Freshmen squeak by S.C. East Orange 14-2 by Jim Prosser The Tanager freshman football team met the other Sioux City East freshman team on Tuesday, Oct. 1, in what may be considered a defensive struggle (except for the fourth quarter).
After losing a hard-fought close contest to the East Black team in the first game of the season, the Tanager frosh expected more of the same and prepared accordingly. It really paid off as the visitors were held scoreless for three-plus quarters.
The VHS frosh scored first in the final quarter with 10:11 minutes on the play clock when Cody Hays used a 13-yard end run to cross the goal line, then dove for the 2-point conversion. East responded with a quick strike offense including a 40-yard run and 25-yard pass to set up a 1-yard QB sneak and an 8-6 lead for the home team with 8:02 left in the game.
After an exchange of possessions, the Tanagers attempted to control the ball by running, but came up short and were forced to quick kick into a gale force wind. Hays' punt covered 24 yards and the orange team scored on a short pass play for 6, then ran for the 2-point conversion with less than 4 minutes to the game's end.
What followed was an exciting turn of events, including an exchange of fumble recoveries and an intercepted pass. Vermillion, using an improvised no huddle offense moved the ball to the 15-yard line where they fumbled to SC East. But on the ensuing play, the visitors fumbled and gave the ball back, setting up a TD pass to Brandon Hanson, followed by an extra 2 pointer by Hayes, and a 16-14 Tanager lead. The game wasn't quite over since East had a chance for a couple plays in the final 20 seconds. Fortunately a halfback pass was intercepted by Hays as the time ran out.
Individual offensive stats were: Cody Hayes � 145 yards/17 carries, and 30 yards on a pass reception; Kyle Hubert � 56 yards/14 carries; Kyle Brunick � three for four passing for 57 yards; and B. Hanson � two catches for 27 yards and a TD.
Defensively, holding the visiting team scoreless for three quarters took a lot of teamwork! Leading the tackle chart were: Mike Hanson � nine tackles, three for losses; Hays � eight Ts, one intercept; Chris Merrigan � six Ts; Brunick and Kyle Hubert � five Ts each; Darrin Martin two Ts, two fumble recoveries. Altogether the team recorded 61 tackles with 16 different defensemen.
Comments by coach Jason Huska were very positive.
"This was a good win for us," he said. "We battled a good Sioux City East team. We found out what our kids could accomplish with their backs against the wall. Defensively, stropping them when we needed to, and offensively driving 80 yards with no time outs and 3 minutes to play, to score and win. Everyone on the team deserves credit for the victory."
The team record is now 1 win, 3 losses.