The homestanding Huskies took the opening kick and, on the first play from scrimmage, the quarterback fumbled, recovered by the Tanagers, leading to a 28-yard field goal by Reid Meierkort.
After another fumble recovery, the visitors made short work as Andrew Eidem scored a TD on a 10-yard scamper (kick failed). You might think that the carnage was over, but the Huskies lost the ball on a fumble for a third time and Vermillion's Cory Taggart scored on a 24- yard pass from Meierkort (run failed). In a matter of seven-plus minutes, the 15 points looked like a promise of more, but not so!
The Huskies were forced out of their offensive game plan, so they used a variety of shotgun, spread, and unbalanced line to thwart the Tanager rush defense. It was somewhat effective, but not much worked through most of the first half.
The Tanagers spent the rest of the game struggling on offense and being matched on defense by an equally talented Huskie squad. This was a rockem-sockem defensive battle and the Tanagers came up short on several occasions, and never scored again.
Perhaps the defining moment occurred when a quick kick, by Jordan Robinson, was taken by the Huskie safety 80 yards for a touchdown with a late tackle bringing out a yellow flag. Things looked bleak, but after a conference by the officiating crew, a clipping had occurred during the return, nullifying the TD (but not the late hit).
After marching off both penalty yardage, the Huskies mounted a pass-run drive which culminated in a 23-yard pass from Nathan Brandt to Torey Stewart for a touchdown with five seconds on the scoreboard clock, Stewart ran for the two-point conversion, ending the half.
The second half was mostly change-of-possession routine, except that the Huskies went back to their game plan, since they figured out how to take advantage of the Tanager defense. It meant a lot of short yardage plays, but they were able to score twice more in the game and reach the final 24-15.
Tanager defensive statistics: Luke Heine – 10 Ts, three for loss, QB sack; Mike Oberle – nine Ys, one for loss, fumble recovery; Alex Anderson-Kahl – seven Ts, three for loss, two QB sacks, fumble recovery; Nick Mart and Andrew Eidem – six each. Jakson Freidel – five Ts; Tom Mollet – four Ts, two for loss, two fumble recoveries, one pass K; Heath Hubert – four Ts; Reid Meierkort – three Ts, pass intercept; Tanner Mart – three Ts. Every member on the defense roster was credited with at least one tackle.
1st Quarter: VHS – Reid Meierkort, 28-yard field goal, 8:22; VHS – Andrew Eidem, 10-yard run (kick failed), 5:23; VHS – Cory Taggart, 24-yard pass from Reid Meierkort (run failed), 5:05.
2nd Quarter: JCC ��Torey Stewart, 23-yard pass from Nathan Brandt (Torey Stewart run), :05.
3rd Quarter: JCC ��Torey Stewart, 26-yard run (Torey Stewart run), 6:03.
4th Quarter: JCC ��Caleb Lines, 3-yard run (Torey Stewart run), 8:41.
Individual rushing stats
Vermillion – Jerrod Freidel rushed 22 times for 95 yards; Luke Heine rushed eight times for 25 yards; Mike Oberle rushed 10 times for 22 yards; Andrew Eidem rushed two times for 14 yards and one TD; Reid Meierkort rushed two times for (-10) yards.
Jackson County Central – Caleb Lines rushed 18 times for 105 yards and one TD; Torey Stewart rushed 13 times for 61 yards and two TDs and three two- point conversions; Nathan Brandt rush-ed 13 times for 14 yards.
Vermillion – Reid Meierkort completed 4 of seven passes for 62 yards, one TD and two interceptions.
Jackson County Central – Nathan Brandt completed 7 of 12 passes for 76 yards, one TD and one interception.
Vermillion – Cory Taggart caught one pass for 24 yards and one TD; Andrew Eidem caught one pass for 17 yards; Kylen Freidel caught one pass for 15 yards; Jerrod Freidel caught one pass for 6 yards.
Jackson County Central – Ryan Rasche caught four passes for 37 yards; Torey Stewart caught two passes for 32 yards and one TD; Trevor Hage caught one pass for seven yards.
Vermillion, which dropped its record to 3-2, will travel to Lennox to play the Lennox Orioles on Friday, Oct. 5. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Jackson County Central, which upped its record to 3-2, will travel to Pipestone, MN, on Friday.
"We're extremely disappointed that we didn't come away from Jackson, MN, with a win last Friday night. It was a game that we had under control until just past midway of the second quarter. We had an opportunity to add to our 15-0 lead on a couple of different occasions, but we just didn't close out our drives with a score. They were able to capitalize on one of our turnovers and score with five seconds left in the half.
"This was really a 14-point swing, and it completely shifted the momentum of the game. But great teams recover from momentum swings such as this and survive the storm. We are a good team right now, but not a great team. Consequently, we are 3-2 instead on 5-0.
"We have three tough opponents remaining on our regular season schedule right now, and it all begins this Friday night in Lennox. We have a great opportunity to really show how good we can be against an archrival, region opponent, and on the road at their home field. It will be a great challenge for our players, and I have all the confidence that we will rise to this challenge. We're truly looking forward to these last three weeks!" said coach Gary Culver.