The Harrisburg Tigers earned a 40-22 win over Aberdeen Central last Friday to remain the lone unbeaten team in class 11AAA .
“Playing confident and flying around, making some big plays at times offensively and defensively. We’re kind of that, ‘Bend but don’t break mentality,’ where we are going to give up some yards but we just have got to keep them from scoring,” Harrisburg Head Coach Brandon White said.
“Really good-looking team overall, and so we have to be good at every phase. I can’t pick one thing. They run the ball well; they throw the ball well; their special teams are solid and their defense is good and I just think this is going to be the biggest challenge of the year so far,” Roosevelt Head Coach Kim Nelson said.
It could also be the Tigers’ toughest test of the season when third-ranked Harrisburg plays second-ranked Roosevelt on Friday.
“It’s going to be a hard fought, physical football game. This game is going to be won up front and if they can run the football on us, they’re going to have their way with us, and if we can run the ball, I think we’ll be in contention at the end of the game. We’ve had some really good halves through our first four games; we just haven’t played a complete game. We need to some how find a way to score early,” White said.
This year, the Tigers are relying on their depth to keep fresh legs on the field.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve had depth like this, especially at our skills position and we continue to build our o-line and d-lines each and every week. Some sophomore’s are giving us some valuable time when we need to get some seniors out. It’s a great problem to have,” White said.
Roosevelt is coming off a 25-point win over Rapid City Stevens. Now the Rough Riders will play the Tigers, but Roosevelt is keeping the focus on themselves.
“If we execute; that means we take care of the ball. We get first downs; we move the chains. We finish the drives with scores and on defense, we get the ball back. That’s our whole goal on defense is to get the ball back,” Nelson said.
“We’re a great team when we execute things; that goes for every game. Just like this game, if we execute our stuff and work on the stuff we’ve been working on this week in practice, we’ll be great when it comes to game time,” Roosevelt Senior Quarterback Brady Dannenbring said.
The Rough Riders have been challenged this season as they have played three teams that are currently ranked.
“We’re being tested very early, and I think we’ve responded pretty well. Now here comes another one and we just have to do our thing and play our way and not worry about what else is going on,” Nelson said.
Roosevelt and Harrisburg will cross paths at Howard Wood Field on Friday. Kick-off is set for 5:00.