Top-rated Roosevelt performed as advertised Friday night against Brookings, taking a 33-0 halftime lead on the way to a 40-7 win at Howard Wood Field.
Roosevelt (6-0) was aided by a flurry of Bobcat turnovers in the first half that got the Riders where they wanted to go a lot quicker. With Jett Thune and the Riders’ well-greased passing attack making the Bobcats suffer for their sins, the score got one-sided before anybody had worked up much of a sweat.
“We really did our jobs tonight – almost perfect,” said senior linebacker Sean Powell, who was part of a first-team defense that turned in a dominating first half and watched from the sidelines for much of the second. “We slowed (Gerald) Maxwell down and shut down the run. We knew going into this that they’re not a passing team. We studied well and did what we needed to do. We played the scheme very well.”
Thune had completed 11 of 18 for 196 yards by halftime and if not for the short fields the Riders were enjoying, probably would have had even more in the first half. Like most of the other starters, he was done early in the second half.
Brookings fumbled three times and got picked off three times. It was most certainly not the way to take on an undefeated team.
“We killed ourselves,” said Brookings coach Lee Schmidt. “We gave a really good football team really good field position. We just didn’t take care of the football. But they have a good defense, too, and they really shut down our running game. It was just one of those nights.”
The Riders opened the scoring with a two-yard fourth-down touchdown run from Tyson Jahn and came back to score twice in the last 12 seconds of the first quarter. Jordan Mueller picked off a pass deep in Brookings territory and scored to make it 12-0 and – after Brookings’ second turnover – Thune connected with Jamal Abousafi from 21 yards out on the final play of the quarter to make the score 19-0.
Roosevelt coach Kim Nelson liked the 19, but he really loved the zero.
“Our defense played great tonight,” he said. “That’s a good running football team and the tailback Maxwell really runs hard. He dragged us for a few yards but I think we contained him and did what we had to do defensively. I’m really proud of their effort.”
Friday’s high school scores, schedule
The Riders added two more scores in the second quarter with Thune scrambling in from 6 yards out with 6:41 to play and Nick Hoekstra taking it in from the 2 with eight seconds to play in the half.
The Rough Riders opened the second half the way they closed the first. With just a minute and five seconds elapsed in the third quarter Hoekstra went in from 43 yards out to make it 40-0.
“All the backups we had in there really stepped up tonight,” said defensive tackle Austin Satnan, who was a big issue for Brookings’ offensive line in the first half. “We’ve had a lot of adversity with all the injuries but I feel like we’re playing together like a team more than we ever had before.”
The Bobcats scored on a 15-yard pass from Devin Coughlin to Sam Wilber with 2:08 to play to end the shutout bid. By doing so, the Bobcats made the final score look a lot of other Roosevelt wins this season. In five of their six games they have scored between 40 and 49 points and have also held the opponent to single digits in those contests.
Homecoming week, then, did not keep the Riders from doing what they’ve been doing.
“We had some people in the talent show but we kept our minds on the game,” Powell said. “Friday was for the festivities but we focused on the game. We had one job to do and we did it.”