SIOUX CITY | East’s football team was knocking, but Sergeant Bluff-Luton wouldn’t let them in.
It was a night of missed scoring opportunities for the Black Raiders. On the other hand, the Class 3A 10th-ranked Warriors took advantage of its scoring chances, courtesy of Britton Delperdang and a strong defense.
Delperdang rushed for 209 yards and three touchdowns, including scoring gains of 80 and 77 yards in the third quarter. Sergeant Bluff-Luton also intercepted three passes and held its opponent to 133 yards total offense in Friday’s 28-7 win at Olsen Stadium.
The longest of Delperdang’s scores snapped a 7-7 tie and gave Coach Justin Smith’s Warriors the lead for keeps, thanks in part to East’s inability to capitalize, outside of James Page’s 30-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown two minutes into the contest.
“First of all, that’s a great effort by our defense,” said East Coach Bob Goodvin. “That’s two weeks in a row where they’re on the field too much. The defense plays hard, they do their jobs. My hats off to our defense, they do a good job. Sergeant Bluff’s got some good speed and some big-play capabilities. A couple of times, they hit us tonight.”
“East played hard,” said Smith. “I told Bob before the game, their defense is so much better than last year. But our kids, I don’t know how many times they got inside the 25, our kids just stepped up, kept playing hard and made plays to keep them out.”
“It was all our line,” said Delperdang, who enters this Friday’s Class 3A District 1 opener at its home turf against No. 3 Bishop Heelan with 378 yards for the 2-0 Warriors. “Our line did a phenomenal job of blowing right off the ball. They won the battle tonight. It was all them.”
Still, the 6-foot, 190-pound junior H-back was stymied by East’s defense in the first half. He tied the game on an 8-yard run on the ensuing series after Page’s touchdown, but was otherwise held in check after the first two quarters, gaining 38 yards on 10 carries.
“We made a couple of adjustments in our blocking scheme at halftime because they were playing us different compared to what they showed on film,” said Smith. “We ran straight-ahead iso at them and it popped open for us. (Delperdang) just took it.
“(East’s) safeties were split out on the bubbles and (Delperdang) took it up the middle and used their speed. He hit the holes and did a real good job. Credit the line, they opened up some big holes.”
East (0-2) was blanked in the game’s final three quarters and 10 minutes by an opponent which received interceptions from Drew Mathison, Ty Boekelman and Jorma Schwedler. However, the Black Raiders still had opportunities to snap the first-half tie.
Midway through the second quarter, the Black Raiders blocked a punt to launch a drive at the SB-L 27-yard line, but a holding penalty on the second play pushed things backward and the hosts couldn’t re-establish themselves.
East senior Seth Maxey recovered a fumble at the SB-L 40-yard line 15 seconds into the third quarter. Sacked three times, East quarterback Steve Siebersma (65 yards total offense) had a chance to snap the deadlock, but his fourth-down pass slipped out of the hands of senior Kolby Gries and on the Warriors’ ensuing possession, Delperdang scored on the 80-yarder.
Page blocked a punt to give East another opportunity, starting at SB-L’s 26-yard line. Hard working running back Skyler Skoglund (50 yards rushing) had an 8-yard gain on the first play on a drive that stalled at the 11. Page missed a 29-yard field goal and two plays into the next series, Delperdang sprinted for a 77-yard score.
“You think about it, we drop a touchdown pass and they go 80 yards,” said Goodvin. “We miss a field goal and they go 80 yards. That’s a 24-point swing. We get in the red zone three times and don’t score. We have to learn to work offensively as a unit. We’re not hitting on all cylinders on offense, that’s all.”
East will face West this Friday.