SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The final week of the 11AAA season is upon us, which means the playoffs are just one week away.
Five seeds are still in question in the 11AAA playoffs, however Washington and Roosevelt know their spots, as the Warriors will be the sixth seed and the Rough Riders the top seed.
Despite being locked into their spot in the playoffs, both teams are still looking for a win on Thursday.
“We want to treat every game one at a time, because they’re all important. It’s really important for us to play well against Washington. I know the game isn’t going to affect the seating or anything, but it’s going to affect our attitude going into the playoffs and how much we’ve developed,” Kim Nelson said.
“It keeps the playoff seeding out of everyone’s head. You know that you’re at six and you don’t necessarily know who you’re playing, but playing your best football and focusing on the week that you’re in is important. We know that however this week turns out we’re going to be the sixth seed. We don’t know who we’re going to play, but we’re not going to worry about that right now,” Washington coach Ryan Evans said.
The Warriors are coming off an eight point loss to Lincoln, in which Washington outscored the Patriots 13-0 in the second half.
“When Michael (Johnson) can get involved positively and the offensive lineman are making the line move upfront, everything else opens up. It makes everyone else that much more comfortable. The sidelines were full of energy the second half, and we really did play well that second half,” Evans said.
Now Washington will play top ranked and unbeaten Roosevelt, who is scoring more than 42 points per game.
“We need to limit big plays. They are a team that again and again find ways to come up with a big play and we need to limit those. We need to make them feel uncomfortable, they haven’t felt uncomfortable in very many games this year,” Evans said
Roosevelt got back on the field last week, following two weeks of no contests. The Rough Riders earned an impressive 55-14 win over Watertown.
“The guys were really excited! I thought at the beginning of the game, because they were so excited to play they were trying too hard and overdoing things a little bit, but we settled in and our defense played really well,” Nelson said.
After two weeks of no games, the Rough Riders finally have some game footage that they can look at, to make themselves better.
“To win a football game, we have to continue to improve because I know the coaches on the other side and the teams that we have to face down the road are going to do the same thing. It’s hard to tell right now if we are where we want to be and certainly we’re not going to stop trying to improve, but I’m happy with where we’re at,“ Nelson said.
Roosevelt will now prepare to play in town rival, Washington on Thursday.
“I think they’re wide receivers are very talented players, I think they’re running backs are really good, their offensive line is big and physical, but I think the best part of their team lately has been their defense,” Nelson said. “They run around and have good speed. They have good athletes on defense, and they’re good up front. We’re going to have a challenge there to protect our quarterback and run the football.”
The Rough Riders will host Washington on Thursday at Howard Wood Field. Kick-off is set for 6:00 p.m. and you can watch the game on KELOLAND.com as part of our high school football coverage.