Tanagers win big to improve record to 3-0 by Jim Prosser The Tanagers scored early and often as they built a 21-0 first quarter lead and "coasted" to a 33-15 victory over a miss-matched Beresford Watchdog team last Friday in the Dakota Dome.
The vaunted rushing game of the Tanagers accumulated over 400 yards while the defense clamped down, allowing Beresford's rushers to accumulate only about a fourth of that yardage.
Passing by both teams added up to 49 attempts which for a Vermillion football game must be a record! Thad Roche scored twice in the first four minutes on runs of 43 and 16 yards, while Anthony Senne intercepted a Joe Merriman pass and returned it 48 yards for a TD.
The Watchdogs took advantage of a fumble recovery to score on a "short field" when Josh Larson rushed 11 yards for a 6 pointer midway through the second quarter. Roche countered with his third TD on a 34 yard run.
Adam Brooks kicked the first extra point and Tim Broderson ran for a 2 point EP to complete the first half scoring.
With the Watchdogs trailing by 20 points, passing became their principal offensive tool, and Merriman threw 20 passes in the second half, gaining five first downs with 160 yards on 12 completions and a late touchdown scored by Dustin Voss from 20 yards out. The Tanagers merely ran the ball for the whole second half, except for turning the ball over on two pass interceptions, and a fumble recovery. Dan Tolsma was responsible for the final Tanager score when he broke through the line in the third quarter and ran 81 yards to move the team out of the shadow of their own goalposts and a touchdown.
Leading rushers for Vermillion were Roche (176 yards/11 carries); Tolsma (143 yards/13 carries); and Broderson (34/5). Also, sophomores Bart Miller, and Jeff Brevik each gained 21 yards in their substitute roles. Brandon Benzel was 2 for 9 passing for 46 yards; the receivers were: Tim Russell (16 yards) and Tyler Vacek (30 yards).
Defensive stats include 56 tackles, 11 pass breakups, and 4 interceptions. Broderson � 8 tackles, 1 interception, 1 break up; Vacek � 5 tackles, 1 interception, 3 breakups; Adam Brooks � 4 tackles, 3 breakups; Benzel � 4 tackles, 2 breakups; John Holoch � 1 tackle, 1 interception, 2 breakups; Senne � 1 tackle, 1 interception; Clint Christensen 2 tackles, 1 breakup.