BROOKINGS – They say death and taxes are the only certainties in life, but a yearly knockdown, drag-out football battle between the Bobcats and Arrows could probably be added to the saying, as well.
2017 isn’t likely to be any different.
Coming into Friday’s Eastern South Dakota Conference matchup between Watertown and Brookings at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium, the Arrows are 1-2 overall and 0-1 in the ESD, while the ‘Cats are 2-1 and 1-1 in conference play.
Watertown fell 21-7 to Mitchell in its season home opener before evening its record with a 26-18 win over Rapid City Central at O’Harra Stadium. The Arrows then dropped a 14-13 decision to Rapid City Stevens in Week 3 at Watertown Stadium.
The Bobcats opened the season with a 27-21 home win over Yankton before losing 21-7 to Mitchell at Joe Quintal Field. Brookings got back on the winning track with a 24-0 shutout of Spearfish at Lyle Hare Stadium last week.
By the numbers – Watertown
The Arrows have rushed 117 times for 572 yards and have 482 yards passing on 27-of-54 attempts.
Watertown has given up 621 rushing yards and 217 yards through the air.
Blake Holden, a 6-3, 240-lb. junior fullback, leads the Arrows with 193 yards on 48 carries with one touchdown.
Quarterback Brennan Gabriel, a 6-foot, 182-lb. senior, has added 153 yards on 49 rushes to go along with all of the Arrows passing yards. He has five passing touchdowns, but has been intercepted twice.
Gabriel’s favorite targets include Garrett Determan, a 6-foot, 145-lb. junior wide receiver, and Ben DeVille, a 6-3, 207-lb. senior tight end.
Determan has caught seven passes for 194 yards and two TDs while DeVille has hauled in 11 passes for 115 yards and one score.
Dommonick Pechouse, a 5-9, 177-lb. senior running back, has two catches for 77 yards and one touchdown.
Max Sonne, a 6-4, 217-lb. senior tight end, has three catches for 54 yards and a TD.
Defensively for the Arrows, Parker Johnston, a 6-2, 173-lb. senior defensive back, has two interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
Determan also has two picks from his defensive back position, as does Hunter Cordell, a 5-10, 163-lb. junior defensive back.
By the numbers – Brookings
The Bobcats have rushed 118 times for 689 yards and six touchdowns.
Parker Beers, a 5-9, 156-lb. junior, has accounted for 340 of those yards with three scores. His longest run of the season was a 42-yard jaunt.
Justin Devine, a 5-9, 165-lb. senior, has rushed 13 times for 152 yards and two TDs with a 65-yard scoring run against Yankton being his biggest gain of the season.
Cole Eidem, a 5-11, 167-lb. sophomore, has the other rushing touchdown – a 32-yard run against the Spartans last week. He has 114 yards on 12 carries on the season.
Quarterback Nick Hardin, a 6-1, 164-lb. senior, has carried the ball 14 times for 66 yards, while Isaac von Fischer, a 5-10, 171-lb. senior slotback, has 33 yards on nine touches.
Hardin has completed 35-of-82 pass attempts for 398 yards for two touchdowns with five interceptions.
Von Fischer has 17 catches for 163 yards, with a long reception of 19 yards.
Eidem has 62 yards on six catches – the longest being for 18 yards.
Seth Swedlund, a 6-4, 166-lb. senior wide receiver, has hauled in five catches for 77 yards with a 33-yard touchdown reception.
Jay Wilber, a 5-10, 150-lb. junior wide out, has 71 yards on four catches while Beers has two catches, which includes a 7-yard TD catch.
Jay Szafryk, a 6-1, 170-lb. junior, has a 14-yard catch, as well, from his wide receiver position.
Defensively, the Bobcats have given up 486 yards on 109 carries and five touchdowns.
Opponents have completed 21-of-52 passes for 250 yards and one score – a 47-yarder against Yankton in the opener.
Brookings has three interceptions by three different players – Jacob Schoon (6-2, 181-lb. junior linebacker); Sam Lehman (5-8, 150-lb. junior defensive back); and Jake Vlaminck (5-9, 140-lb. sophomore defensive back).
The Bobcats have picked up 62 first downs – 35 rushing and 22 passing – while giving up 36 – 21 on the ground and 11 through the air.
Senior Ryan McMacken (5-11, 234) has punted eight times for 246 yards – an average of 30.8 yards – with a long of 35 yards.
Brookings has committed 18 penalties for 159 yards while its opponents have also been penalized 19 times for 159 yards.
The ‘Cats have fumbled seven times and lost two while recovering five of their opponents’ eight fumbles.
The Bobcats are celebrating Homecoming this week and a win over the Arrows would be a perfect way to finish the celebration.
Kickoff is at 7 p.m.