Presidents Bowl Preview: Four of Best Teams in the State Face Off
There is something special about Presidents Bowl. Having grown up in Sioux Falls and attending many of them, Presidents Bowl always provides two entertaining games.
This year will be no different. For the first time since 1995, Sioux Falls O'Gorman will not be a part of Presidents Bowl. Filling the void this year is the top team in Class 11AA Yankton. The Bucks will face the Washington Warriors at 3:30.
Yankton is coming off two close wins. In the first week of the season they were able to hold on to defeat Brookings in 5 overtimes. Last week, Yankton squeezed out a touchdown victory against Mitchell 21-14. The team has been hit with the injury bug, however, as quarterback Reid Sawatzke has torn his ACL again. Sawatzke previously injured his ACL last season.
The Bucks will have a tough task with Sioux Falls Washington (#4 in ESPN 99.1 Rankings). Chad Stadem's group is 1-1 and has experienced two different kinds of game. In the opening week, the Warriors put it on Brandon Valley 31-7. The offense was much faster, and the defense continuously swarmed to the ball. After a feel-good first week, Washington quickly was brought down to earth with a loss to Lincoln 21-10.
"We took a few things away from that game. Our preparation, we had a bit of a let down from that Brandon game. We need to take advantage of opportunities. Last week was a good learning experience. Game by game, we have to take care of business." - Chad Stadem
In terms of what to expect, Stadem says that Yankton is a strong talented group and that it should be a good game on Saturday.
"Yankton is an exciting team. Coach Likness is a great coach and they do a lot of unique things on offense. You'll see a lot of different formations. They really try to throw you off your game." - Chad Stadem
Yankton and Washington kickoff at 3:30 Saturday afternoon.
The nightcap features the two teams that have played for a 11AAA Championship over the last two seasons. Sioux Falls Lincoln (#2 in ESPN 99.1 Rankings) has got the best of Sioux Falls Roosevelt (#1 in ESPN 99.1 Rankings) over the last two seasons, including two championship wins. This year should see another great game between the two teams.
Both teams are 2-0 entering Saturday night. Lincoln made the trip to Rapid City Stevens on the first week and left with a 40-19 win. Last week the Patriots were impressive defeating Washington 21-10. Roosevelt started their season winning in the "Hub City Bowl" against Aberdeen Central 40-7. They followed that with a win against O'Gorman 24-14 as part of "Dakota Bowl."
Lincoln had question marks entering the season at the quarterback position. Mason Nelson was injured during the summer, which led to the job being earned by former receiver Cole DeBerg. DeBerg was 11-18 for 122 and a touchdown last week against Washington. He's going to have to have another strong week as he faces the Rough Riders who return nine starters on defense. Defensively the Patriots are strong with Eric Looby, Taylor Kokenge, Peyton Sudenga and Kade Walker.
Roosevelt is led by Jett Thune at quarterback. Thune started eight games last season at quarterback following an injury to Taryn Christion. That experience has already shown to have paid off. Last week Thune threw for 240 yards and a touchdown. He also added 59 yards in net rushing yards.
The Rough Riders have a strong set of wide receivers including Tyler Van Voorst (4 receptions for 60 yards last week), Jamal Albousafi (3 catches, 48 yards last week), Austin Johnson (2 catches, 24 yards last week), and a sophomore surprise in Demareio Hester who helped take over last weeks game.
Keys for Lincoln include getting pressure on Thune, and controlling the pace of play. Roosevelt likes to run a fast-tempo offense, and if Lincoln has a few three-and-outs early on offense it could spell trouble. Roosevelt's key will be to take the running game of Lincoln out and force DeBerg to throw the ball downfield. It should make for a very interesting contest.
The battle between the two top teams in Class 11AAA takes place at 7:00 on Saturday.
Both games of the Presidents Bowl can be heard on ESPN 99.1 with Jerry Palleschi. Coverage begins at 3:15 for Yankton/Washington, and 6:45 for Roosevelt/Lincoln.