Raiders’ defense pulling its weight

A 1-3 record isn’t all that impressive but it could be worse for the Roseville Area High School football team if not for its defense. The defense has kept the Raiders in all four of its games so far and even helped out in scoring twice in the team’s lone victory.

Roseville head coach Chris Simdorn said he hasn’t seen Roseville with as solid a defense in 10 years.

“It has been a while,” said Simdorn. “I might go back to ‘06, the year we went to state.”

The 2006 team gave up an average of 13.8 points per game in the regular season. Take out the one outlier game against Cretin-Derham Hall, which put up 47 points against Roseville, and that average in the other seven contests was 9.1 points per game.

The 2016 team is giving up an average of 13.2 points per game. That’s quite a turnaround from a year ago when the Raiders gave up 25.3 points per game.

“They’re playing fundamentally sound,” said Simdorn. “They’re tackling well.”

One of the main factors in the defensive resurgence this season, according to Simdorn, is being able to keep the players, especially the linemen, rested during the game.

“There’s not a defensive lineman out there who is playing offense,” Simdorn said. “Those kids are going out for defense and they’re fresh and not worn down.”

Roseville’s front four includes seniors Fred Allen and Donovan Follingstad and sophomores Christen Hurt and Will Petersen.

“Defensively, we’re playing awesome,” said Simdorn. “The defense is lights out. They’re keeping us in football games.”

The game against Mounds View, a 13-7 overtime loss on Sept. 23, was a perfect example of the defense making for a competitive contest. Roseville managed only one touchdown but the defense held the Mustangs to only one score in regulation also.

Offensively, the Raiders are struggling mightily. Roseville scored as time expired in the second quarter to tie the game but was unable to carry any of that momentum over to the second half. Of the Raiders’ six possessions in the second half, three ended with punts, two with turnovers and one with a turnover on downs.

“Too many mistakes,” Simdorn said. “We’re not good enough to make those mistakes and overcome them. The offense is struggling to execute.”

Roseville’s lone score came on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Luke Bouchart to Levi Brown. That knotted the score at 7-7 at halftime.

The Raiders’ best chance at points in the second half came on their final drive of regulation. Starting at the one-yard line, Bouchart completed a 41-yard pass to Joe Wright and eventually Roseville advanced to the Mounds View 23-yard line before the drive stalled.

In overtime, Roseville had possession first and, following a false start penalty, turned the ball over on an interception. Mounds View then took three plays to cover the 10 yards and win the game with a one-yard touchdown run.

“It’s frustrating because this team is good enough,” Simdorn said. “We’ve shown that we can compete with the best teams.”

Roseville’s defense will be put to the test the next two weeks with road games against the top two teams in the East Metro Blue District. The Raiders visit Cretin-Derham Hall (4-0) on Oct. 7 and East Ridge (3-1) on Oct. 14. Roseville closes out the regular season at home on Oct. 19 against White Bear Lake (0-4).

Roseville’s week-five home game against Forest Lake for homecoming was not completed by the time this edition of the Review went to press.

 

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.

 

 

East Metro Blue District 
week six schedule

East Ridge at Forest Lake

Mounds View at Stillwater

Roseville at Cretin-Derham Hall

Woodbury at White Bear Lake

 

East Metro Blue District 
week four results

Cretin-Derham Hall 37, White Bear Lake 6

East Ridge 30, Stillwater 7

Mounds View 13, Roseville 7, OT

Woodbury 15, Forest Lake 0

 

 

East Metro Blue District standings
(Through week two)

 

CretinDerham Hall 
East Ridge 
Mounds View
Forest Lake  
Roseville
Stillwater  
Woodbury
White Bear Lake 

Dist. 

3-0
3-0
2-1
1-2
1-2
1-2
1-2
0-3

Overall

4-0
3-1
3-1
1-3
1-3
2-2
1-3
0-4

Games behind

-
-
1
2
2
2
2
3

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