Tanagers enjoy sweet revenge with 13-10 OT win

Tanagers enjoy sweet revenge with 13-10 OT win
The Class 11A, Region 2, first-round playoff game paired two familiar foes as the VHS Tanagers faced the Lennox Orioles last Tuesday, Oct. 23.

Unlike the first time these two teams met this season, however, the Tanagers' proved to have a stronger appetite for victory. They tied the game in regulation, and defeated the Orioles 13-10 in a thrilling overtime period.

There were no secrets between them since they met for the 32nd time during the span of 1981 up to today.

The Tanagers and Orioles made use of their knowledge as each team gained about equal yardage and number of first downs in the first half of the contest. Both employed tough defense throughout the game.

The Orioles scored first , in the third quarter, on the first Lennox play, when Ryan Pangrey eluded the final tackler and ran 58 yards for a TD (Dustin Gearman kicked the EP). The defensive action continued until midway through the fourth quarter when Kylen Freidel broke lose and caught a pass from Reied Meierkort for a 40-yard TD (Meierkort – EP kick).

The remainder of the game was comprised of ball control and necessary punts, so neither team could score, necessitating an overtime period'

The Tanagers won the toss and elected to play defense. Lennox ran 3 plays, then kicked a 15-yard field goal by Gearman. Vermillion also ran three plays, then opted to go for the win. Employing a "trick play" (or at least one which is not usually in coach Culver's repertoire), a power-one formation with an unbalanced line. From the one-yard line, Jerrod Freidel plunged through the left side of the line for the wining score 13-10.

Tanager defensive statistics: Mike Oberle – 11 Ts, 1 for loss; Luke Heine – 8 Ts, 1 for loss, 1 pass K; Heath Hubert – 8 Ts; Tom Mollet – 8 Ts, 1 for loss; Nick Mart – 6 Ts; Andrew Eidem – 5 Ts, 1 for loss, 1 pass K; Alex Anderson�Kahl – 3 Ts, 1 for loss; Blaine Olson – 2 Ts, 1 big QB sack. Every member on the defense roster was credited with at least one tackle.

Individual rushing stats

Vermillion – Jerrod Freidel rushed 26 times for 146 yards and 1 TD; Luke Heine rushed 4 times for 11 yards; Andrew Eidem rushed 2 times for 4 yards; Mike Oberle rushed 5 times for 2 yards; Reid Meierkort rushed 2 times for -11 yards.

Lennox – Ryan Pingrey rushed 18 times for 102 yards and 1 TD; Andy Kruse

rushed 13 times for 47

yards; Joel Brewer rushed 5 times for 24 yards; Josh Jorgensen rushed 5 times for 18 yards; Austin Smit rushed 2 times for 16 yards; Austin Eichacker rushed 5 times for 12 yards.

Individual passing stats

Vermillion – Reid Meierkort completed 5 of 12 passes for 76 yards and 1 TD and 3 interceptions.

Lennox – Andy Kruse completed 4 of 11 passes for 49 yards and 1 interception.

Receiving stats

Vermillion – Kylen Freidel caught 1 pass for 40 yards and 1 TD; Jerrod Freidel caught 3 passes for 24 yards; Cory Taggart caught 1 pass for 12 yards.

Lennox – Austin Smit caught 2 passes for 34 yards; Josh Jorgensen caught 1 pass for 8 yards; Mike Ellefson caught 1 pass for 7 yards.

"It was truly an exciting high school football game to compete in, as well as for the fans to watch. I was really proud of the way our kids kept fighting back and eventually tied the game in the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime. Our defense did a great job in overtime to hold Lennox to a field goal and then our offense punched in the winning score and our sideline just erupted. I'm so happy for our players, as we have been involved in so many close losses the second half of our regular season that it was nice to be on the winning side of the ledger this time," said coach Gary Culver.

"Both teams left everything on the field and it's a shame that one team has to lose, but I'm certainly

happy that we extended our season for another week and get to play for the region championship. I can't say enough about the effort our players as

well as the coaching staff put into this victory. It truly was a team effort," said Culver.

Vermillion ups their record to 4-5 and will play the Harrisburg Tigers for the Class 11A Region 2 championship on Monday, Oct. 29 in Harrisburg. The Tigers have a 7-2 record and are the #1 seeded team in Region 2. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. The Lennox Orioles close out their season with a 5-4 record.

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