Football team attempts to scorch new rivals


Drew Hanson, Co-Editor

The SES Trojans have battled league opponents for decades, and with those constant battles, rivalries brew. However, with the new district format, an opponent outside our league is now in the cauldron, and it’s boiling. 

The Riley County Falcons have been the Trojans’ team to beat the past two seasons, and that will continue this Friday at their house. “I think they’re a rival because we keep playing them in close games. Those games are always intense.” said junior Quarterback Jaxson Gebhardt.

Our first meeting with the Falcons was a district match-up 23-21 comeback win last year. The Falcons were leading 21-0 at half, but the Trojans surged in the second half, outscoring them 23-0. 

However, the Falcons later took revenge in the playoffs by defeating us and crushing our state title hopes in the playoffs. They then went on to become the state runner up. 

This year, the contest is just as hot. The first match-up resulted in a heartbreaking 33-29 loss, with the Falcons flying ahead in the final minutes. That was largely due to the efforts of quarterback Garret Harmison and running back Deon Barns. 

Barnes was the deciding factor in the game, rushing for two TDs and 166 yards on 24 carries. Even more impressive, Barnes averaged 6.9 yards a carry. 

Stopping the run game will be key to the Trojans’ success tonight. To make those stops, the Trojans will  look to defensive studs Matthew Rodriguez (MLB), Sterling Harp (DL), and Tyler Breeding (OLB). 

Despite the lack of rush defense in that contest, the Trojans’ offense got it done. Jaxson Gebhardt passed for 165 yards and carried the ball for two TDs. 

The Trojans relied on multiple rushers, with Bryant Banks, Chase Poague, Jaxson Gebhardt, and Raef Boley all rushing for more than 20 yards. 

Keeping that offensive intensity up will be vital to the Trojans success tonight at 7:00 as they attempt to scorch their newest rivals in the Southeast of Saline football cauldron.

Writer’s prediction: 35-30 SES