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Lincoln SE vs Papilllion La Vista
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

5 Thoughts on Lincoln Southeast Versus Creighton Prep

September 21, 2020

Hail Varsity was on the scene Friday night in Lincoln to check out the Class A matchup between Lincoln Southeast and Creighton Prep. Husker tight end commit AJ Rollins‍ is one of the standouts for Prep. The Junior Jays made a big comeback late in the game but couldn’t quite complete the task falling to the Knights 24-21. The game turneed on a gutsy fake punt but Southeast in their own territory.

Here are my five thoughts from the game.

Prep Still Figuring Out How to Involve Rollins

Going to watch a game featuring a tight end committed to a Big Ten school, you expect to see him featured early and often. I thought we were heading for that when Prep threw Nebraska commit AJ Rollins a tunnel screen early in the first quarter. It wasn’t until much later in the game during the second half that he got his second target. That long stretch without much involvement frustrated Rollins.

“Yeah, I just have to do what I can and just keep working,” Rollins said. “I was mad the first half but I got the ball a little bit. I still feel like I need to get the ball more, but I can’t control that. I’m still just doing what I need to do for the team.”

On one of his few opportunities of the evening Rollins did catch a touchdown on a fade route with a nicely thrown ball.

Good Skill Players All Around

There was a lot of skill talent on the field on Friday night. Running back Max Buettenback, wide receiver Derek Branch and wide receiver Jake Appleget all played well for Lincoln Southeast. Rollins, wide receiver Alex Bullock and wide out Thomas Leiden all had nice games for Prep. This game looked like it would be a defensive struggle early on but the skill guys got in going in the second half. Appleget had one of the best catches I’ve seen all season with a big one-handed grab and romp for a score. The junior (6-4, 210) is a prospect to watch for 2022.

LSE Defense is Stout

The defense for the Knights is going to keep them in a lot of football games. There are a lot of playmakers on that side of the ball. Appleget is all of the field at inside linebacker. Maddox Burton is consistently disruptive up front. Teitum Tuioti is good on the defensive line as well. Nathaniel Gifford is the glue that hold the defense together. All three levels of that defense have good players and it’s fun to watch.

Trenches for LSE Still Loaded

As the years go by it feels like I know what I’m going to get from Lincoln Southeast on the offensive line. They are always big and physical up front which powers their rushing attack. This year is no different and they have another solid offensive line. The most intriguing prospect on the line might be coach Ryan Gottula’s son Gunnar. At 6-5, 255 pounds as a sophomore, Gunnar is someone to certainly keep an eye on down the road.

COVID-19 Setback a Factor for Prep

Rollins also talked during his postgame interview about how the team came out sluggish in the first half. They were fortunate to just be down 14-0 at the point, but they did have good reason for starting slow. The team missed the last game after being in COVID-19 protocol. Once they got rolling in the second half though things turned around for the team quickly.

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