ESPN 99.1 Game of Week: #1 Roosevelt vs. #2 Lincoln
A monster 11AAA showdown under the lights between No.1 Roosevelt and No. 2 Lincoln kicks off Friday night at Howard Wood Field, as the Riders and Patriots battle for city and state bragging rights.
Roosevelt and Lincoln are the top two teams in the ESPN 99.1/KELOLAND Sports/KBHB Radio High School Football rankings this week, and are getting ready for an intriguing match-up in the ESPN 99.1 Game of the Week.
As the Riders prepare for the Patriots as the top team in the state, junior quarterback Taryn Christion knows that their work isn't done quite yet.
"This week has been really serious. Lincoln's always been a tough team. It's 1 vs. 2. It's going to be a showdown, and fun," he said.
Through two games, the Riders have leaned a lot on the arm and legs of Christion, as the junior quarterback is 34-of-55 for 429 yards and five touchdowns, and has rushed for 186 yards and three touchdowns. Christion's ability to run and pass as a quarterback makes it difficult for opponents to prepare for and the run and pass are essential for a balanced offense.
"The run game spreads out the linebackers outside the box. When when we start running the ball, it will open the outside lanes for the wide receivers," said Christion.
Roosevelt's ability to continue their success running and passing the ball starts up front in the trenches, as the offensive line is vital to give Christion time to throw and lanes for him and his running backs to run through. "I have the ball, and running backs have the ball, but the offensive line makes the blocks and the wide receivers make blocks down the field," says Christion.
For Lincoln, the Patriots have rolled through their first two games with two blowout wins against Rapid City Central, 55-19 and O'Gorman, 51-20.
A big reason for the Patriots early season success has been running back Caden Quintanilla. The senior running back has rushed for 280 yards and five touchdowns over two games. Quintanilla credits his offensive line as a big reason why he has found so much success.
"Our offensive live has been pretty good this year. We have great size, and I mean their not the biggest guys, but they know how to move their feet, they're strong, and they put in the work in the off season," said Quintanilla. "So you know, they're a lot stronger, they're moving their feet, and they have been making holes for me and that's why I've been able to run the ball so well."
As the season progresses, the schedule is only going to get tougher for Quintanilla, and the Patriots, as a big game against the No. 1 Riders looms Friday night. Against Roosevelt, Quintanilla knows that the run game will have to continue to be effective in order to keep winning football games.
"Every team has their stunts, their slants, and blitz game. You know Roosevelt does that a lot, and they're our upcoming game. Hopefully, our offensive line can pick up on that to create some lanes."
Lincoln's game plan will of course feature a lot of Quintanilla running the ball, but there are plenty of other little things the Patriots have to do to defeat the Riders.
"Play hard, no penalties and we have to come out strong because we've had a past of coming out slow," said Quintanilla.
The Riders and Patriots kick off on Friday night at 7 p.m. at Howard Wood Field. The game will be broadcast on ESPN 99.1.