The Bobcats have their work cut out for them in Week 5 as they travel to Pierre on Friday to face the undefeated Governors on their Homecoming.
Not only do the Governors sport a 3-0 mark on the season, they’ve outscored their opponents, 163-28, in those three games.
Pierre opened the season with a pair of home wins at Hollister Field – 42-14 over Yankton in Week 2 and 78-14 over Douglas in Week 3. Last week, the Governors shut out the Tigers in Huron, 43-0.
Brookings owns a 2-2 record after last week’s 14-13 home loss to Watertown at DJD Stadium.
The ‘Cats outlasted Yankton, 27-21, at home in the opening week, before dropping a 21-7 decision to Mitchell at Joe Quintal Field. Brookings then made the long road trip to Spearfish, where the Bobcats shut out the Spartans, 24-0, at Lyle Hare Stadium.
Brookings head coach Lee Schmidt is looking at a couple keys for his team.
“We need to play four quarters; we need to take away their passing game – that’s what they really want to do – they want to highlight their quarterback, Peyton Zabel – he’s a good player and they have good skill kids – we’re going to have to slow them down and play consistent – defensively, we haven’t been bad all year long.
“We’ve had some moments where we’ve had some breakdowns and gave up big plays but the bottom line is that we are going to have to play four quarters and not spot everybody the lead where we have to come from behind.”
The Bobcats have been outscored 20-0 in the first quarter this season.
As for Zabel, he accounted for six touchdowns against Huron as he threw four TD passes – two to Jack Maher and two to Gage Gehring – and ran for two more.
“If we can get out of the gate and (play four quarters), I feel pretty confident our kids can be successful out in Pierre,” Schmidt said. “We need to go and take care of our business – we need to quit making the silly mistakes and do the right things and the rest of the game will take care of itself.
“We need to do it in all phases of the game – when we kick field goals, we need to make field goals; we can’t botch extra points; we can’t have all the penalties – we’ve destroyed our own drives at times. The biggest thing with us is finishing – we need to get into the red zone and we need to finish – that’s been a problem all year.”
And against a potent Pierre offense, the Bobcats are going to have to put up some numbers to come out on the winning side.
Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Friday at Hollister Field.