Madison tops Tanagers 21-6 in Big 8 game

Madison tops Tanagers 21-6 in Big 8 game
Vermillion lost a defensive battle last Friday, Sept. 29 in an encounter against the Madison Bulldogs at the Dakota State field in Madison.

The Tanagers played an exceptional first half, leading 6-0 at the half. They pretty much played in the home team's half of the field, and probably should have scored a second time when they ended on the 5-yard line as they ran out of downs.

Madison created some bad situations early in the second half when they caused the Tanagers to go to an air offensive by shuting down the rushing game. The result was intercepted passes and fumbles which led to three touchdowns for the Bulldogs.

The defense was adequate as they recovered a fumble and sacked the quarterback once.

Luke Heine was a stalwart defenseman, registering 17 tackles (one a sack); Mike Oberle recorded 11 Ts; Zach Weiss and Harrison Hawley had six Ts, each; and two others (Jerrod and Jackson Freidel) registered four Ts each. Jackson Freidel also recovered a fumble.

Second quarter

VHS – Jerrod Freidel 11-yard fun (kick failed) 5:13.

Third quarter

MHS – Nick Dreyer 20-yard run (Nick Dreyer 20 run) 9:21; Brian Miller 17-yard run (kick blocked) 4:16.

Fourth quarter

MHS – Nick Dreyer 2-yard run (Geoff Smith kick) 9:35.

Rushing statistics

Vermillion – Jerrod Freidel rushed 18 times for 21 yards and 1 TD; Luke Heine rushed 11 times for 20 yards; Andrew Eidem rushed 1 time for -4 yards; Reid Meierkort rushed 5 times for -19 yards. Madison – Nick Dreyer rushed 18 times for 99 yards and 2 TDs; Cody Hansen rushed 11 times for 85 yards; Brian Miller rushed 10 times for 47 yards and 1 TD.

Passing statistics

Vermillion – Reid Meierkort completed 5 of 23 passes for 154 yards and 3 interceptions.

Madison – Brian Miller completed 3 of 8 passes for 45 yards.

Receiving statistics

Vermillion – Bobby Dykstra caught 2 passes for 73 yards; Paul Hammond caught 1 pass for 60 yards; Jerrod Freidel caught 2 passes for 21 yards.

Madison – Andrew Strom caught 2 passes for 42 yards; Cody Hansen caught 1 pass for 3 yards.

"This game was a tale of two halves of football," said coach Gary Culver. "We dominated the first half and Madison dominated the second half. We squandered away a golden opportunity in the first half to tack on another score but we failed to come away with points after having a first and goal at the 5-yard line. You want to cash in on those situations, especially on the road.

"Our defense played a solid first half of football but we allowed Madison to rush the football effectively in the second half – something we did not want to do in the game," he continued. "Offensively, we turned the ball over too many times and just couldn't muster up a consistent rushing attack throughout the evening."

Vermillion will now take a 2-4 overall record (0-2 in the conference) into another Big 8 Conference game as they travel to Lennox to battle the Orioles this Friday, Oct. 6. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Lennox will come into the contest with a 4-1 overall record.

"We can't dwell on this loss as we have to get ready for an exceptional Lennox football team which may have the best balanced offensive unit that we have seen this season," Culver said. "They have so many weapons offensively and really give a defensive unit fits. This will be another challenging road trip for our team. We need to rebound from this loss and play solid football the last two weeks of the regular season. We also need to play at a high emotional level these last two weeks."

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