Canton falls 25-0 to Tanagers by Jim Prosser The 53rd renewal of the storied annual gridiron game was played between the Tanagers and Canton C-Hawks at Coplan Field in Canton last Friday, Sept. 12.
With both teams employing a control ground offense and a fierce hard-headed defense, you could expect another low scoring battle would ensue. A virtual standoff occured in the first quarter as the teams played between the 20s exchanging punts or four down control reversals.
With about three minutes left Vermillion mounted a six-play, 60-yard drive culminated by a 33-yard TD pass from Adam Brunick to a full speed running Tyler Brown with :41 on the clock. Sean Pederson kicked the EP.
It took another 10 minutes before the Tanagers again took advantage of the "nine in-the-box" defense with a duplicated pass play. After moving from the Canton red zone using four plays to cover 21 yards, Brunick hit a streaking Brown with a 66-yard pass � run TD and the EP kick was blocked to end the first half scoring.
The longest rushing play was 16 yards by Kellen Cusick. Otherwise, it's difficult to find very many long runs from scrimmage. But in the fourth quarter the Tanagers had a 10-play, 52-yard drive, including a 12-yard pass to Collin Prosser, and which ended with a 14-yard end run by Brunick for a touchdown. The TD at the end of the game was more or less an afterthought as the JV reserves were playing the last few minutes and scored on a QB sneak by Ben Oberle as time ran out.
Defense was again the byword for both teams as Josh Stahlecker and Casey Short each had 11 tackles for the C- Hawks.
The Tanager defense was led by Cusick with 13 tackles and two pass breakups. Jordan Anderson registered eight Ts and Sean Pederson has seven Ts, a QB sack, and an interception. Oberle also recorded seven Ts and the duo of Jason Donald and Prosser each scored five tackles, plus Prosser recovered a fumble. Brunick was credited with four Ts, and 10 others contributed at least three or two each, to register a team total 68 tackles.
"It was a typical Canton-Vermillion game with defenses dominating most of the contest," said coach Gary Culver. "We were fortunate to get two big touchdown plays in the first half to jump out in front. We played much better football in the second half and our offense was able to move the ball on the ground more effectively. Our specialty teams also continue to play well. Anytime your defense can pitch a shutout on the road you have to be pleased."
Individual rushing stats
Vermillion ��Kellen Cusick rushed 16 times for 77 yards; Ben Oberle rushed 7 times for 25 yards and 1 TD; B.J. Campbell rushed 12 times for 21 yards; Adam Brunick rushed 6 times for 19 yards and 1 TD; Rich Boyd rushed 1 time for no yards. Canton � Devin Toft rushed 14 times for 40 yards; Rob Lynde rushed 12 times for 33 yards.
Individual passing stats
Vermillion � Adam Brunick completed 5 of 87 passes for 118 yards and 2 TDs. Canton � Tom Anderson completed 4 of 9 passes for 19 yards and 1 interception.
Vermillion � Tyler Brown caught 3 passes for 106 yards and 2 TDs; Collin Prosser caught 1 pass for 12 yards. Canton � Nick Anson caught 1 pass for 15 yards; Josh Stahlecker caught 1 pass for 12 yards.
Vermillion will now take a 2-0 record into their Tanager Day Homecoming game against the Beresford Watchdogs Friday night, Sept. 19, in the DakotaDome. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
"We're looking forward to coming home after two big road wins and hosting Beresford for the Tanager Day Homecoming game," Culver said. "Beresford has always been a tough opponent for us through the years and I'm sure this week will prove no different. It will be a big challenge for our kids to focus on the task at hand with all the activities surrounding the homecoming game."