In a contest featuring big plays, the home team prevailed 3-2 as they capitalized on a punt return and a long run to build a 14-0 advantage in the first quarter. The Tanagers demonstrated their ability to recover as they produced a long run for a TD and a halftime 14-7 deficit.
Except for a couple lapses in the defense, the visitors kept the opposition scoreless for nearly three quarters on the clock. They tied the score with another long TD run and were driving for a score when the only turnover of the game (a pass interception) set up the Cardinals for a final thrust and another long run for the winning TD.
Defensive stats show a total of over 60 tackles distributed among the entire Tanager roster. Leading tackler was Tony Kronaizl with seven (two solos). Bobby Dykstra, Kyle Hubert, Andrew Pier, Jerrod Freidel, Canka Wilch, Mike Hanson, and Joe Miller each recorded 5 Ts. Donnie Stewart had 4 Ts. Dykstra and Pier each intercepted a pass; Hanson and Miller each had a QB sack.
SSC � Brett Hoch, 74 yard punt return (Santos Gonzalez kick) 5:02.
SSC � Brett Hoch, 52 yard run (Santos Gonzalez kick) 3:16.
VHS � Andrew Pier, 66 yard run (Jose Nesselhuf kick) 0:26.
VHS � Andrew Pier, 92 yard run (Jose Nesselhuf kick) 7:05.
SSC � Brett Hoch, 68 yard run (Santos Gonzalez kick) 3:30.
VHS � Andrew Pier rushed 29 times for 231 yards and 2 TDs. Kyle Brunick rushed 5 times for -39 yards.
SSC � Brett Hoch rushed 9 times for 157 yards and 2 TDs. Brett Gotch rushed 10 times for 14 yards.
VHS � Kyle Brunick completed 2 of 13 passes for 71 yards and 1 interception.
SSC � Nick Horan completed 7 of 13 passes for 55 yards and 1 interception.
VHS � Jo Miller caught 1 pass for 13 yards. Paul Hammond caught 1 pass for 58 yards.
SSC � Jordan Spirk caught 4 passes for 40 yards. Brett Hoch caught 2 passes for 18 yards.
"Three big plays and costly penalties, along with numerous mental mistakes, proved to be our demise in this game," said coach Gary Culver. "Giving up 14 quick points to South Sioux City put us on an uphill climb all night long. On the positive side, our kids did battle back to tie the score in the third quarter. But we certainly let a golden opportunity slip away from us in the fourth quarter when we got the ball down to their 15 yard line and could have gotten the go-ahead score but came away with nothing. These are the things that usually separate the winning team from the losing team.
"Individually, Andrew Pier had an outstanding game rushing the football for us," he continued. "Anytime a back can rush for 200-plus yards in a game it is an outstanding achievement. He would be the first to tell you it starts up front with our offensive line. They did a great job against a good South Sioux City defensive unit. We just need to balance our offense production to make us that much better as a team."
"This upcoming game against the Hot Springs Bison will be a gut-check for our team. We're real happy to be back home in the DakotaDome and hopefully come out on the top side of the ledger."
The Tanagers will host the Hot Springs Bison in the DakotaDome on Friday, Sept. 9. Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m. Fans should note the start time is two hours earlier than normal. Hot Springs won their opener last Friday by beating Pine Ridge 53-8.