Yankton (3-2) vs. O’Gorman (3-2)
WHEN/WHERE: 7 p.m. Friday in Yankton
COACHES: Yankton – Arlin Likness (22nd year with Bucks, 37th overall; 248-86); O’Gorman – Steve Kueter (33rd year with the Knights; 283-91-1)
SEASON TO DATE: Yankton’s five opponents so far are a combined 17-8, so nothing has come easily for the defending-champion Bucks. The season’s low point came last week in a 31-0 road loss to top-ranked Pierre. Yankton sports wins over Brookings, Mitchell and Aberdeen Central, but looked overmatched against the Governors and in a 43-19 loss to Washington at the Presidents Bowl. O’Gorman has played win-loss hop scotch to get to 3-2. Last week the Knights routed Watertown 42-10 at home.
Steve Kueter has shot at tying coaching record vs. Yankton
MILESTONE IN THE MAKING: Injuries have taken a toll on the Bucks, but Friday’s matchup against the Knights offers the rare chance to deny history. An O’Gorman win would tie Kueter with Yankton legend Max Hawk for the state’s all-time wins mark at 284. Yankton’s Likness is no slouch himself with nearly 250 career wins. Combined the two coaches have over 70 years coaching experience and 531 career victories. Numbers like that usually get you into a little thing called the Hall of Fame.
WHAT TO EXPECT: The Knights should have the edge, with talented rushers and pass catchers abound, and will try as always to get to the edge where their speed often prevails. Life hasn’t been the same for the Bucks offense since losing quarterback Reid Sawatzke to a torn ACL. Yankton surrendered several turnovers last week and can’t afford to do the same again against an explosive O’Gorman offense. A tactful mix of pass with run could net big plays for Jack Peery, who’s had over a third of his career catches go for scores.