In week one, East won a defensive struggle against Bishop Heelan. Then in week two, the defense stepped up again. Shutting out Sioux City West in a 38-0 win. And what goes hand in hand with a good defense? A good running game. Something the Black Raiders have had plenty of; led by Kaige Kellen’s near 7 yards per carry average. But this week may be east’s biggest test so far, taking on an explosive SB-L squad.
“We’re taking this really serious like the first week against Heelan. We’re trying to treat every week like that. Come out, do the best that we can in practice, make sure everyone’s here, just show out,” said senior wideout Kayden Jones. “It doesn’t matter who we’re playing, I think we should prepare the same way.
“Sergeant Bluff’s got a good team, and they’ve got some really good looking kids over there,” said East head coach Brian Webb. “Really, we didn’t have a great game execution wise against West. So we’re really trying to focus more on us than we have game planning so that we’re able to perform at the highest level possible.”
Speaking of the Warriors, SB-L is coming off its first win of the season. A 47-27 offensive explosion over then 8th ranked Harlan. A stark contrast from their week one struggles versus Lewis Central. The Warriors are now prepping for that strong East defense. Even if it is on a short week, they look to make it four straight versus the Black Raiders.
“Those thursday night games are always fun. It’s a shorter week, you get to play sooner, there’s a big crowd usually because it’s the only game in town. And East is a good team this year, and they’re much improved over the last few years,” SB-L head coach Justin Smith said. “We gotta get better in film study, we gotta get better as young men in the classroom not just on the field. If we do those things, winning usually takes care of itself.”