Phil Jacobson scores a touchdown in Bishop Heelan's 38-28 win over East last season.
SIOUX CITY (KTIV) -
Sioux City East and Bishop Heelan make up one of the best high school football rivalries in Iowa. The two traditional powers open the season on Friday and both teams have high expectations.
The Crusaders were the Class 3A state runners-up last season and are ranked first in the Des Moines Register's preseason poll. Heelan beat East, 38-28, a year ago.
"The East game is always a really fun game to open up with," said Heelan senior wide receiver Phil Jacobson. "It lets us know where we are at in the season to start off. It gives us a big challenge to start out."
"We love opening up the season with East," said Heelan senior quarterback Trent Solsma. "They've got a lot of play makers too. It will be a lot of fun. It will be a great game."
The Black Raiders were 8-3, winning one playoff game before losing to eventual state champ Ankeny in round two. Each team has plenty of starters back, especially on offense.
Since they're in different classes the game doesn't effect the playoff picture at all. The winner will still have bragging rights and that's still important.
"Obviously it's going to be a big game. Everybody's going to be there," said East senior defensive end Chase Kern. "We've just got to make sure we're prepared for it and we've got to make sure our nerves don't get the best of us."
"It's going to be a really big game but you just got to treat it like another game," said East senior quarterback Greg Kirwan. "Just focus and do your week of practice and try to get them."
East and Heelan play at 7:30 Friday nigh at Olsen Stadium.
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