Home (not so) sweet home
October 16, 2007.
That was the date of Rugby’s last home victory – a 35-0 drubbing of Bottineau.
The Panthers failed to win a game at Johnsen Field a season ago and want to end that losing streak sooner than later.
“We definitely want to restore that winning tradition on our home turf,’ said Rugby coach Scott Grochow. “We want to be the aggressor dictate the game.”
Rugby will get its first opportunity to return to its winning ways at home this Friday, Sept. 11, when Cavalier comes to town. The two teams have not met since 2004. Following that season, the Tornadoes left Class AA for Class A.
Much has changed for Cavalier in five years. Long-time coach Rod Oksendahl has left the program, and much of the coaching staff is new. Cavalier has also endured a few losing seasons, although the team did make the postseason in 2008 and figures to qualify again this season.
Grochow said they have a lot experience in the backfield, led by quarterback Jared Mack and running back Dillon Trosen. “They’ll try to spread us out (defensively),’ he said.
Rugby knows it must cut down on the big plays which hurt them in their loss at Harvey.
Offensively, the team has displayed a balanced attack, and that will need to continue to keep the Cavalier defense off balance.
This week’s game completes a tough stretch to begin the season for Rugby, facing three playoff teams from a season ago. “Our goal was to come away with one, possibly two wins (over the first three games),’ Grochow said.
North Prairie has piled up road wins
Since joining Class A in 2007, North Prairie has posted a respectable 8-4 road record, and if the Cougars could throw out their three trips to Harvey during that stretch, and three losses, it would be even more impressive.
Yes, the Cougars have proven they can win on the road, and they will attempt to improve on that winning percentage this Friday, Sept. 11 in Park River. This will be the first meeting between the two programs.
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