Tanagers win return match by Jim Prosser You might appreciate a little historical background to help in explaining what happened at the Lennox sports facility Friday, Sept. 27.
The Tanager/Oriole football series started in 1933 with a Vermillion win, and up until 1988 the record was tied with six victories for each team. Then the Tanagers went on a 16 game winning streak until Lennox prevailed 17-14 in the 2000 playoffs, followed by the 34-0 rout on T-Day 2001.
The series record stood at 22-8 in favor of the Tanagers, but those last two losses were a strong incentive to change the trend.
Facing an opponent with a roster loaded with 18 returning senior letterman, the game last Friday became defense oriented and turnovers were instrumental in the outcome.
The Tanager football team outplayed the Orioles with some outstanding defensive performances. Both team registered nearly 100 tackles each, but the visitors' pass defense was incredible with 13 of the 17 incompletions effectively handled by Jared Burcham, four, Bart Miller, three, Adam Brunick, two and four attributed to the linebacking corps.
While the Orioles kept the pressure on during the whole game, they made a couple miscues and Vermillion capitalized on them. A fumble near the 20 yard line was recovered by Miller which set up the scoring drive midway in the first quarter; and Collin Prosser stripped the ball from the runner at the VHS three yard line which was recovered by Sean Pederson to thwart a long drive by the Orioles.
Vermillion had only two turnovers and they were not significant to the final score. The most important part of the team's success was the excellent punting by Jared Burcham who kicked eight times, including three kicks from the goalpost shadow. He averaged 34 yards, including a booming 54 yarder that put the Orioles about 80 yards from the goal line.
The defensive statistics were dominated by the linebackers, since the front line was fully occupied with a huge offensive line from Lennox.
Jeff Brevik had 14 tackles and a pass breakup; B.J. Campbell recorded nine stops; Drew Lawrence had eight tackles and a pass breakup; Jared Burcham made seven tackles; Kellen Cusick had seven tackles and a pass breakup; Prosser and Pederson registered seven each, and Pederson recovered a fumble and Prosser sacked the quarterback twice.-
Nick Olson had four tackles and a quarterback sack. Bart Miller had five stops to complement his fumble recovery and pass knockdowns.
Oh yeah, did I give the final score? It was 7-3 in favor of the Tanagers.
VHS � B.J. Campbell, four yard run (Jeff Brevik kick) 5:46.
LHS � Derek Gearman, 35 yard field goal :02.
B.J. Campbell rushed 25 times for 67 yards and one touchdown.
Kellen Cusick rushed seven times for 15 yards.
Bart Miller rushed four times for 14 yards.
Jared Burcham rushed one time for 13 yards.
Jon Brooks rushed two times for 13 yards.
Matt Poppe rushed 18 times for 62 yards.
Clayton Wulf rushed eight times for 34 yards.
Tyler Larson rushed eight times for 24 yards.
Jon Brooks completed two of five passes for minus one yard and one interception.
Clayton Wulf completed 12 of 29 passes for 145 yards.
B.J. Campbell caught one pass for one yard.
Drew Lawrence caught one pass for minus two yards.
Derek Gearman caught five passes for 52 yards.
Steve Atkins caught four passes for 58 yards.
Kirby Hofer caught two passes for 30 yards.
Vermillion will now take a 4-0 record into their next game against the Bon Homme Cavaliers. The Cavaliers have a record of 1-3. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, in Tyndall.
"It was a great win for our team � on the road against a very talented Lennox Oriole football team," said coach Gary Culver. "I just can't say enough about the play of our defense. They hung in there all night against one of the best high school quarterbacks I've seen in my coaching career.
"Clayton Wulf, the Lennox quarterback, can hurt you in so many ways, from passing and running the option to scrambling out of the pocket, that it it puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the defense," he said. "We were not blessed with a great field position in the second half, either. If you would have told me that were going to hold Lennox without a touchdown in the game I would have said you were crazy. Our guys just did a great job.
"Our next contest will be another tough road game for our team," Culver said. "The Bon Homme Cavaliers have been struggling some this season but I know they will always be ready to play us. They have a great football tradition and it has been a hard-hitting affair when we have played each other. I'm sure that this will be true this season as well."