Tigers rally twice to beat Pheasants
By Jay Davis
When it was gut check time, the Tigers answered not once, but twice. Mobridge-Pollock overcame early and late deficits to defeat Redfield-Doland 24-19 at Tiger Stadium on Friday.
“We didn’t catch a couple breaks early and gave up a couple touchdowns,” said coach Nathan Lamb. “Once we got our composure, it was 24-6 from that point on. We’ll take that.”
The Tigers had an odd drive going early in the first quarter. After a three and out, the Tigers ran a fake punt with Daniel Roberts rumbling for 26 yards and a first down. Four plays later, the Tigers tried another fake punt only to have the ball intercepted by Redfield-Doland’s Ephram Albrecht and returned all the way to the Tiger 29.
Five plays later, Landon Rohlfs found a wide path on a right sweep and hit the end zone from eight yards out to give the visiting Pheasants an early 7-0 lead.
The Pheasants went 53 yards in eight plays to take a 13-0 lead right before the end of the first quarter. Rohlfs finished the drive with a seven-yard scoring run.
Still unable to get the offense rolling, the Tigers were forced to punt again. The result was the first turning point of the game. Albrecht muffed the punt and fell on it at the four-yard line, putting the Pheasants deep in their own territory. On their first play, Rohlfs ran left where he was met by Mason Keller. Keller’s hit knocked the ball loose. Taten Rau picked up the fumble up at the five-yard line and waltzed into the end zone, putting the Tigers on the board with 10:09 left in the first half.
The Tiger offense started moving after that, but could not get any final results as two drives deep into Redfield territory ended with the Tigers turning the ball over on downs.
The offense used the last second quarter production to get things going the Tigers’ way in the third quarter. Mobridge-Pollock took the second half kickoff and drove 71 yards in seven plays to produce the team’s first offensive points of the game.
The Tigers scored when Austin Borah took the ball on a draw play, found a crease and sprinted 20 yards into the end zone.
“We put the draw play in at the half,” said Lamb. “Talking with the kids, they said the Redfield linebackers were bailing out on pass plays. The kids took the play on and ran it.”
The Tiger defense forced a three-and-out, and a weak punt byPheasants on the next drive, providing excellent field position just 35 yards from pay dirt. Alex Greger hit Cody Hanson for 16 yards on the first play and Borah ran for 16 more on the second. Four plays later, Greger powered across the goal line from one yard out and the Tigers held their first lead of the game at 18-13.
The drama was far from over.
Midway through the fourth quarter, the Pheasants mounted a nine-play, 54-yard drive to retake the lead. After carrying the ball on runs of 20, eight and eight yards to get the Pheasants close, Rohlfs powered up the middle on first and goal from the five. Somewhere in the pileup, Rohlfs’ knee was injured, which resulted in a 10-minute stoppage in the game as the ambulance crew took care of the Redfield-Doland star. When play finally resumed, Jake Baloun went in untouched on the next play to give the Pheasants a 19-18 lead with just 6:46 left on the clock.
The second gut check was upon the Tigers and they did not mess around.
Borah ran for 10 yards and a first down on the first two plays, but was stopped for no gain on his third run. On second and 10 from their own 44, the Tigers called to put the ball in the air.
Greger sprinted out and readied to throw, but Keller (the main receiver) was covered. Greger looked to Cody Schaefbauer, but he too was covered, so the Tiger quarterback looked back to Keller and found him cutting across the field. Greger launched a pass that hit Keller in stride and the wideout turned on the jets. Keller raced past the would-be Pheasant tacklers, won the sprint to the sideline and tore past everyone en route to the end zone. The 56-yard catch and run gave the Tigers a 24-19 lead with 4:39 on the clock.
“Mason has shown he is a very fast young man,” said Lamb.
The Tiger defense took control the rest of the way. The next Redfield-Doland drive ended with a Schaefbauer interception and the last drive went two-yard loss, incompletion, incompletion, completion for zero yards.
After starting the game 0-7 and finishing the first half 3-10 for just seven yards, Greger had an exceptional second half. He was 5-7 for 100 yards and the game-winning touchdown pass.
“He had a jammed finger,” said Lamb. “It bothered him in the first half, but it loosened up for him.”
Borah had his biggest offensive day of the young season with 150 yards on 27 carries, including the 20-yard touchdown run.
Keller finished with four catches for 76 yards.
The defense forced three Redfield-Doland turnovers. Pearson Wientjes picked off a pass in the second quarter to add to Schaefbauer’s interception and Rau’s fumble recovery and ensuing score. Schaefbauer had a team-leading 9.5 tackles. Jordan Feist had seven-tackles, including forcing the two-yard loss on the first play of Redfield-Doland’s last possession. Brady Spiry added 6.5 tackles.
Conner Stoick suffered his second concussion of the season during the first half. The junior linebacker will miss at least a month as rules stipulate. But, it is the player’s health that will make any final determinations.
“The rules state that he can’t play for four weeks after the symptoms subside,” said Lamb. “We’ll see what happens. We will still find ways to make Conner an important part of our team.”
The Tigers will look to make a road statement on Friday as they head to Eagle Butte to take on the 2-0 Cheyenne-Eagle Butte Braves.
“We’re going to have a big emphasis on offense this week,” said Lamb. “Hopefully we can go out, execute and put some points on the board.”
The Braves are off to one of their best starts in years with two straight wins. They opened the season with a 68-16 win over Crow Creek and then beat Little Wound 28-21 in Deadwood on Saturday.
When it comes to the Tigers-Braves rivalry, it has been one-sided for a very long time. In 1937, Cheyenne Agency beat the Tigers 25-6 in the first-ever match-up. The Braves won two of the first three games before the Tigers won two straight to take a 4-2 lead. The Braves turned it around in 1947 and won a 13-7 game. They have not beaten the Tigers since. In the on again-off again series, the Tigers have won 19 straight games. Since the latest renewal of the rivalry in 2009, the Tigers have won 54-0, 54-0 and 63-7.
Redfield-Doland (0-2)13 0 0 6- 19
Mobridge-Pollock (2-1)0 6 12 6- 24
RD- Landon Rohlfs 8 run (Daniel Evans kick)
RD- Rohlfs 7 run (kick failed)
MP- Taten Rau 5 fumble recovery (kick failed)
MP- Austin Borah 20 run (kick failed)
MP- Alex Greger 1 run (conversion failed)
RD- Jake Baloun 3 run (conversion failed)
MP- Mason Keller 56 pass from Greger (conversion failed)
Redfield-Doland: Rushing 38-168 (Landon Rohlfs 20-93, Ephram Albrecht 2-39, Jake Baloun 12-25, Tyler Masat 2-2, Kyle Stover 1-(-1), Seth Kranz 1-(12); Passing (Stover 3-8-2-45); Receiving (Kranz 1-27, Masat 1-18, Baloun 1-0); 10 first downs; 3 turnovers.
Mobridge-Pollock: Rushing 37-174 (Austin Borah 27-150, Daniel Roberts 1-26, Conner Stoick 1-0, Alex Greger 8-(-2); Passing 7-18-1-107 (Greger 7-17-0-107, Mason Keller 0-1-1); Receiving (Keller 4-76, Cody Hanson 1-16, Taten Rau 1-15, Cody Schaefbauer 1-0); 11 first downs; 1 turnover. Defense: Schaefbauer 9.5 tackles, interception, Jordan Feist 7 tackles, Brady Spiry 6.5 tackles, Rau 6 tackles, fumble recovery, Roberts 5.5 tackles, Pearson Wientjes 4.5 tackles, interception).