Tanagers top Madison with super defense by Jim Prosser Last Friday, Oct. 15, Vermillion displayed its defensive prowess, in an encounter against a Madison Bulldog 11 at the Dakota State field in Madison. The weather introduced winter as the wind blew from the northwest at 30 to 40 mph, and the wind chill was around 20 degrees.
The Tanagers took the opening kickoff and used up nearly eight minutes on a long drive of 16 plays totaling 80 yards and a two-run TD by Jordan Anderson. Part of the game plan was to control the ball on offense, use up a lot of time, and take advantage of the visitor's mistakes. Madison only ran seven plays in the first quarter.
They finally made a couple first downs, and mounted a drive after recovering a fumble in the second quarter which was ended by a three-yard QB run and a 7-7 tie with 10:31 on the clock. The kick off by the Bulldogs was against the wind, and the next quick drive for the visiting team was a seven play, 65-yard drive capped by a Kyle Brunick to Sean Pederson 18-yard TD pass to end the scoring for the night.
The second half belonged to the Tanagers as they used 29 running plays to Madison's 13. The Tanager possessions were time consuming except for the four fumbles that gave the Bulldogs chances to advance the ball.
Defense was a strong part of the success as they intercepted three passes and broke up four other attempts. Anderson recorded nine Ts and a pass break up; Ben Oberle and Tony Kronaizl were stalwart defense men, registering 14 tackles between them; Oberle � seven Ts, one pass intercept, one pass break up; Kronaizl � seven Ts; Jason Donald and Donny Stewart each had six tackles, and Kyle Hubert and Tyler Anglin each had five Ts; Sam Laprath intercepted a pass, knocked down a pass and recorded four Ts; Brunick intercepted a pass and returned it 20 yards.
Individual rushing stats
Vermillion � Jordan Anderson rushed 27 times for 125 yards and 1 TD; Ben Oberle, 13 for 74; Andrew Pier, 7 for 39; J.J. LaMie, 1 for -2; Kyle Brunick, 6 for -3.
Madison � Sam Johnson, 19 for 53; Zach Bendt, 5 for 19; Pete Nelson, 4 for 9; Brian Miller, 5 for 9.
Individual passing stats
Vermillion � Kyle Brunick completed 2 of 7 passes for 21 yards and 1 TD.
Madison � Brian Miller, 1 of 7 for 7 yards and 3 interceptions.
Vermillion � Sean Pederson caught 1 pass for 18 yards and 1 TD; Jordan Anderson, 1 for 3.
Madison � Nathan Dailing, 1 for 7.
"It was a great victory on the road for our kids in another closely contested Big Eight Conference game," said coach Gary Culver. "Our defense, as it was last week, was called upon to come through after turnover situations. They did an unbelievable job limiting Madison to 97 yards in total offense. Anytime you hold a team below the 100 yard mark in total offense, you've done a great job.
"Our offense, other than the four fumbles, played very well," he continued. "We rushed the ball very effectively throughout the entire game � a real credit to our offensive line. Jordan Anderson got some hard-earned yards throughout the night from his fullback position. I hope that we can continue to play like this on both sides of the ball in our next game."
Vermillion will now take a 4-3 overall record (2-0 in the conference) into a Big Eight Conference game against the West Central Trojans this Thursday, Oct. 21. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. in Hartford. West Central is currently ranked #1 in Class 11A with a 7-0 record. They are the four-time defending Class 11A champions.
"In order to have success against a team like West Central, you have to hold mistakes to a minimum, stop their rushing attack and make big plays on defense," Culver said. He added that establishing the running game on offense and playing well on specialty teams are important factors.
"If we do these things we can have an opportunity to win any game we play," Culver said.