Tanager squad knocked down by C-Hawks Tanager quarterback Ben Oberle eludes two Canton C-Hawk defenders on this sweep. Oberle rushed 12 times and gained 80 yards offensively on the ground. He also completed 2 of 7 passes for 25 yards. by Jim Prosser A mistake-ridden game was unusual as the C-Hawks from Canton caught the Tanagers fumbling and stumbling early, defeating Vermillion 27-14.
Canton took advantage of short field situations to build a 27-0 halftime lead.
The DakotaDome was in shocked silence as the visitors controlled the first two quarters of the Sept. 10 gridiron encounter.
After Canton took the opening kickoff they began the expected ground control process using up about six minutes before punting. Then, "the roof fell in" as a fumble on the 20 yard line gave the visitors their first short field TD.
Another fumble on the 15 yard line gave them their second TD. Next, the C-Hawks intercepted a pass which set up their third TD. Finally, a botched defensive play on a punt resulted in another short field score.
Needless to say, the Tanagers had to regroup and make a statement for the second half � and they did, but when both teams are employing run control offenses, the time becomes an enemy too.
The resurgent Tanagers just couldn't overcome two foes in their valiant attempt to recover. They scored on 63 and 46 yard drives but used up 18 plays and 10 minutes in the process. The C-Hawks also had two time consuming drives and the final score was 27-14 for Canton.
Defense was again the byword for both teams as Josh Stahlecker and Casey Short combined for 24 tackles, Chris Lems and Aaron Olson recovered fumbles, and Jay McCann intercepted two passes for the C-Hawks.
The Tanager defense was led by Kyle Hubert with 8 tackles and a blocked pass. Jordan Anderson registered 8 Ts, one for a 3 yd loss; Mike Hanson had 7 Ts and a fumble recovery; Sean Pederson has 7 Ts, Jacob Geis � 7 Ts, 1 pass brk-up; Ben Oberle recorded 6 Ts and an interception.
Oberle rushed 12 times for 80 yards and one 2 pt. conversion run.
Hays rushed 16 times for 64 yards and 1 touchdown.
Anderson rushed 8 times for 45 yards and 1 TD.
JJ LaMie rushed 2 times for 10 yards.
Josh Stahlecker rushed 18 times for 104 yards and 2 TDs.
Brett Jarman rushed 11 times for 51 yards and 1 TD.
Mike Johnson rushed 9 times for 43 yards and 1 TD.
Individual passing stats
Vermillion's Oberle completed 2 of 7 passes for 25 yards and one interception. Kyle Brunick completed 0 of 1 pass for 0 yards and 1 interception.
Canton's Tom Anderson completed 1 of 5 passes for 8 yards and 1 interception.
Tyler Anglin caught 1 pass for 17 yards.
Sean Pederson caught 1 pass for 8 yards.
Erik Hall caught 1 pass for 8 yards.
"It was a tale of two halves as Canton completely dominated the first half of the game but we controlled the second half," Tanager coach Gary Culver said. "Unfortunately, we dug ourselves a hole too deep to climb out of as we allowed the C-Hawks to jump out to a 27-0 lead at the half. We did the things you cannot do if you expect to win football games.
"We turned the ball over deep in our territory and gave them a short field on their first two touchdowns," he said. "When you only have to drive 20 yards and 15 yards, it certainly enhances your chances of scoring.
"It appeared we had some momentum going after their first two scores, but another turnover was turned into a touchdown by them, also. Their next touchdown came after a specialty team breakdown on our punt team that put the ball at our 10 yard line.
"I was certainly disappointed in our play the first half, but was encouraged by the way we battled back in the second half," he said. "Hopefully, we can grow as a team from this defeat, learn from our mistakes, and get a 'road win' at Beresford this Friday night."
Vermillion will take a 1-1 record into their first away game of the 2004 season as they face the Beresford Watchdogs Friday night. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Fans should note the game begins one-half hour earlier than the usual kickoff time. The Canton C-Hawks upped their record to 3-0 and will host the West Central Trojans in Canton Friday.