The top-ranked Bobcats (5-0) will face perhaps their toughest opponent up to this point in the season when they matchup with the Kernels on Friday night in Mitchell.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Joe Quintal Field.
“Mitchell is a good football team,” said BHS coach Brady Clark. “They run the ball well; they run the ball hard. Their linemen are aggressive and they’re well coached.
“It’s going to be a fun test for us and a fun game. We’re really excited for the opportunity.”
Brookings puts up 281 rushing yards per game.
Josh Buri is averaging 136.8 yards per game and 12.2 per rush with 12 touchdowns.
Jaxon Bowes is 23-of-40 for 350 yards with five TDs and four interceptions.
Parker Theobald paces a balanced defense with 33 tackles. Wes Koenig has 32, John Noordsy 28 and Max Struck and Carter Wright 21 apiece.
Theobald has six sacks and Noordsy and Brock Longville have both added five.
The Bobcats have 19 takeaways – led by Noordsy’s three (two FR, one INT).
Payton Theodosopoulos is 19-of-27 on PATs and 1-of-4 on field goals.
Scouting the Kernels (3-2)
Mitchell is averaging 415.8 rushing yards per game with 30 TDs on the ground.
Parker Phillips averages 222.8 yards per game and 10.6 per carry. He’s totaled 1,114 yards and 14 scores.
Quarterback Tucker Vilhauer totals 96.6 yards per game and 8.6 per carry with a trio of TDs.
Josh Grosdidier has 10 rushing touchdowns.
The Kernels are 6-of-30 for 158 yards through the air.
Mitchell is coming off back-to-back road losses – 23-22 versus Dell Rapids on Sept. 18 and 30-24 in overtime against Yankton a week ago. The Bucks (5-0) lead Class 11AA in seed points.
In a 73-13 win over Spearfish in Week 3, the Kernels had 671 yards on 40 rushing attempts. Phillips had 378 on 13 – a 29.1 average – with six TDs.
Brookings remained unbeaten with a 48-6 triumph at Douglas. It was 41-0 at halftime.
“After watching film, you know, we did start fast and we executed well with a lot of things,” said Clark. “Broken record – lineman on both sides of the ball can always do a better job. And our No. 1 thing was just communication. We have to make sure we’re communicating better. We’ve really focused on that this week in practice and I know that’s going to change from here on out.
“I was pleased with Friday but, you know, we can always improve. That’s our goal this week and every week.”
Buri picked up 91 yards on six rushes – 15.2 average – and found the end zone three times.
Hunter Gray added 31 rushing yards on five attempts and scored twice. Keegan Fields and Cole McKeown both picked up 31 yards on three rushes.
Brookings ran the ball 23 times for 201 yards – 8.7 average.
Bowes was 3-of-6 for 62 yards through the air, connecting with Noordsy for a touchdown. Noordsy had 49 yards on a pair of receptions.
Struck had a scoop-and-score.
Theobald and Koenig each logged eight stops on defense. Jackson Hoffmann tallied seven.
The Bobcats beat the Kernels 41-7 on Oct. 4 in Brookings.
“Broken record, man – limit turnovers and control the line of scrimmage,” added Clark.
“We want to shut down the run game; force them to be one dimensional and cause havoc and cause turnovers. Play fast, man – play fast both sides,” Clark noted.
Junior Cole McKeown is out for the season with an ACL injury.
“He’s a tough kid,” said Clark. “He’s been at practice and he’s been helping out and I know he’s going to come back stronger and he’s going to be there for his teammates this year.”
McKeown had 292 rushing yards and a TD while adding nine receptions for 99 yards and a pair of scores. He had 91 return yards.