Tanagers gain revenge at Winner

Tanagers gain revenge at Winner by Jim Prosser Last Friday Oct. 25, Vermillion faced a determined football team in the Warriors at Winner.

Playing in unusually warm weather, the Tanagers won the first half by scoring two touchdowns to take a 13-6 lead into the break. Tyler Brown carried the fortunes of the team as he scored on a 23-yard pass from Adam Brunick, and an 86-yard kickoff return. Brown also kicked an EP.

The Tanagers took the opening kickoff and marched smartly down the field to the 20 yard line. What happened next was surreal as, at the end of a play, the ball lay on the ground and everyone momentarily stopped, when a Warrior scooped up the "phantom" fumble and returned it 60 yards before being caught at the visiting team's 20 yard marker.

The Tanagers held on fourth down and started the drive that was culminated by the Brown passing score. The rest of the half involved the Winner TD by Brandon Tritle's 25-yard run, followed by Brown's kickoff return to end the first half scoring.

The second half was essentially a stand off played between the 20s until Brown kicked a 22-yard FG with the end of the game soon pending. A couple of running plays and several pass incompletions doomed the Warriors to their fate.

Vermillion's defense had many outstanding plays. The leader with 17 tackles was Kellen Cusick. He was backed up by Collin Prosser � 10 Ts and 2 QB hurries; B.J. Campbell � 10 Ts; Kyle Mollet � 8 Ts 1 pass K; Paul Hugo recorded 8 Ts; Rich Boyd � 7 Ts; and Brown was credited with 3 solo Ts along with intercepting a pass and knocking down 3 other pass attempts. Pederson had 5 Ts.

Individual rushing stats

Vermillion � B.J. Campbell rushed 27 times for 155 yards; Kellen Cusick, 8 for 27.

Winner � Ben Curtis, 16 for 62; Brandon Tritle, 11 for 60 and 1 TD; Nathan Curtis, 9 for 25.

Individual passing stats

Vermillion � Adam Brunick completed 3 for 4 passes for 60 yards and 1 TD.

Winner � Jake Phillips, 5 of 12 for 38 with 1 interception; Ben Curtis, 0 of 1.

Receiving stats

Vermillion � Tyler Brown caught 2 passes for 55 yards and 1 TD; Sean Pederson, 1 for 5.

Winner � Matt McCready, 1 for 28; Nick Sabol, 2 for 5; Ben Curtis, 1 for 5.

"We were elated to be able to claim a victory on the road at Winner," said coach Gary Culver. "It has been a great rivalry throughout the years and Friday night proved to be no different. We couldn't breathe easy until the last play was completed.

"I thought our defense continued to play very well against a good Winner offense," he continued. "They came through in some crucial situations throughout the night. Kellen Cusick had an outstanding game from his linebacker position.

"Offensively, Tyler Brown had an incredible game," Culver said. "He ended up scoring all our points on the night. Offensively, we just need to cash in when we get down in the red zone. Our special teams also payed outstanding football for most of the night."

Vermillion will now take a 5-1 record into their Parents' Night clash with the Madison Bulldogs. Madison has a 4-2 record heading into the Big Eight Conference battle. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 17 in the DakotaDome.

"Our Parents' Night game against Madison will be a real challenge for our defense," Culver said. "Madison has some excellent skill position layers with great speed. We will need to keep them in check.

"One of our best defenses may be our offense," he continued. "If we can control the football with our offense it may prove to be crucial to our success in this game. Our special teams will also need to have an excellent game. We are looking forward to this Big Eight Conference contest, especially in the DakotaDome."

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