On a brisk fall night at Seacrest Field in Lincoln, the Papillion-La Vista Monarchs came to town to take on the undefeated Lincoln Southeast Knights. There was a lot of talent on the field on Friday night. Lincoln Southeast is led by 2022 inside linebacker Jake Appleget. While 2022 wide receiver Tyson Money stars for Papillion-La Vista.
The Knights jumped out to a 28-0 lead in the game en route to a 31-12 victory to move to 6-0 on the season. Coach Ryan Gottula was happy that his team could get the win on senior night. It was a nice way to reward that group who didn’t know if they’d get to play and have played key roles in the program. The fast start was also a welcome sight.
“As far as the performance, we asked them to get a fast start tonight,” Gottula said. “That was one thing that we hadn’t done the last two weeks. We certainly did that. We had a fast start on both sides of the ball. There are some things we could have done a little better in the third quarter but really happy with the performance and Papio’s got some good players. It’s a good football team we played.”
Now the big question is can this Lincoln Southeast team crash the Class A party? So many people assume that we are heading towards a Bellevue West versus Omaha Westside Class A state title game. I wouldn’t count out the Knights as they have what it takes to make a deep run this season. For Gottula and his team they are staying locked in on playing one week at a time.
“I think that goes back to our captains and our seniors as far as never being satisfied,” Gottula said.
“We identified early on in the season that we wanted to just get better every week and we have very simple goals about getting better every week and going 1-0 every week. That’s a credit to our senior class and our captains.”
That sounds a lot like what the star junior linebacker, Appleget, told me this week. He said that he felt the team was growing each week while focused on one game at a time. The Knights have the right mindset. It was another dominating performance on both sides of the ball Friday night. More people around the state will be talking about this team.
>>Speaking of Appleget, I am quite impressed with his play. He’s really come into his own since moving to inside linebacker on defense. That is the best position for him as a college prospect. He was all over the field making tackles and had a nice pass breakup. Appleget also has a key sack in the game.
— Greg Smith (@GregSmithHV) October 3, 2020
Yet, he is a big-time playmaker for the Knights on offense. They find creative ways to get him the ball at wide receiver, on reverses and in the wildcat. He’s a fun player to watch.
>> The defense was swarming for the Knights in the game on Friday night. They had three interceptions and many sacks. They have playmakers at each level of the defense and good team speed. It’s tough to move the ball consistently on them. The most points they’ve allowed this season is to Creighton Prep, which is led by Husker tight end commit AJ Rollins.
>> While he was kept out of the end zone, Papillion-La Vista wideout Tyson Money still flashes some skills. He made a couple nice plays in the passing game but just couldn’t shake loose against a tough defense. He did get banged up late in the game and was unable to finish the contest. That’ll be something to keep an eye on for the Monarchs.
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.