Harrisburg (2-2) vs. Brandon Valley (2-2)
WHEN/WHERE: 7 p.m. Friday in Harrisburg
COACHES: Harrisburg – Brandon White (6th season, 33-24); Brandon Valley – Chad Garrow (10th year; 82-32)
SEASON TO DATE: Harrisburg outscored Mitchell and Huron by a combined score of 44-14 to start the season 2-0. Then the Tigers took on top-ranked squads in ‘11AAA’ and ‘11AA’, Roosevelt and Pierre, and currently sit at 2-2. Brandon Valley, meanwhile, dominated ESD squads Watertown (46-12) and RC Stevens (43-0), but fell short in the Metro Conference with losses to Washington (31-7) and O’Gorman (28-14).
BIG CAT BATTLE: When Brandon defeated Harrisburg by a score of 34-8 last season, players such as Jake Comeaux, Alex Wilde and Jonathan Kabambi had their names called often. This season, both squads have moved on from those offensive stars as new faces stepped into the mix at quarterback and other skill positions. Two defensive standouts remain – Brandon’s Andrew Sorenson, a fullback/linebacker, and Harrisburg’s Ethan Roth, a two-way lineman. Neither stray far from the action on defense and with Sorenson also coming out of the backfield, these two big cats could collide with one another.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Both teams have flexed impressive defense in their wins, but with nine starters back on that side the Lynx have the advantage there. Harrisburg has some speedy weapons on offense, but nothing Brandon hasn’t already seen with games against O’Gorman and Washington. The Tigers have played quality opponents, though, so it’s fair to expect something closer to their 30-23 loss to Pierre than the blowout to Roosevelt. Did I mention there’s free popcorn at the Argus Leader Media Tailgate Tour before the game?