The stakes weren't as high this time, but Dell Rapids made its return to the DakotaDome just as successful as last November's trip.
The Quarriors spotted Vermillion an early touchdown Friday but then reeled off 35 unanswered points on the way to spoiling the Tanagers' homecoming, 41-14.
Dell Rapids put the ball into play on the ground 48 times with great success, accumulating 309 rushing yards. Just for good measure, the Quarriers added 69 yards through the air, all but seven of it on a pair of touchdown plays. Meanwhile, they held the Tanagers to 77 rushing yards.
"It was an extremely frustrating night for our team," Coach Gary Culver said in calling the loss "a step backwards" after a thrilling overtime win in the previous game at Canton. "We were simply outplayed in all phases of the game."
The game was only five minutes old when Kylen Freidel carried the mail into the end zone from the 2-yard line for an early Tanager lead. The Quarriers' Pat Curry scored the first of his four touchdowns to tie the game later in the period.
The game got away from Vermillion in a rough second period. Two more Curry touchdowns made it 20-7, but the real killer was a touchdown pass from Channing Barber to Matt Dunbar only 12 seconds after the previous touchdown had been scored.
The score grew to 35-7 on a 45-yard TD pass from Barber to Curry in the third period.
In the final quarter after the game had been decided, the Tanagers covered 74 of their 81 total passing yards on one play when Freidel took a pass from Earl Keirtzner and went the distance.
Dell Rapids tacked on its final TD with 22 seconds left, but it could hardly be said they were padding the score. Ten different players carried the ball for the Quarriers in the game.
"We had mental breakdowns on offense, defense and specialty teams," Culver noted. "I felt we had made good progress through the first four games of the season and had continued to improve each week. That was not the case this time."
Freidel gained 65 yards in 10 carries and caught three aerials for 68 yards. Curry had 125 yards rushing and 68 yards in three receptions to lead the Quarriers.
Tyler Husby with eight solo tackles led the Tanager defensive statistics with Tanner Mart and Dexter Mehlhaf credited for six tackles apiece and Will Mart and Jordan Robinson five apiece.
"Our team found out that you have to be mentally ready every time you take the field, and we were not at that stage for this game," Culver said. "We've learned from this situation."
Hopefully he is right because the schedule only gets tougher for the Tanagers, who this week host No. 2-rated Harrisburg (3-2) at 7 p.m. Friday and have the perennial No. 1, West Central, two weeks from now.
"It is a gut-check time for our team as we wind down the last three weeks of the regular season," Culver said. "We will find out a lot about ourselves during these last three weeks of practices and in the games."
Dell Rapids 7 20 8 6 — 14
VHS 7 0 0 7 — 13
VHS: Kylen Freidel 2-yd. run (Jordan Robinson kick), 7:10.
DR: Pat Curry 3-yd. run (Cade Buysee kick), 3:33.
DR: Curry 16-yd. run (kick failed), 9:39.
DR: Curry 4-yd. run (Curry run), 2:24.
DR: Matt Dunbar 17-yd. pass from Channing Barber (kick failed), 2Z:12.
DR: Curry 45-yd. pass from Barber (Josh Fiedler pass from Buysee), 3:23.
VHS: Freidel 74-yd. pass from Earl Kiertzner (Robinson kick), 5:50.
DR: Hunter White 30-yd. run (kick failed), :22.
First downs 4 19
Rushes-yards 26-77 48-309
Passing yards 81 69
Total yards 158 378
Passes 6-9-0 4-8-0
Punts-avg. 5-34.0 2-16.0
Fumbles-lost 1-0 3-2
Penalties-yards 9-85 9-76
Individual rushing: VHS, Freidel 10-65, Dexter Mehlhaf 1-5, Tyler Husby 2-5, Tanner Mart 3-5, Bennett Johnson 5-4, Robinson 2-3, Kiertzner 3-(-10). DR, Curry 16-125, Zachery Barber 6-42, Josh Fielder 3-31, White 1-30, Dyan Ljunggren 6-25, Channing Barber 3-19, Landon Lueders 7-17, Riley Rinehart 2-14, Cole Langer 1-5, Buysee 2-(-5).
Individual passing: VHS, Kiertzner 5-7-82, Husby 1-2-(-1). DR, Channing Barber, 4-8-69.
Receiving: VHS, Freidel 3-68, Johnson 2-14, Mehlhaf 1-(-1). DR, Curry 2-46, Dunbar 1-17, Zachery Barber 1-6.
Individual defense: Tackles (solo-asst-total): VHS, Husby 8-0-8, Tanner Mart 4-2-6, Mehlhaf 5-1-6, Robinson 4-1-5, Will Mart 5-0-5, Nick Mart 3-1-4, Marquis Knight 3-0-3, Freidel 2-0-2, Chris Mart 2-0-2, Chris Wilson 2-0-2, Johnson 2-0-2, Chase Allen 2-0-2, Clint Hubert 2-0-2, Nick Anglin 1-0-1, Brenden Raizola 1-0-1, Carson Sullivan 1-0-1, Brian Hansen 1-0-1.
Tackles for loss:
VHS, Tanner Mart 1.
Fumble recoveries: VHS, Ben Kozak 1, Riley Vlasman 1.
Pass knockdowns: VHS, Mehlhaf 1, Robinson 1.