The Sioux Falls Lincoln Patriots and the Sioux Falls Roosevelt Rough Riders are set for a state title re-match at the Dakota Dome this Saturday night. Both teams have enjoyed much unmatched success this season. Lincoln once again went undefeated, while Roosevelt lost just one game. The loss was against the Patriots, 35-27, in a mid-September showdown. Two months later these two teams meet again, and it has all the pieces for an instant classic.
Sioux Falls Roosevelt comes into this game with a 9-1 overall record. The Rough Riders experienced a tough challenge earlier this season, when they lost senior quarterback Taryn Christion to a season ending injury. Since that time, Jett Thune has been the teams’ signal caller.
On the season, Thune’s thrown for 848 yards with 13 touchdown passes to only 4 interceptions. He also ran for 439 yards with 8 touchdowns on the ground. Roosevelt running back Jake Bear has also been an offensive threat for the Riders, as he’s ran for 948 yards with 11 touchdowns. Chase Vinatieri leads the team in receiving with 621 yards and 7 receiving touchdowns.
Roosevelt Rough Rider Head Coach Kim Nelson said he is excited for this Saturday’s game.
“We’re going to be the underdogs and we should be, but I like that position,” said Nelson. “I like where we are better than being the favorite, but it’s going to be interesting to say the least and we have to improve this week. We have to play our best football if we want a chance to win.”
Sioux Falls Lincoln, the 2013 11AAA state champs, come into this weekends game undefeated on the year. The Patriots have been undoubtedly the most consistent team, although three of their games were decided by one possession or less.
Isaiah Roach leads the Patriots offense from the quarterback position. He has 2,084 yards passing on the season, averaging over 200 per game, with 18 touchdowns to 7 interceptions. Braxton Large is another offensive threat with 1,132 yards rushing and 23 rushing touchdowns on the year. Nickel Meyers is the teams leading receiver with 1,074 yards and 7 touchdowns.
Lincoln Patriots Head Coach Aaron Beavers is also hyped up about this year’s championship game. He said he’s pleased with the way his team has competed this year, week after week.
“I’m really proud of the guys, and you just feel so blessed to be able to be apart of giving them an opportunity that they’re going to remember for a lifetime, regardless of what happens,” said Beavers. “And that’s pretty special, because there’s a lot of time these kids put in, a lot of time the coaching staff puts in. A lot more than people realize.”
Sioux Falls Lincoln and Sioux Falls Roosevelt will clash at the Dakota Dome on Saturday November 15 for the class 11AAA title at 7:30 pm CT. The game can be viewed on sdpb.org/football or on SDPB-TV.
Who do you think will win the game? Will Lincoln once again take home the state title, or will Roosevelt spoil the Patriots party? Join the conversation on twitter using @SDPBSports or the hashtags #SDFootball14 and #SFLvSFR.