The Bobcats, coming off their second consecutive shutout loss and four straight losses, look to right the ship on Friday night against Sioux Falls Lincoln.
Brookings lost 41-0 to Harrisburg at DJD Stadium last week to drop to 2-5 on the season, but will have a different look heading into the matchup with the 1-6 Patriots at Howard Wood Field.
“We made a lot of changes this week – we changed some people in positions – starting some people we haven’t started before,” said Bobcat head coach Lee Schmidt. “Jacob Schoon is going to take over the quarterback duties – Nick Hardin isn’t quite ready to come back and Tanner Shepardson is all beat up, so Jacob got all the reps this week – we’re excited to see how he does run the show; he’ll still play two ways for us but we took him off special teams so we’re not overusing him.
“We had a couple really good days of practice so it’s time to move forward.”
Lincoln, whose only win this season was a 16-10 triumph over Yankton at Howard Wood Field in Week 6, is also coming off a loss – a 23-19 setback against Rapid City Stevens at O’Harra Field.
But the Patriots haven’t been shut out offensively all season, despite the six losses.
“The emphasis this week is coming out and playing a first quarter for a change,” Schmidt said. “We’ve done a lot of good things defensively in the first quarter, but we’ve struggled offensively. I think part of that was just inexperience the last couple of weeks, but all year, it’s just been a struggle getting out of the locker room and getting started.
“For some reason, we’ve just struggled – we’ve had some drives in the first quarter, we just haven’t been able to sustain them all the way to points.
“We’re at that point now where we need to make a little noise and we need to build some momentum for ourselves – right away to start the game instead of getting behind.”
Brookings dropped to fifth in the power-point rankings and is tied with Sturgis and Yankton with its 2-5 mark.
“We’re not worried where we are in power points, we’re just worried about playing a good football game after being shut out and not really able to put much together,” Schmidt said. “We’re looking for our kids to rebound, refocus, and just do their jobs and not try to over compensate and do more than what they’re capable of doing – just do what they need to do.
“It’s not that our kids haven’t played hard the last couple of weeks, we just haven’t always played smart and taken care of the ball – we’re trying to get back to being a more discipline football team.”
Kickoff at Howard Wood is at 7:30 p.m.