ESPN 99.1 Postgame: Riders, Pats Roll into Playoffs
The Lincoln Patriots and Roosevelt Rough Riders capped off their inaugural seasons in Class 11AAA with wins over city rivals Washington (3-5) and O'Gorman (2-5) last Friday night.
In the ESPN 99.1/KELO-TV/KBHB high school football rankings, Lincoln remained No. 1 with a perfect 8-0 record. Roosevelt finished with a 7-1 record, and is ranked No. 2 in the polls. O'Gorman is ranked fifth, and Washington remains unranked.
It wasn't a contest between Roosevelt and O'Gorman in the first game at Howard Wood last Friday. The Riders beat the Knights, handily, 31-7. Roosevelt led 31-0 for three quarters, and junior quarterback Taryn Christion was a big reason for the Riders strong effort. Christion went 17-of-28 passing for 124 yards. On the ground, he rushed 17 times for 197 yards, and two touchdowns. Head coach Kim Nelson says Christion's success has been big for the Riders offense. "He's a talented athlete. He has speed on the ground, he's been good with his receivers, the offensive line is giving him time to run, he's sharing the ball and making good decisions."
For the Knights, they have never had a losing season under Steve Kueter, and it was another long night on Friday last weekend. The Knights forced three Roosevelt turnovers, but were outgained, 448 to 211. O'Gorman's Luke Fritsch passed for only 41 yards, but the run game was solid, as the Knights ran for 170 yards on the ground. The Knights just couldn't convert Roosevelt's miscues and their success on the ground into points.
Under the lights in the second game, Lincoln dominated Washington in the nightcap, beating the Warriors, 43-7. The Patriots captured home-field for the playoffs, remained No. 1, and claimed a conference, and city title. With the win to close out an undefeated season, head coach Aaron Beavers said momentum is key going into the playoffs. "There's urgency, and we hope our boys know that week to week until we accomplish our goal (of winning a state championship)." Lincoln was led again by dominant offensive performances from senior running back Caden Quintanilla, and senior quarterback Connor Burchill. Quintanilla rushed for 184 yards and three scores, while Burchill passed for 213 yards and two scores.
For the Warriors, Justin Miller passed for 131 yards, two interceptions and no scores. On the ground, the Riders shut down Luke Reiter, as he ran for only 11 yards. In head coach Chad Stadem's first season, it's been difficult, but the Warriors are learning. "The kids aren't used to dealing with coaching style. The last few years have been a luxury, and they have had to work this year. Adversity makes you appreciate good days and not give up." Stadem knows it's been tough, and he just wants his team and seniors to finish strong. "We want to prove we are winners, and that we can overcome. We want to build upon losses and let our seniors finish on a positive note."
To finish out the season, O'Gorman plays at Rapid City Central later this week, and the Patriots, Riders, and Warriors will wait for the Class 11AAA playoffs to begin on October 31.