VHS football begins season with 21-0 win Vermillion offensive tackle Jason Donald (73) clears the way for teammate Cody Hays on this running play against South Sioux City Friday night in the DakotaDome. Hays carried the ball 16 times for 106 yards and scored two touchdowns. by Jim Prosser In the Vermillion High School football season opener, held on Sept. 3 in the USD DakotaDome, the Tanagers demonstrated their defensive and offensive abilities at their fullest in action against the South Sioux City Cardinals.
Except for an unfortunate fumble early in the game, it was apparent that Vermillion would be in control for most of the game. The Tanagers dominated every phase of the contest as they rushed for 101 yards and a 34 yard pass in the first quarter, scoring on a Ben Oberle QB plunge ending an 80 yard drive of nine plays in three minutes.
The Cardinals operated a spread, shotgun offense, hoping to capitalize on a perceived defensive pass vulnerability of the Tanagers. Not so!
While their scrambling quarterback completed 12 of 22 passes, most of them were for short yardage and, except for one of 64 yards, they never were a factor in the game.
The drive in the first quarter was the only long field situation for the home team as the second score came after a seven play, 61 yard, 5:48 minute drive was finished off by a Cody Hays 14 yard end run.
The home team defense was awesome as they held the Cardinal running game to negligible yardage, while the offense was building a 160 to minus two yard rushing halftime advantage.
Using their control rushing offense and smothering defense, the Tanagers continued their dominance, thwarting the only visitors scoring attempt with an end zone interception by safety Kyle Brunick .
A third quarter four play, 51 yard drive, culminated by a 29 yard run by Hays was enough to allow the Tanagers to run out the clock with a 16 play fourth quarter and a final 21-0 win.
Sean Pederson kicked the extra points and Jordan Anderson had two punts totaling 54 yards.
Defensive stats show a total of over 45 tackles distributed among the entire Tanager roster. Leading tacklers were: Kyle Hubert � 7 (4 solos), Pederson � 6 (3 QB sacks), Jacob Geis � 5 (1 sack, fumble recovery), Mike Hanson � 4 (1 sack). Anderson, Hays, Sam Laprath and Tyler Anglin claimed 3 each.
Oberle was credited with a blocked punt and Jason Donald recovered a fumble.
"It was a nice season opening for our squad. We played very well defensively as a team. Any time you can shut out a team like South Sioux City, it speaks highly of your defensive play," said Tanager coach Gary Culver. "I felt we did a great job adjusting to a new offensive scheme that South Sioux City presented for the very first time.
"I felt we also played very well offensively. We made very few mistakes for the first game of the season," he said. "I was pleased we rushed the ball so effectively against an always tough South Sioux defense. Ben Oberle did a nice job directing the offense as our quarterback.
"Our offensive line did a great job up front and made some key adjustments during the course of the game. We had some new faces in the lineup and they now have some confidence to build on for the next game," coach Culver said. "Our specialty team play was outstanding throughout the night. We had many young players on these teams and they performed much better than we anticipated. We had some young players step in and do a nice job for us on both sides of the football.
"Our next opponent, Canton, will be completely opposite to South Sioux City in the style of football they play," the coach said. "It will be a tough assignment for our players, but we're looking forward to the challenge."
Hays rushed 16 times for 106 yards and two touchdowns.
Jordan Anderson rushed 12 times for 80 yards.
Oberle rushed 14 times for 42 yards and 1 touchdown.
Andrew Pier rushed 7 times for 27 yards.
Sam Laprath rushed 4 times for 14 yards.
J J LaMie rushed 2 times for 39 yards.
Chonka Wilch rushed 2 times for 7 yards.
South Sioux City
Brett Gotch rushed 12 times for 11 yards.
Joel Rodriguez rushed 5 times for 11 yards.
Individual passing stats
Vermillion's Oberle completed 1 of 4 passes for 34 yards.
South Sioux City's Gotch completed 12 of 22 passes for 133 yards and 1 interception.
Pederson caught 1 pass for 34 yards.
South Sioux City
Joel Rodriguez caught 3 passes for 10 yards.
Jordan Spirk caught 3 passes for 78 yards.
Brandon Bausch caught 2 passes for 24 yards.
Vermillion will now take a 1-0 record with them as they head into their second game of the season. The Tanagers will host the Canton C-Hawks in the DakotaDome Friday, Sept. 10. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.