat, sophomore quarterback Taylen Ashley who has punished opposing defense with both his arm and his legs. While Ashley has been good, a lot of the Roosevelt offensive success can be credited to the five offensive lineman. They help open the run game that has been paced by Joe Turay and Tyree Nave. Perhaps the most dangerous part of the Rough Rider offense is their receiving core including Michael Paulson, Presley Johnson and Griffin Wilde. However, there most dangerous weapon is wide receiver Tyler Feldkamp who might have the best break away speed in the entire state.
Roosevelt has been strong on the defensive side of the ball as well. The Rough Riders are allowing opponents to score just 11 points per game. The Rough Riders have a strong front seven led by their 3-4 defense, but their strength on defense is in the secondary. Safety’s Bennet YellowBird and Tyler Feldkamp are great on the back end, while cornerbacks Tucker Large and Joey Hughes lock down the edges as two of the best receivers in the state.
Harrisburg is seeking revenge for their September loss and will look to do so with an offense that is scoring 36 points per game. The Tigers are a pass heavy offense led by one of the top quarterbacks in the state, Jacob Knuth. Similar to Roosevelt, the Tigers have a solid offensive line. The Tigers are a pass friendly team, however opposing teams have to keep an eye on the running backs, Anders Clayton and Gavin Ross. If the defense focus’ too much on the aerial attack, you just might leave a hole open for one of them. The receiving core deserves a lot of credit for the strong passing performance this season. This receiving group has depth including Ethyn Rollinger, Andrew Walter, Jack Teigen and Lincoln Carlson.
The Tigers are no slouch on defense either, allowing just 24 points per game. Harrisburg has talent at all three levels of the defense and hangs their hat on their ability to not miss tackles. The d-line has found success up front, while the secondary has been solid against the pass, but the strength of this defense is their experienced group of linebackers. Seniors Gavin Gulbranson and Jack Teigen are paired with juniors Cade Larson and Tyman Long. The four man linebacking core can make things difficult for opposing offenses.
The key to success for Roosevelt are simple. Coach Kim Nelson says they need to win the turnover battle, similar to the way they did last time they met Harrisburg. For Harrisburg, coach Brandon White wants to avoid turnovers, sustain drives on offense and keep the ball away from the Rough Rider offense that has been so dangerous all season.
Friday’s game will kick-off at 6 p.m. and you can watch the game on KELOLAND.com.