Tanagers’ defense prevails at Hot Springs

Tanagers' defense prevails at Hot Springs
The Tanagers gained some measure of revenge when they traveled to South Sioux City for a JV game against the South Sioux City Cardinals. Vermillion dominated the play at the SSC field on Sept. 5.

In this contest, the Tanagers had one turnover and one penalty as they played a near perfect offense and a dominating defense.

Defensive stats show a total of over 36 tackles distributed among the entire Tanager JV roster. Leading tackler was Kyle Nemec – 9, fumble recovery, pass breakup; Andrew Eidem and Alex Anderson-Kahl – 5 Ts, each, Kahl also had a QB sack; Mike Wilson – 4 Ts, Nick Mart – 3 Ts, fumble recovery; Blain Olson – 3 Ts, 2 QB sacks; Cory Taggart – 3 Ts, 1 pass K; Cody Miller – 3 Ts; and Tanner Mart intercepted a pass.

Second quarter

VHS – Mike Oberle, 25-yard run (run failed) 4:51.

VHS – Andrew Eidem, 10-yard run (Mike Oberle run) 1:19.

Fourth quarter

VHS – Jackson Freidel, 1 yard run (run failed) 7:40.

SSC – Aaron Satterwhite, 1-yard run (run failed) 4:53.

Individual Rushing


VHS – Mike Oberle rushed 16 times for 91 yards, one TD and one 2-point conversion run. Andrew Eidem rushed 17 times for 87 yards and one TD. Jackson Freidel rushed 9 times for 28 yards and one TD. Jordan Robinson rushed 4 times for 11 yards. Tanner Mart rushed 2 times for 11 yards. Tony Thomas rushed 2 times for 11 yards. Nick Mart rushed 1 time for 3 yards s.

SSC – Aaron Satterwhite rushed 9 times for 52 yards. and one TD. Kyle Bernstrauch rushed 14 times for 40 yards.

Individual Passing


VHS – Jackson Freidel completed 2 of 4 passes for 10 yards and one interception.

SSC – Kyle Bernstrauch completed one interception.

Receiving Statistics

VHS – Andrew Eidem caught one pass for 6 yards. Mike Oberle caught one pass for 4 yards.

"After a slow start, our offense settled down and really took control of scrimmage," said coach Huska, Vermillion offensive coordinator. "We rushed the ball very effectively from the end of the first quarter throughout the rest of the game. Our offensive line did a superb job up front and I thought all our backs did a great job of running hard and getting the extra yards.

"I was extremely pleased with the fact that we did not have one fumble the entire night," he added. "This is really unusual for a first game at the JV level. It is a real credit to our backs and the way they protected the ball. We hope that can continue this style of play throughout our season."

"Our entire defense played very solid football throughout the contest," said coach Roger Heirigs, Vermillion defensive coordinator. "When you only give up 106 total yards in offense everyone has to be doing their job. We only gave up one play longer than 10 yards and that came in our last touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter.

"Our pass defense was truly superb in the fact that we gave them no pass completions, had one interception, and three quarterback sacks for the night," he said. "This was a true team effort on defense. We want to continue this type of play in the rest of our games on the schedule."

By Jim Prosser

Sports Writer

Last Friday, Sept. 8, the Tanagers made the long trek to the Hot Springs Bison. By employing their typical "bend but don't break" theory, the visiting team kept the Bison bottled up between the 20-yard lines for most of the contest. Overall, the Tanagers surrendered only 153 yards in the game, giving up one long run (54), but stopped drives four times with fumble recoveries and/or pass interceptions.

The Bison mounted one scoring attack, going 66 yards on six plays, culminating in a field goal, midway the second quarter. They never really threatened the goal line until the final minutes of the game.

Except for an interception during their first drive, Tanager Reid Meierkort completed eight passes distributed among four receivers.

In the fourth quarter, the Tanagers dominating defense saved the day after a fumble put the ball near the goal line. They stuffed the run attempt on fourth down, then took an intentional safety in the plan to run out the clock at the end.

Defense has always been a Tanager staple and statistics will confirm that. Leading the tackles with 10 was Mike Oberle. Luke Heine had 8 Ts (one for a loss, 2 QB sacks); Heath Hubert – 7 Ts and a fumble recovery; Jerrod Freidel – 6 Ts (1 for loss); Zach Weiss – 5 stops; Harrison Hawley – 3 Ts, QB sack; Meierkort had 2 tackles and 2 pass Ks from his safety position; and Bobby Dykstra intercepted a pass.

First quarter

HSHS – Clint Kindred, 65-yard interception return for a TD (Jay Miles kick) 9:48.

Second quarter

VHS – Nate Burgess, (HS punter) tackled in endzone 11:46.

VHS – Luke Heine, 4-yard run (Jerrod Freidel run) 9:03.

HSHS – Jay Miles, 35-yard field goal 6:51.

VHS – Bobby Dykstra, 37-yard pass from Reid Meierkort (kick failed) 4:07.

VHS – Jackson Freidel, 40-yard pass from Reid Meierkort (kick failed) 2:37.

Fourth quarter

HSHS – VHS intentional safety :44.

Individual Rushing Statistics

VHS – Jerrod Freidel rushed 20 times for 88 yards. and 1 2-point conversion. Luke Heine rushed 13 times for 52 yards and 1 TD.

HSHS – Paul Tierney rushed 19 times for 130 yards Max Jirsa rushed 8 times for 25 yards.

Individual Passing Statistics

VHS – Reid Meierkort completed 8 of 20 passes for 168 yards, 2 TD's and 1 interception.

HSHS – Jett Gambill complete 5 of 12 passes for 6 yards and 1 interception.

Receiving Statistics

VHS – Bobby Dykstra caught 4 passes for 91 yards and 1 TD. Jackson Freidel caught 2 passes for 48 yards and 1 TD. Paul Hammond caught 1 pass for 35 yards.

HSHS – Max Jirsa caught 2 passes for 6 yards. Chris Hansen caught 1 pass for 4 yards.

"I'm extremely proud of the way our kids reacted to being down 7-0 after an early turnover was converted into a touchdown by Hot Springs," said Gary Culver, head coach of the Vermillion Tanagers. "We didn't panic and just stuck with the game plan and played solid football. We played tremendous defense throughout the contest and our offense put up some points lightning-fast in the second quarter which gave us a tremendous emotional lift. This was a great road win by our kids and was so badly needed after close losses the previous two weeks."

"We don't have much time to savor this win as we travel to face the top-rated football team in Class 11A, the West Central Trojans," he added. "They have had the dominant program in Class 11A the last six years as evidenced with their six consecutive state championships. This will be another great challenge for our team this week but I know we will be prepared for our trip to Hartford on Friday."

Vermillion, which upped their record to 1-2, will now travel to West Central to battle the top-rated Trojans. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. in Hartford on Friday, Sept. 15. Hot Springs, which saw its record fall to 1-1, will host Lead-Deadwood.

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