Trojans blow door shut on Tanagers' attempt at finals by Jim Prosser The West Central Trojans blew the door shut on the Tanagers' attempt to reach the finals in 2001 11A football playoffs as the archrivals met in semifinal action Oct. 27 at Hartford.
It was another miserable day weather-wise, which added to the disappointment felt by the Tanagers, who suffered an untimely 34-0 loss.
The game was another defensive struggle and run oriented offense by both teams. It took 7 minutes before the Trojans scored on a 3-yard run by Derek Zacharias. It came at the end of a blocked punt and 13-yard drive and set the tone for the rest of the game.
With the wind blowing at a steady 35 mph from the southeast, the Tanagers were faced with playing an uphill battle on defense as West Central mauled the VHS running attack (except for a super human effort by Thad Roche who rushed 24 times for 105 yards).
Leading the VHS defenders was Jeff Brevik with 10 tackles. He was backed up by a quartet with five tackles each � Oliver Hope, Brett Jepsen, Adam Mount and Collin Prosser. They were followed by Bart Miller, Roche, Jeff Gilbertson and Ray O'Connor, who each recorded four tackles. Kellen Cusick and Clint Christensen each made three stops.
Individual rushing stats
VHS � Roche rushed 24 times for 105 yards. Adam Brunick rushed four times for 12 yards and was 0-5 on passing. Cusick rushed 12 times for 8 yards.
WCHS � Zak Morken rushed 15 times for 88 yards. Dustin Ingals rushed 15 times for 54 yards and two TDs. Zacharias rushed five times for 12 yards and one TD.
Individual passing stats
VHS � Roche completed one of one passes for 9 yards.
WCHS � Brett Anderson completed five of six passes for 81 yards and two TDs.
"It was another frustrating loss to West Central to end the season for our team, but we certainly do not have to hang our heads," said coach Gary Culver. "We had a great season and probably advanced further than anticipated considering the adversity we suffered throughout the year with injuries.
"That's the one bad part about the playoff games � you never know when it will be your final game of the year," Culver continued. "But we have to give credit to a fine West Central team. They put together a nearly perfect game against us.
"I'm very proud of this team and especially the seniors who have provided such great lead-
ership throughout the season," he added. "We will certainly miss all of them and also hope that our returning players can carry on in such a manner as these guys have done for us. This team provided a lot of thrills for the fans and were a pleasure to work with for our coaching staff. We're already looking forward to next season."
Vermillion completes its season with a 7-4 record, while West Central ups its record to 9-2. The Trojans will face Lead for the Class 11A championship in the DakotaDome on Friday, Nov. 2 at 8 p.m.