Brookings Register | Bobcats host Bucks on Senior Night
BROOKINGS – Fresh off a dominating 42-14 win over Huron this past Friday, Brookings now turns its attention to Yankton.
The Bucks enter the game tomorrow night with a 4-3 record, winners of two straight over Mitchell (45-0) and Sturgis (48-7) and ranked fourth in the state right behind the third-ranked Bobcats.
EYE OF THE TIGER
Brookings opened the game strong against Huron and carried a 28-0 lead into halftime.
Bobcat quarterback Justin Cofell found Derek Brailler on Brookings’ opening drive to give the Bobcats a 7-0 lead.
Payton Theodosopoulos picked off a Huron pass – his first of two on the evening, then Hunter Gray scored on a carry from nine yards out to double the lead to 14-0.
Junior running back Tyson Brandt got in on the action in the second quarter, finding paydirt from four yards out to open a 21-0 lead.
The Tigers looked to have some momentum building toward the end of the half, driving into Bobcat territory, but Gavin Fixsen stepped in front of Huron quarterback Cade McNeil’s pass at the Bobcat 22 and returned it 78 yards for a score.
A potential 21-7 Brookings lead at the half became a 28-0 cushion for the visitors, and any momentum Huron had was squashed.
After forcing a punt, the Bobcat offense picked up where it left off as Cofell found Gray for an eight-yard touchdown and a 35-0 lead, and Brandt’s second touchdown of the game early in the fourth quarter opened a 42-0 Bobcat lead.
Huron would score a pair of late touchdowns against a number of Brookings reserves for the 42-14 final.
Speaking after the game, head coach Brady Clark emphasized that the strong start to both the first and second half was key.
“It was nice to come out and have a good first half, and then come out firing in the second half, too,” Clark said.
Cofell only misfired on one pass attempt in the game, posting 190 yards passing on 14-of-15 attempts with three touchdowns.
Brandt came up a yard short of the century mark receiving with seven catches for 99 yards, and Jackson Hoffmann secured three catches for 47 yards.
Israel Caldron ran for 44 yards on ten carries, and Gray added 37 yards on three attempts.
ON THE HUNT
The Bobcats now focus their sights on the Bucks, a game where the winner likely has the inside-track on securing a first-round playoff game on their home field.
Yankton’s quarterback is Rugby Ryken, a junior who isn’t afraid of taking chances both with his arm and his body.
Senior cornerback Jaden Supurgeci has been one of the top secondary players in the state as he converted from leading the offense as a quarterback to heading the defense.
The Bucks and Bobcats have played three of the same opponents during the 2021 season. Both teams have soundly defeated both Huron and Mitchell, with the lone difference coming in games against Aberdeen Central.
Brookings throttled the Golden Eagles at home, 30-7, while Yankton was on the short end of a 40-28 score at Swisher Field in Aberdeen the second week of the season.
Like the Bobcats, Yankton has ventured outside of 11AA just once this season, playing 11AAA Sioux Falls Jefferson tough but losing 38-35.
BOBCATS BY THE NUMBERS
Through seven games the Bobcats are outgaining opponents by nearly 100 yards per game.
Brookings has gained 2,051 total yards in seven games, while opponents have picked up 1,539 yards.
Passing yards between the Bobcats and opponents are nearly even, with Brookings quarterbacks throwing for 727 yards with a 58.8 percent completion rate with eight scores and opposing signal-callers accumulating 780 yards, completing 50.8 percent of their passes with four touchdowns through the air.
Brookings has owned the running game, however, holding a nearly two to one advantage on the ground, 1,324 to 759, with the Bobcats having 18 touchdowns to their opponents’ six.
Cofell remains under center, having thrown for 513 yards in six games (five starts), completing 47 of 76 passes with six touchdowns and one interception.
Brandt leads a multi-faceted rushing attack with 410 yards on the ground on 66 carries, averaging 6.2 yards per carry with three touchdowns.
Gray’s 368 yards on 40 carries ranks second as the senior is averaging almost first-down yardage on every carry at 9.2 yards, scoring five touchdowns.
Caldron also has five touchdowns, picking up 194 yards on 37 carries.
Cofell has looked more to Brandt in the passing game of late as the duo have connected 14 times for 174 yards. For the year Brandt has 22 receptions for 220 yards.
Gray and Hoffmann each have three touchdown receptions on the year.
Jaxton Eck and Josh Devine continue to lead the Bobcats in tackles from their linebacker positions. Eck has recorded 45 tackles (27 solo) and Devine 44 (24 solo), with four combined sacks. Devine also has three interceptions and a pair of forced fumbles.
Sam Hardin has posted 37 tackles (22 solo) and added an interception, and Zach Moe has 33 tackles (20 solo) and two interceptions.
Lincoln Hardin leads the defense with four picks.
In the kicking game, Brailler filled in for Theodosopoulos at Huron and converted all six extra point attempts. Theodosopoulos remains 19-of-20 on the year on extra points, and 3-of-7 on field goals.
Devine is averaging 35.9 yards per punt with a long of 45.
Kickoff between the Bobcats and Bucks is at 7 p.m. Friday night at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium. The Bobcat Backers will be hosting a pregame meal at the southwest corner of the stadium. It is also senior night for 17 senior players, playing their final regular-season game at home.