ESPN 99.1 Game of the Week: O’Gorman vs. Pierre
The old meets the new, as O'Gorman - a new member of 11AAA - meets Pierre of 11AA. The new Metro conference will battle the ESD conference, as two old conference foes get back together on the gridiron.
Coming into their fourth game of the season, the Knights are 2-1, and after losing quarterback Tanner Schulte to an injury, sophomore Luke Fritsch was given the keys to the offense.
Last week, as O'Gorman beat Washington in a 28-10 victory in the Dakota Bowl, Fritsch found his confidence. He led the Knights with three rushing touchdowns.
"(Fritsch) is calmer now. After a couple of games he understands the offense a lot better," says head coach Steve Kueter.
With Pierre, the Knights have a big challenge against the undefeated Pierre Governors. Pierre is 3-0 and the top-ranked team in 11AA in the ESPN 99.1/KELO TV/KBHB high school football rankings. The game on Friday will be tough for the Knights, and it's their homecoming game, too.
"I don't like homecoming games, they provide distractions. It's a 5 p.m. game against a really good team, and they should bring a lot of their fans, too. It should be a lot of fun," says Kueter.
To knock off the Governors, Kueter says, "We have to control the ball on offense, and do a good job on pass defense."
Pierre put up 417 yards of offense last week against Mitchell, and senior WR/DB Austin Christopherson will be a big match-up to watch for O'Gorman, as he returned both a punt and a kick-off for touchdowns against the Kernals.
As the Governors accumulate a lot of yards, they also score a lot. Pierre has scored 28 points or more in three games in 2013, and last week, the Governors scored 21 points in the first quarter to cruise to a 48-7 win.
One of the main reasons for the Governor's early season success has been their senior leadership.
"We rely on the seniors, and their experience in big games and in big atmospheres."
Against O'Gorman, the Governors main task will be stopping the run game, as the Knights rushed for 246 yards and four touchdowns last week against Washington.
Poppinga's keys to the game for the Governors may sound cliche, but they're simple: "Play solid defense, contain the quarterback, stop the run game, and execute well on offense."
O'Gorman and Pierre can be heard right here on ESPN 99.1 at 5 p.m. on Friday.