Jimmies look to rebound against formidable foe Northwestern
The Jimmies are trying to win three out of their first four games since 2007.
JAMESTOWN — After losing their first game of the season, the Jimmies are looking to rebound. It will be a big challenge though as they are set to face No.4-ranked Northwestern College at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17.
“Our focus is on us and to be honest with you, there is always a number, there is always a name on the schedule,” Jimmies head coach Brian Mistro said. “If you’re not focusing on yourself you’re going to get beat by anybody. So, the focus is on us and we need to make sure we’re doing the things we need to do to win a football game.”
The Jimmies come into the game off a 31-25 loss at Briar Cliff on Sept. 10. The Raiders are coming into the game after a 54-7 win over Dakota Wesleyan on Sept. 10.
After the loss, Mistro said he has seen the resiliency of his team come out in practice.
“You never want to lose a game but you always learn and grow from a loss,” Mistro said. “I think it’s just a matter of, it hurts the guys and they understand that but to be honest with you, we moved on, we grow and we keep getting better.”
In the loss to the Chargers, the Jimmies went 8-for-17 on third down, and are 45% on third down conversions this season.
“We have to make it more manageable third downs,” Jimmies quarterback Cade Torgerson said. “We find ourselves in those third and sevens, third and eight, third and nine, too often if we can make those more like third and two, third and threes, make it manageable for us then I think it would be a lot easier for us to get off the field, trying to stay out of third and long, so we have to be better on third and long for sure.”
The Jimmies and Raiders have played seven times all time with the Raiders owning a 6-1 record while outscoring the Jimmies 274-73. Last season, the Raiders beat the Jimmies 63-7. The only Jimmies win in the series came in 2000, when the Jimmies won 23-9. Despite the lopsided margin of last year’s contest, Jimmies linebacker Jed Rantz is looking for him and his teammates to be vocal out on the field more.
“I think as a team we overcomplicate things sometimes and freak out when we don’t need to,” Rantz said. “I think it’s really communicating a lot and sticking to what we know and doing it best.”
Both offenses have the ability to explode for big plays as the Jimmies have 16 plays that have gone for 20 or more yards this season while the Raiders have 11 such plays.
“We have to eliminate the big play,” Mistro said. “They’re a big play offense and defensively they’re really stout so we have to create big plays. I think it’s going to be a game of big plays and I hope we’re on the positive end of that.”
Despite Raiders defensive back Jaden Snyder sitting in a tie for the most interceptions in the nation with eight and tied for second in Raiders history for most interceptions returned for a touchdown in a career, Torgerson is not worried about throwing to his side of the field.
This season, the Jimmies have lost the turnover battle 7-5 while the Raiders have yet to turn the ball over and have forced four turnovers. One of Mistro’s keys to the game is to force the Raiders into poor decisions with the football.
“So, for us, it’s just making sure every team makes mistakes and so when they make mistakes, we gotta take advantage of them,” Mistro said. “You focus on what some of the strengths are of your team in order to attack them and I think for us it’s making sure we stay together as a team.”