Tanagers dominate Winner 21-6 by Jim Prosser This will be an abbreviated report of the second round playoff game contested against Winner on Tuesday, Oct. 23 in the refurbished DakotaDome in Vermillion.
The Tanagers won the toss and deferred, and the Warriors elected to receive. Followed by an exchange of a couple possessions the Tanagers marched down the field and scored after covering 73 yards on six plays using 3:15 minutes as Bart Miller ran a right end play, reversed his field, and out ran the Winner defense for a 48-yard gain to the end zone and a first quarter 7-0 lead.
The home team then clamped down the Warrior ground game, forcing them to pass. John Holoch, from his cornerback position, intercepted a pass, returning it 33 yards, and in three plays the Tanagers had their second TD within the time spread of 2 1/2 minutes as Thad Roche capped a three-play drive of 12 yards, with a yard plunge and a half time lead of 14-0, since the visitors couldn't dent the vaunted defense of Vermillion until late in the game.
Winner was able to take advantage of several pass completions when the Tanagers were in a "prevent" mode, and scored in the final two minutes. The effort was preceded by a 10-play, 43-yard drive to a TD by Kellen Cusick who scored on a 14-yard run.
Outstanding defense man with 11 tackles (including a QB sack) was Oliver Hope. He was effectively backed up by Jeff Gilbertson with six, Jeff Brevik with five, Brett Jepsen had four, and a bevy of players who had three tackles each (four of them), and three more who contributed two tackles each. Holoch intercepted two passes, one in the end zone for a touchback, to go with his 33-yard return.
VHS � Roche rushed 26 times for 108 yards and one TD; Bart Miller rushed six times for 63 yards and one TD; Cusick rushed 10 times for 51 yards and one TD.
WHS � Brandon Bell rushed 18 times for 80 yards.
"I was really pleased with our overall performance against the Warriors," said coach Gary Culver. "We rushed the football effectively and beat them at their own game � ball control offense."
Culver said the Tanager defense had a very solid performance.
"We came up with the big plays when we had to and kept them in check most of the night," he said. "We had nearly everyone healthy for once and I think that we got in a rhythm with our offense. Our specialty team play was very good also. All in all, a very good win for the Tanagers."
Vermillion will take its 7-3 record into the semifinal playoff game against the West Central Trojans on Saturday, Oct. 27 in Hartford.
"We are looking forward to the rematch of our regular season game with the Trojans," Culver said. "We know we have to play mistake-free football this time if we are going to win. We did have some injuries the first time around so getting those people back will help our team."