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Roosevelt upends Central in regular-season finale

Aberdeen Central’s Jacob Merxbauer, center, runs in the open field on his way to a touchdown during Thursday night’s game against Sioux Falls Roosevelt at Swisher Field. Photo by John Davis taken 10/21/2021

A pair of streaks continued at Swisher Field Thursday.

Sioux Falls Roosevelt won its fourth straight contest and sent Aberdeen Central to its sixth consecutive setback in a 41-14 non-conference football victory.

Roosevelt, which started out the season 0-3, has now won five of its last six games.

Central coach Scott Svendsen said the Rough Riders have matured as the season has progressed, especially sophomore quarterback Jackson Brouwer.

“They’re doing more things offensively,” Svendsen said. “Defensively, obviously they’re really good. Their overall team speed, we haven’t faced team speed like that all season long.”

Roosevelt bolted out of the blocks with touchdowns on their first two possessions and appeared to be well on their way to victory. However, the Golden Eagles rallied in the second quarter and cut the margin in half when Sam Rohlfs threw a 48-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Merxbauer.

The Riders came out with a spirited effort in the third period, outscoring Central 20-0.

“We did come out and play well, and we needed to do that,” said Roosevelt coach Kim Nelson. “We started out well in the first quarter and then we kind of putzed around a little bit. We turned the ball over a little, got some dumb penalties, didn’t make blocks. We weren’t very crisp in the second quarter. I think we thought the game was over.”

Nelson addressed those issues and by the middle of the third quarter the game was all but over as Roosevelt broke the game open.

Brouwer finished with 160 yards passing on the night. Meanwhile the Riders racked up 237 yards rushing led by Nelson Wright with 101 yards and three touchdowns. Jaxsen Grevengoed ran for a score and also caught a pass for a TD.

Aberdeen Central’s Brian Johnson (86), Jacob Waltman, bottom left, Ashton Lenling, center and Jacob Merxbauer, right, combine to tackle Sioux Falls Roosevelt’s Tyree Nave during Thursday’s game at Swisher Field. Photo by John Davis taken 10/21/2021

Central received a 68-yard TD run from Avery Ligon in the final period.

Rohlfs threw for 89 yards, but drew the attention of the Riders all game long.

“We spent a lot of time, making sure we watched film, so we could see what kind of speed he had, what kind of athleticism he had,” Nelson said. “We have some linebackers that can run, too. They did a good job of keeping him under control. I think our defensive ends did a nice job of getting up the field and trying to keep him inside a little bit.”

Central, 3-6 on the season, heads to Brookings in the opening round of the Class 11AA playoffs on Thursday.

“We have nothing to lose,” Svendsen said. “We’re going to throw it all on the table and we’re going to go for it. That’s all we can do.”

He knows the Eagles will face a formidable foe in the Bobcats.

“I really think Brookings is the most complete team that we’ve played this year,” Svendsen said.

Sioux Falls Roosevelt (5-4) 14 0 20 7 – 4

Aberdeen Central (3-6) 0 7 0 7 – 14

First Quarter

SFR – Tyree Nave 5 run (Dane Mediger kick), 7:17.

SFR – Nelson Wright 5 run (Mediger kick), 3:19.

Second Quarter

AC – Jacob Merxbauer 48 pass from Sam Rohlfs (Jayden Brownson kick), 1:09.

Third Quarter

SFR – Jaxsen Grevengoed 8 pass from Jackson Brouwer (Mediger kick), 10:21.

SFR – Wright 33 run (Mediger kick), 8:36.

SFR – Wright 14 run, 3:29.

Fourth Quarter

SFR – Grevengoed 21 run (Mediger kick), 8:40.

AC – Avery Ligon 68 run (Brownson kick), 6:50.

OFFENSE: Sioux Falls Roosevelt rushing 38-237 (Wright 11-101, Nave 13-70, Grevengoed 2-34, Terel Williams 3-19, Kandon Mahone 2-13, Brouwer 3-5), passing 15-20-0 for 185 (Brouwer 12-16-0 for 160, Elijah Else 3-4-0 for 25), receiving (Grevengoed 5-75, Matthew Goehring 3-45, Wright 1-21, Mahone 3-19, Nash Gough 2-14, Joseph 1-11), first downs 24; Aberdeen Central rushing 20-100 (Ligon 9-69, Karson Carda 15-37, Austin Erickson 1-3), passing 6-17-1 for 89 (Rohlfs 6-17-1 for 89), receiving (Merxbauer 3-65, Drew Salfrank 1-10, Erickson 1-8, Ligon 1-6), first downs 10.

DEFENSE: Sioux Falls Roosevelt, Ty Naaktgeboren 4 tackles, Goehring 3 tackles, De’andre Joseph 3 tackles, Kai Rathsachack 3 tackles; Aberdeen Central, Brian Johnson 4 tackles including one sack, Max Leberman 4 tackles, Ashton Lenling 4 tackles, Jacob Waltman 3 tackles, Parker Bauer 3 tackles, Jayden Brownson 3 tackles).

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