Parkston hopes to continue win streakPARKSTON — After opening the season with two losses, Parkston had a turn of fortune in its season.
By: Luke Hagen, The Daily Republic
PARKSTON — After opening the season with two losses, Parkston had a turn of fortune in its season.
Trojans head coach Eric Norden attributes that to one main thing.
“It’s because of how well we’re playing together,” said Norden, whose team is on a seven-game win streak. “Obviously we’ve gotten better at all the little skills, but I really think a team effort and coming together has been one of the biggest changes for us.”
At 6:30 p.m. today, Parkston travels to play Aberdeen Roncalli in an 11B quarterfinal high school football matchup in Aberdeen. The winner earns a berth to the semifinals, played Saturday across the state in all six classes of football.
Parkston (7-2) heads into the game as an underdog with the class’s sixth seed of the remaining eight teams. Today, they look to knock off third-seeded, unbeaten Aberdeen Roncalli, which is 9-0.
The Trojans, who defeated Wagner 21-14 in last week’s first-round game, qualified for the playoffs this season for the first time since 2007. The last time Parkston was in the quarterfinal round was 2006.
Averaging 23 points and allowing 11.6 points per game this season, Parkston hasn’t lost since August. The Trojans opened the year with a 39-0 defeat to Winner and fell 15-10 to Wagner in the second week.
“We’ve been playing well throughout the season, getting better and cleaning some things up,” Norden said. “We’ve got some young guys out there, so we needed some time to get things worked out. But now we’re playing our best football of the season.”
Aberdeen Roncalli opened its playoff run with a 64-19 win over Mobridge-Pollock last week. Roncalli averages 36 points per game and has shut out five of its nine opponents this season.
“They run a whole bunch of different sets,” Norden said. “They can spread you out and they can also come back inside and run against you. They’re multidimensional.”
Statistically for the Trojans, Jesse Thuringer is the team’s leading rusher, averaging 5.7 yards per carry. He has 564 yards and six touchdowns. Chase Stoebner, Henry Wegehaupt and Miles Semmler each have more than 200 rushing yards on the year.