Quarter final playoff game is Tanagers' last by Jim Prosser The Region #3 playoff game contested Tuesday, Nov. 4 in Hartford was the end of the line for the Tanagers in their quest for a state championship in 2003.
With both teams operating a run-oriented offense and a ferocious defense, the final results depended on six turnovers by the visitors, a couple big plays and ball control in key stages of the game.
The Trojans dominated the defense and capitalized on the Tanager mistakes for scoring on offense. Vermillion's defense was not too shabby, either. They forced the home team to punt five times, including a couple three and out situations.
Tanager leaders on defense were: Kellen Cusick with 11 tackles, and Kyle Mollet with 10; Collin Prosser � 9 tackles; Rich Boyd � 8; Jordan Anderson and B.J. Campbell claimed 7 Ts each; Ben Oberle had 6 Ts and a pass breakup; and Max Swanson recovered a fumble.
Individual rushing stats
Vermillion � Ben Oberle rushed 9 times for 59 yards; Kellen Cusick, 9 for 22; B.J. Campbell, 4 for 7.
West Central � Derek Zacharias rushed 23 times for 145 yards and 1 TD; James Lemke, 17 for 70 and 1 TD.
Individual passing stats
Vermillion � Adam Brunick completed 4 of 14 passes for 37 yards and 2 interceptions; Ben Oberle, 0 of 1 for 0 and 1 interception.
West Central � Jordan Smithback completed 1 of 6 passes for 48 yards and 1 TD and 1 interception; James Lemke, 0 of 1 for 0 yards.
Vermillion� Collin Prosser caught 2 passes for 20 yards; Tyler Brown, 2 for 17 yards.
West Central � Joey Brown caught 1 pass for 25 yards and 1 TD.
"It was another tough loss to West Central to end the season for our team � but we certainly do not have to hang our heads," said coach Gary Culver. "We had a great season and certainly have nothing to be ashamed of with a 7-3 overall record.
"The one really tough part about playoff games is that you never know when it will be your final game of the year. But we have to give credit to a fine West Central Trojan football team. They play very hard and have certainly earned our respect.
"I'm very proud of the way our team performed in this playoff game," he continued. "We continued to battle to the very end but very simply, we were our own worst enemy with turnovers � three interceptions, two fumbles and one blocked punt � to overcome a team like West Central.
"I'm especially proud of the seniors who have provided such great leadership throughout the season," Culver added. "We will certainly miss all of them and also hope that our returning players can carry on in such a manner as these guys have done for us.
"This team provided a lot of thrills for the fans and were a pleasure to work with for our coaching staff," he said. "We're already looking forward to next year!"
The Vermillion Tanagers end their season with a 7-3 record.