BRIDGEWATER — McCook Central/Montrose’s lone loss came against Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan on Sept. 20 in Salem.
BEE’s most points allowed this season came in the 57-35 win over the Fighting Cougars.
The rematch is 7 p.m. today in Bridgewater.
The Seahawks (10-0) and Fighting Cougars (9-1) will meet for the second time this season, but this one holds considerably more weight than the first meeting. The winner will advance to the Class 11B state title game on Nov. 15 at the Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium in Brookings.
“They are good football team and well coached,” BEE coach Jeff Van Leur said. “It was hard to get them shut down and they had a hard time shutting us down at times. It was a good football game and fun to be apart of.”
In the first matchup, MCM racked up 394 yards and 23 first downs. After giving up the 35 points, BEE has given up just 26 points and has shut out three of its past five opponents.
“We are playing well right now,” Van Leur said. “Our kids have been rallying to the football real well and defensively we have been doing a nice job of shutting some good teams down. We need to continue that.”
After the defeat, MCM rattled off five straight wins to setup the rematch. MCM coach Shawn Flanagan said the loss helped his team hone in on smaller details that’s led to more wins.
“After that game, we had a couple close ones that I am proud of the boys’ effort and I am proud of them coming through at the end and not giving up,” Flanagan said.
The game will feature a pair of dynamic quarterbacks and a host of playmakers at their disposal.
BEE’s offense is guided by quarterback Brady Hawkins, who has 747 passing yards and 12 touchdowns this season, while rushing for 804 yards and 14 more scores. Jonah Hofer has amassed 969 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns. He’s also recorded 255 receiving yards and four touchdowns. Chase Arend has five receiving touchdowns and 216 yards. Grant Andrews has 426 rushing yards and six touchdowns.
Flanagan said limiting BEE’s playmakers and controlling the clock will again be on the agenda today.
“We are going to approach it like every game,” Flanagan said. “Look at what they are good at and take it away. Play good defense, play our style of defense and offense and really attack them on both sides of the ball.”
MCM quarterback Raygen Randall has passed for 1,850 yards and 16 touchdowns. Jake Cheeseman is his top target and has 846 receiving yards on 42 receptions and eight touchdowns. Running back Jacobi Krouse has 1,658 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns. Blake Gessner has rushed for 691 yards and 10 scores for MCM, which has compiled 2,899 rushing yards.
“They do a great job of controlling the ball and keeping it away from you and running a lot of plays at you,” Van Leur said. “That’s a concern that we need to be able to get some four and outs and get the ball back in our hands.”
Today’s winner will play the Winner vs. Webster Area winner in the Class 11B state title game on Nov. 15.