The Bobcats improved to 2-1 with a 51-0 shutout win over Spearfish on Friday at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium.
But this week’s opponent sports an unblemished 3-0 mark as the Arrows rallied to beat Mitchell, 40-19, in the opening week; knocked off Rapid City Central, 34-13; and then, pounded Stevens, 46-13, last week.
“Watertown has a lot of speed; a lot of very athletic kids,” said Bobcat head coach Lee Schmidt. “The quarterback throws the ball well; they’ve got big kids up front – they’ve really been able to manhandle just about everybody – the only half that they really didn’t dominate was that first half against Mitchell.”
The Kernels led 19-0 before allowing 40 unanswered points in the loss to Watertown.
“They went over the top; they scored on special teams – most of their points come from big plays,” Schmidt said of the Arrows. “They get (their athletes) in space; get the ball to them; and once they get it there, no one can really corral them – so defensively, it comes down to not giving up big plays – either special teams or defense.”
The offensive keys for Brookings against the high-scoring Arrows are pretty simple.
“We need to grind it out; we need to keep possession of the ball to limit their possessions,” said Schmidt. “When Watertown has the ball, we are going to have to force them into longer drives.”
Turnovers, as always, will be another key factor.
“They have turned the ball over – when you throw that many times, eventually, you make some mistakes – when you get pressured, you throw the ball up and it gets picked,” he said. “We are going to have to rotate kids, although, I’m pretty sure they’ll come out and try to establish the run against us – statistically, they are pretty balanced between the run and the pass.”
Last week’s win not only put the Bobcats a game about .500, the way they dominated should build some confidence heading into Friday’s showdown with Watertown.
“It’s just the idea that that was a game that we were supposed to do – and that’s what we did,” said Schmidt. “We took care of business; we were efficient with the ball and we had some quick scores – we even got a score on special teams – we did all of those things; it’s a boost to see our kids execute.
“The thing about mentally, when you play a team that you know isn’t as good as you, is whether or not you are going to come out, execute and concentrate and have that focus – and our kids did a nice job.”
The ‘Cats will need to be focused to knock the Arrows out of the ranks of the unbeaten.
Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Watertown Stadium.