Tanager football team ends perfect season Vermillion's Jason Madsen (25) ran a sweep toward the sideline and left a Bon Homme defender behind on the turf of the DakotaDome in this running play. Madsen rushed for 154 yards in five carries. He also caught a pass for 16 yards and returned an interception 25 yards. For the Tanagers it looked as if the outcome of the football game in the DakotaDome last Friday might be a replay of other games this season.
Bon Homme opened up with a spread offense using double wide outs in order to take advantage of their passing game. But after two first downs � one rushing/one passing, a fumble recovery by Tanager Anthony Senne set up the first score of the 11-yard run by Thad Roche at 6:14. The remaining time of the first quarter was an indication that the Cavaliers had the intentions to spoil the season record for Vermillion.
If not for two touchdowns, recalled by penalties, moving the ball from a five and goal to 27 and goal count, the score could have been tied. But, the Tanager 'bend but not break' mode held the line and took over with less than two minutes left in the first quarter. The second possession for Vermillion consisted of two plays � a 71-yard run by Jason Madsen and a two-yard plunge by Jared Thedorff for the second TD and a 14 -0 score after one.
The second quarter was dominated by the Cavaliers who had 11 rushes and five passing downs, scoring their only TD on a one-yard quarterback keeper. With half a minute to halftime, Madsen broke open on a reverse play and covered 61 yards for the third touchdown and a 21-7 score at the break.
The remaining half was basically a standoff with Vermillion running and Bon Homme passing � as the team statistics will confirm. Early in the third quarter, Thedorff scored on a one-yard plunge to close out the scoring. Adam Brooks was three of four in extra points.
Jared Thedorff, 48 yards/13 carries, Thad Roche, 46 yards/10 carries, Jason Madsen, 154 yards/five carries, Cullen Iverson, 39 yards/three carries. Madsen caught a pass for 16 yards and returned an interception 25 yards. Adam Koller caught a 15-yard pass, as did Roche (four yards).
The defense was a team effort again with Dave Hanson leading the flock with seven tackles followed by Tyler Vacek (six) and with five, a contingent of Anthony Senne, Wes Christensen, Brandon Benzel, Cullen Iverson and David Jensen.
With the win, the varsity closed out its regular season with a perfect 8-0 record and hosted Tri-Valley in the first round of the SDHSAA playoffs on Thursday, Oct. 21.
"To go undefeated in a season is a tremendous accomplishment and a real credit to our kids and assistant coaching staff," said Coach Gary Culver. "Bon Homme did a good job keeping us off-balance defensively throughout the evening � but our 'bend but don't break' philosophy was very evident as we allowed them a single touchdown in the game.
"Offensively we had some big plays that helped us to get on the board quickly," he continued. "Jason Madsen had a 'career' night and certainly sparked us when we needed it. We look forward to the 'second season' � the playoffs. We will treat every game as a championship game, because, if you lose, your season is finished."