Tanagers lose overtime heartbreaker in MN

Tanagers lose overtime heartbreaker in MN By Jim Prosser Last Friday, Sept. 26, the Tanagers faced a new competitor on their schedule in the Cardinals at Luverne, MN. To make matters interesting, it was homecoming for the Cardinals.

With both teams playing control football on offense, and an intense defense as well, the game was an evenly matched standoff which led to a 7-7 tie in regulation.

Luverne scored first, taking advantage of a Tanager fumble using a nine-play 62-yard 5:30 minute drive and led 7-0 after one quarter. The second quarter was contested between the 20 yard lines as neither team threatened to score.

After exchanging punts, the Tanagers' first drive was sparked by a 44-yard pass from Adam Brunick to Collin Prosser which was followed by six rushing plays culminating in a two-yard touchdown by B.J. Campbell.

They say that statistics are for the losers, but in a close scoring game, it might be interesting to know that each team had an intercepted pass and both teams attempted field goals without success.

Penalty yardage was essentially even and the Tanagers did "out stat" the Cardinals, but the overtime result was 6-0 for the home team.

Vermillion's defensive statistics were led by Prosser and Kellen Cusick with eight tackles each. Ben Oberle and Rich Boyd each recorded six Ts and a pass breakup. Campbell also had six tackles as well as an interception; Sean Pederson (five); and Paul Hugo (four with a QB sack). The team was credited with 62 "stops."

Individual rushing stats

Vermillion: Kellen Cusick ��20 times for 101 yards; B.J. Campbell � 18 for 51 and 1 TD; Tyler Brown � 2 for 18; Ben Oberle � 1 for 8; Adam Brunick � 8 for 0.

Luverne: Tyler Lebers � 19 for 59 and 2 TDs; Mark Remme � 6 for 34; Andy Stegemann � 5 for 18; Brad Herman � 5 for 14.

Individual passing stats

Vermillion: Adam Brunick � 5 of 8 for 98 yards and 1 interception.

Luverne: Andy Stegemann � 5 of 9 for 44 yards and 1 interception.

Individual receiving stats

Vermillion: Tyler Brown caught 3 passes for 47 yards; Collin Prosser � 1 for 44; Kellen Cusick � 1 for 7.

Luverne: Ben Cornish � 3 for 28; Scott Pick � 1 for 8; Jared Pick � 1 for 8.

"It was a case of winning the battle of the statistics but losing the battle on the scoreboard against Luverne," said coach Gary Culver. "We were flat emotionally to begin the game as was evidenced by the way we tackled and blocked � the two basic fundamentals of the game. Luverne was ready to play and we were not!

"I give our team a lot of credit though as we regrouped and came back and played inspired football the last three quarters," he continued. "We were our own worst enemy throughout the night with turnovers and penalties, something we had kept to a minimum the first three games of the season. We had some opportunities to score when we were down in the red zone but we failed to capitalize and that proved to be the difference in the game. It was a tough loss for our guys, but I know we'll come back that much more determined to play hard for four quarters this week."

Vermillion, whose record drops to 3-1, will now host the Lennox Orioles, the #1 ranked team in Class 11A, on Friday, Oct. 3. The Orioles have a 4-0 record. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. in the DakotaDome.

"Our upcoming Big Eight Conference game against Lennox will be a great challenge for our team," Culver said. "Lennox has a big 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. The Orioles are undefeated and ranked number one in Class 11A in South Dakota which certainly adds to our team's motivation this week."

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