Sleepy Eye Public focusing on consistency this season

The Indians are looking to take it to another level this season on the gridiron

Sleepy Eye – Public has an opportunity to make a name for itself now that it’s the only representative of the city in Class-A high school football. The public school’s counterpart Sleepy Eye – St. Mary’s dropped down a class this season to 9-Man. Both teams were in Section 3A prior to St. Mary’s departure.

Sleepy Eye hasn’t fared too well in the last several seasons in comparison to St. Mary’s fairly successful program. Now that the Knights have left their castle in Class-A, Sleepy Eye is looking to reclaim the throne.

Sleepy Eye’s campaign for top dog has already been proven more successful than their 2013 and 2015 seasons when the team went winless. The final scores have been somewhat telling of the defensive inconsistencies while the offense just can’t seem to score at the right times. The team has shown that it can play tough with its opponents. Sleepy Eye’s win against Adrian in the third week was the third week in-a-row where the team scored more points than in the previous game.

The Minneota Vikings spoiled opening day for a lot of Sleepy Eye fans, they along with their team rebounded in the second game from the 58-7 thrashing they just suffered.
Not much pain was eased in week two for Sleepy Eye. The New Ulm Cathedral Greyhounds outpaced Sleepy Eye, winning the game 43-21. There were some bright spots in the loss. Sleepy Eye’s public high school was able to improve on both sides of the ball against the Greyhounds.

That trend would continue into the next two games for Sleepy Eye. Although collecting its third loss to start the season, the team once again had an improved performance both ways on the field. Playing Murray County Central, the Sleepy Eye defense took another step forward, holding the Rebels to 27 points and scoring 22 of their own on the road.

Despite dropping the two games to New Ulm Cathedral and MCC, Sleepy Eye can hang its head high; the offensive performance produced the most points that both of those teams have allowed to a conference rival this season.

The 44-19 win over Adrian is Sleepy Eye’s first and only win thus far in the season. The offense exploded with the rushing attack. Landon Strong wears #22 on his back for Sleepy Eye that many Adrian defenders saw in this game. Strong popped off a cool 170 yards and three rushing touchdowns on only 15 carries. The defense once again achieved a season-low in points allowed during this home game. The entire team was in-sync as their lead was safely established, outscoring the Adrian Dragons 31-0 in the second and third quarters.

Wabasso was ready for Sleepy Eye when they came to town. Any momentum gained from the win over Adrian seems to be lost as the reigning Section 3A champion demolishes Sleepy Eye 69-13. The loss wasn’t necessarily unexpected; Wabasso is currently undefeated and has outscored opponents 222-43. The Sleepy Eye offense did prove Wabasso wasn’t untouchable to teams in the conference. Sleepy Eye is the first conference rival of Wabasso to score any points against them in their three Section 3A games.

Sleepy Eye still has a chance to turn it around in the standings before the year is done. If the defense can return to pre-Wabasso form and rein in opponents’ scoring, the offense should be able to create points. Tracy-Milroy-Balatan will play at Sleepy Eye on Oct. 6. The home team enters this game scoring double the amount of points TMB has within the conference.

For the final Section 3A game in 2017, Sleepy Eye goes to Springfield. The offensive numbers for Sleepy Eye matchup well again in this week’s game; Springfield has similar defensive lines as the visiting team, which bodes well for Sleepy Eye.

Sleepy Eye will play its last regular season game at home, ideally looking ahead to a strong postseason effort when that time arrives. They will be going head-to-head with Lakeview of Section 5A, a team that is still attempting to win its first game this year.

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