Tanagers win decisively in Mission by Jim Prosser In the first round football playoff game on Tuesday, Oct. 26 in Mission, the Tanagers played two different halves against the Falcons of Todd County.
The first half involved applying their spirited defense coupled with an overpowering offense. The plan seemed to work as the Tanagers' Andrew Pier intercepted a Todd County pass, then used one play for a TD (58-yard Cody Hays run). The next Falcon drive was thwarted by another Pier interception and a one-play TD run of 36 yards by Jordan Anderson.
The Falcons made a first down, then propelled another pass which was intercepted by Ben Oberle and a two-play TD drive (43-yard Anderson run).
In a matter of nine minutes the Tanagers had a 21-0 lead, but wait! Five seconds into the second quarter a five-play drive culminated in another TD by Anderson (17-yard run). By applying a formidable defense holding the home team scoreless, midway through the stanza, Sam Laprath intercepted a pass and returned it 26 yards for a TD.
That brought in the shock troops (JV, sophomores and freshmen teams) in a chance to gain valuable experience in a playoff atmosphere.
With the score comfortably at 35-0, the reserves played the rest of the game and, while they gave up a couple Falcon TDs, they were able to respond with a score by Canka Wilch � a five-yard plunge.
The defensive statistics were distributed among 29 defensemen led by freshman Jerrod Friedel who recorded 7 tackles plus a pass breakup; Sean Pederson � 6 Ts (he also handled the kicking chores); Paul Hammond, John Gregg, Brandon Hansen, and Chris Taylor each recorded 5 tackles; Kyle Hubert and Anderson were each credited with 4 Ts; Myles Runyon added a QB sack to his 3 tackles. This could go on and on but you get the idea! Besides the previous listed interceptions, Free safety Reid Meierkort picked off a Falcon pass and returned it 15 yards.
Individual rushing stats
Vermillion � Jordan Anderson rushed 4 times for 103 yards and 3 TDs; Canka Wilch, 16 for 79 and 1 TD; Cody Hays, 3 for 70 and 1 TD; Ryan Gilbertson, 6 for 13; Ben Oberle, 1 for 12; Reid Meierkort, 6 for 10; Sam Laprath, 2 for 9; Bobby Dykstra, 1 for -3.
Todd County � Gunner Krogman rushed 15 times for 80 yards; Bradley Folkers, 10 for 44 and 2 TDs; Jeff Sharpfish, 8 for 38; Charlie Her Many Horses, 6 for 19; Stoney Larvie, 2 for 0; Thomas Keller, 2 for -10.
Individual passing stats
Vermillion � Kyle Brunick completed 1 of 1 for 23 yards; Reid Meierkort, 1 of 1 for 23 yards.
Todd County � Stoney Larvie completed 1 of 4 passes for 10 yards and 3 interceptions; Jerret Allan, 1 of 4 for 6 yards and 2 interceptions; Gunner Krogman, 1 of 2 for 37 yards; Patrick Iyotte, 0 of 2.
Vermillion � Ben Oberle caught 1 pass for 23 yards; Canka Wilch, 1 for 23.
Todd County � Thomas Keller caught 1 for 37 yards; Martin White Hat, 1 for 10 yards; Bradley Folkers, 1 for 6 yards.
"It was a nice first round playoff win for our team," said coach Gary Culver. "We had or best offensive production of the season ��and defensively we did not give up the big play to Todd County.
"It was a great opportunity for our young kids to showcase their talents in a varsity game situation," he continued. "The junior varsity played the entire second half of the game. It is a rare occasion to be able to do that in a varsity contest."