PREVIEW: Undefeated #1 Harrisburg meets Roosevelt in the Game of the Week

KELOLAND.com Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Top-ranked and undefeated Harrisburg will make the trip to Howard Wood Field on Friday, September 24 for a 5:00 kick-off with Sioux Falls Roosevelt.

Friday’s game is the return of the KELOLAND.com Game of the Week as you can stream the action on the Game of the Week Page.

Harrisburg is coming off their closest contest of the season as the Tigers earned a 29-23, double overtime win over Washington.

“Another really good football game. Washington played really well defensively and they did some things offensively that kind of exploited some of our gaps in our defense, but our defense really rose up to the occasion when they needed to get stops,” Harrisburg head coach Brandon White said.

The Tigers will put their undefeated season on the line Friday when they face Roosevelt who is fresh off their first win of the season.

“It was good for us to win and we had to get a win under our belt. I don’t know if it made us better of not, but we’ll find out soon enough I think,” Roosevelt head coach Kim Nelson said. “We came out and played hard right away and got some early touchdown through the air and then late in the game, we were able to run the football.”

Harrisburg enters the contest with the state’s best scoring offense at 41 points per contest, however that number has dropped in the past two games as the team earned narrow wins over Lincoln and Washington.

“We’ve got to be better and more disciplined and throw the ball underneath once in a while. I think Jake (Jacob Knuth) wants to make the big play and we can’t fault him for that. He wants to make plays and the big play sometimes gets in the way there,” White said. “He’s going to be a lot more disciplined and understand it’s okay to throw it for five, it might turn into 20. We need some 12 or 13 play drives, all the way down the field multiple times against Roosevelt.”

On the other side of the field, coach Nelson and Roosevelt are looking to find success on the ground.

“Balance is kind of the key I think for us. I still think we can run the ball well. I still want to see if we can’t lighten the box and run the ball a little,” Nelson said.

Defensively, the key is the same as both Harrisburg and Roosevelt will look to avoid long plays.

“We’ve got to take away the big play. When they can score in big plays and be explosive, they’re going to be hard to stop,” White said. “If we can make them go 12 plays and score on us, then we’ll shake their hands and move on, but I don’t know if they’ve had to do it a lot yet.”

“They have speed and they have good size receivers and their quarterback throws a good deep ball and you’ve got to be able to stop the run a little,” Nelson said. “They put a really tough offense out there against you, so you can’t really worry about just one thing.”

The Rough Riders and Tigers will cross paths at Howard Wood Field on Friday, September 24. Kick-off is set for 5 p.m. on KELOLAND.com.

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