Tanagers win fierce battle with Canton C-Hawks Friday

Tanagers win fierce battle with Canton C-Hawks Friday Vermillion Tanager Collin Prosser (85) celebrates after his teammate, B.J. Campbell, scored a touchdown with 5 minutes left in the fourth quarter Friday to give the Tanagers a 7-0 homecoming victory over Canton. by Jim Prosser In the 52nd renewal of the storied history of the annual gridiron game played between Vermillion and Canton, you know that a fierce defensive battle would be in the offing.

A virtual standoff was played at the DakotaDome for homecoming on Friday, Sept. 20. The weather was not a factor, so the final 7-0 result demonstrated that defense was again the byword for both teams.

Except for the Tanagers' 11 play, 76 yard drive using up five minutes for a touchdown near the end of the fourth quarter, neither team had been able to mount a significant challenge to score as the game was played mostly between the 20 yard lines.

The Tanagers took the opening kickoff and ran a couple rushing plays, discovering that the C-Hawks were employing a variation of "9 in the box" defense, so a passing game was necessary to move the ball.

Vermillion was able to make five first downs, three by passes, in the first quarter, but were stopped at the Canton 20 yard line.

That's when the back and forth routine began and continued for all but five minutes of the game.

The Tanager defense was led by Jeff Brevik and Sean Pederson with eight tackles each. Bart Miller and Paul Hugo each had six tackles, followed by Kellen Cusick, Adam Brunick and Collin Prosser with four tackles each, and several others contributing at least three or two tackles each to register a team total 55 tackles.

The C-Hawks rushing offense gained 94 yards on 35 carries. Jared Burcham had two pass breakups as Miller, B.J. Campbell and Nick Olson each recorded one. There were no turnovers by either team.

Canton's Justin Tuntland led all tacklers with 13, and Travis Hardie was credited with nine. Like I said � it was a classic Vermillion/Canton defensive demonstration.

Fourth quarter

VHS � B.J. Campbell, 13 yard run (Jeff Brevik kick) 5:00

Individual rushing

Vermillion

B.J. Campbell rushed 26 times for 147 yards and one touchdown.

Kellen Cusick rushed 15 times for 65 yards.

Bart Miller rushed five times for 10 yards.

Canton

Justin Tutland rushed 12 times for 48 yards.

Devin Toft rushed 12 times for 27 yards.

Kyle Hoffman rushed four times for 10 yards.

Individual passing

Vermillion

Jon Brooks completed seven of 16 passes for 57 yards and one interception.

Canton

Ryan Lems completed zero of five passes.

Receiving statistics

Vermillion

Nick Olson caught four passes for 37 yards.

Collin Prosser caught two passes for 20 yards.

B.J. Campbell caught one pass for zero yards.

Vermillion will now take a 3-0 record into their next game against the Lennox Orioles. The Orioles have a record of 2-1. It will be a Big Eight Conference game for both teams. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday in Lennox.

"Homecoming 2002 is now successful with the 7-0 win against the Canton C-Hawks," said coach Gary Culver. "It was a typical Canton/Vermillion game with defenses dominating throughout the contest. Our offense moved the ball but we just couldn't finish off some great drives we put together.

"We won the battle of field position during the evening and this was a key in the victory," he said. "Our defense played well throughout the night and anytime you can pitch a shutout you have to be happy. Our specialty teams also continue to play well.

"Our upcoming Big Eight Conference game against Lennox will be a great challenge for our team," Culver said. "Lennox has a huge line on both sides of the football and they have some great skill people that can run, pass, and catch the football. We hope we can control the football on offense and not give up the big play on the defensive side. They really took it to us last year, defeating us 34-0, so hopefully we can use this as a great motivating factor in preparation for this game.

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