Tanagers end season with loss vs. Winner 28-14

Tanagers end season with loss vs. Winner 28-14
Last Friday, Oct. 13, the Tanagers faced the Warriors from Winner in a game featuring some strange happenings in the DakotaDome.

Playing unusual situations created by lost fumbles and interceptions, the Tanagers were able to use a 68-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Cody Miller to take a 7-0 lead. On the ensuing kickoff, Winner fumbled the return and Zach Weiss recovered on the 20-yard line. Then the first scrimmage play was a Tanager pass, intercepted by the Warriors' Matt LeCompte.

Winner marched down the field using 11 plays covering 68 yards before a forced fumble was recovered by Weiss. That was the end of any Warrior attack in the first half as Vermillion kept them at bay with a sturdy defense.

In the third quarter, not much can be said for the home team's offense as the Warriors stifled every attempt for a surge. Conversely, the Tanagers couldn't seem to figure out the visitor's offense as they scored 20 points while blanking the home team falling behind 20-7 going into the final quarter.

Winner seemed to have great field position and created a formidable "hill to climb" for the offense. Nothing seemed to go right in spite of a commendable effort by the defense.

Leading the Tanagers was Luke Heine with 10 solo, 22 total tackles and a QB sack; Mike Oberle � 12 Ts, 2 pass Ks; Jerrod Freidel � 8 Ts, 1 pass K; Andrew Eidem, Cody Miller, and Andrew Pearson � 7 Ts each; Nick Schaffer and Reid Meirkort � 6 pass Ks each; Tony Thomas and Jackson Freidel � 5 Ts each; Zach Weiss � 4 Ts, 2 fumble recoveries and a pass interception.

First Quarter

VHS � Cody Miller 68-yard kickoff return (Roland Oase-Oppong kick) 11:48.

Third Quarter

WHS � Jared Donahue 2-yard run (Jared Donahue run) 10:02.

WHS � Rob Cahoy 3-yard run (run failed) 6:00.

WHS � Rob Cahoy 10-yard run (run failed) 2:33.

Fourth Quarter

VHS � Jerrod Freidel 3-yard run (Roland Oase-Oppong kick) 8:36.

WHS � Jared Donahue 3-yard run (Rob Cahoy run) 4:35.

Individual rushing

Vermillion � Jerrod Freidel rushed 22 times for 87 yards and 1 TD. Luke Heine rushed 4 times for 13 yards.

Winner � Jarred Donahue rushed 21 times for 160 yards and 2 TDs. Rob Cahoy rushed 11 times for 70 yards, 2 TDs and 1 two-point conversion.

Individual passing

Vermillion � Reid Meierkort completed 4 of 10 passes for 59 yards and 4 interceptions.

Winner � Chas DeMers completed 10 of 18 passes for 88 yards and 1 interception.

Individual receiving

Vermillion � Mike Oberle caught 3 passes for 47 yards. Kylen Freidel caught 1 pass for 12 yards.

Winner � Dane Driscoll caught 5 passes for 53 yards. Seth Daughters caught 4 passes for 36 yards.

Vermillion closes out their regular season with a 2-6 overall record. Vermillion has a bye week and must await results from the final week to determine if they will be in the playoffs. Playoff pairings will be announced Saturday morning, Oct. 21. Winner ups their record to 6-1 and will close out their regular season hosting Hot Springs on Thursday, Oct. 19.

Coach's Comments, Gary Culver:

"This game was really a microcosm of the entire season. Turnovers, which lead to poor field position, our inability to close out offensive drives in the red zone, and our inability to stop the big play defensively plagued us all year. We had an opportunity to go up 14-0 early in the game but failed to capitalize on a turnover and short field. This really would have given Winner an uphill climb in the game. Also, we started the second half by allowing Winner to take the ball and score on their first possesion and proceeded to turn the ball over and give them a short field to work with offensively on their second possesion.

"As we stated going into this game, we can not give a team as talented as Winner those kinds of opportunities. We had an opportunity, after we scored to make it 20-14, to put together a drive for the go-ahead score. But we again turned the ball over which lead to their final score. We now must await the final games of the regular season to determine our fate as far as the playoffs are concerned. If we qualify for the playoffs, I'm happy we have the bye week right now. We are pretty banged up with injuries and this will give us time to heal before the first round playoff game on Tuesday, Oct. 24."

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