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Ball Five: Game between Tigers and Chargers was closer than you think

The fans at Tiger Stadium got to see not one, but two pretty good football teams on Friday.
Don’t let the final score fool you, the Tigers did not get whipped by the score of 36-7, merely beaten.
I don’t know about you, but I saw enough in the Tigers to think that this is going to be a pretty successful season.
Here’s something I thought about in the past and became certain of on Friday. When you have a team like Sioux Falls Christian who has been playing 11A football for a number of years, you have a team that knows how to play against teams with good personnel.
The higher you go on the ladder, up from 11B to 11A to 11AA and all the way up to 11AAA, the more good athletes you see on the field every Friday night.
Sioux Falls Christian is coming off back-to-back 8-1 regular season campaigns, and that is against the likes of Tea Area, Dell Rapids, West Central and such. Those schools have a bigger base of athletes to choose from. They have the capability of putting more good football players every snap of a game.
Now, that’s not to say the Tigers aren’t putting some very fine athletes out on the playing field, they are. But the Tigers cannot field 11 players at one time who compare athletically with the bigger schools.
It’s also not to say that just because they have more kids to choose from, they are that much the better football team. My point is that they have been better prepared simply by the schedule they have been playing every year.
So, when a team like Sioux Falls Christian comes down to our division, they have a distinct advantage. It is witnessed by their 24-6 win in Winner and their 36-7 win here Friday night.
When the Tigers and Winner Warriors had to play the Crusaders this early in the season, they were playing a little bit behind the eight-ball, so to speak.
On the other side of the coin, Sioux Falls Christian is not that much better than the Tigers. I’m sure every young man on the Mobridge-Pollock team would love another crack at the Chargers come late October or early November.
The Tigers are going to be out to prove themselves big time the next couple of weeks. It’s all going to start when Aberdeen Roncalli comes to the Bridge City on Sept. 8. The Cavaliers are not going to have as many talented athletes as Sioux Falls Christian had. The Tigers are going to be in position to take advantage of that.
Beating the Cavaliers will be an undertaking and a half, don’t get that wrong. Roncalli is 2-0 and ranked second in state. The Tigers have not beaten the Cavaliers in any of the current Tigers’ lifetimes. Aberdeen has beaten Mobridge 14 times in row. The last Tiger win came in 1998.
The last time the Tigers came within one touchdown of the Cavaliers was 2008.
I think that long losing streak is going to come to an end next week. If you watched the game closely in the loss to Sioux Falls Christian, you saw that the Tigers held up defensively except for three long touchdown runs by a Nelson kid who took third in 100 and second in the 200 at last spring’s state track meet. You saw a Tiger offense that started to figure out the Charger defense. And don’t forget, you saw a Tiger team that had to play without an injured Dylan Cerney, who will have his helmet strapped on next week.
There were times early on Friday when maybe the Tigers did not know what was hitting them. Roncalli had better come prepared next week or they just might leave Mobridge wondering what was the number of that truck that ran them over.