Tigers score three defensive touchdowns in win
By Jay Davis
When the offense was struggling to finish drives, the defense took over as the Tigers defeated Cheyenne-Eagle Butte 46-16 at Tiger Stadium on Friday.
“We turned the ball over in the red zone and didn’t execute all that well,” said coach Nathan Lamb. “Luckily we were able to make some defensive plays.”
Cheyenne-Eagle Butte looked ready to give the Tigers a go when the Braves drove all the way down to the Tiger 18 on their first possession. But then the ball came loose and Chase Schoenhard recovered the fumble.
The Tigers took over and went 80 yards in seven plays, capped by a 13-yard touchdown run by Mason Keller. A 35-yard run by Keller and a 17-yard run by Conner Stoick were the key plays on the drive.
After the Braves punted, the Tigers drove right down the field only to fumble the ball away on second and goal.
The Tigers took advantage of the Braves’ poor field position on the second play of the second quarter when Schoenhard intercepted a screen pass attempt and rumbled eight yards into the end zone. Schoenhard followed that up by throwing a pass to Noah Chase for the two-point conversion.
“It’s almost not fair,” said Lamb. “Schoenhard has two touchdowns now. That’s almost unheard of for an interior lineman.”
Schoenhard has three fumble recoveries, an interception and two blocked punts on the season.
“He has a nose for the football,” said Lamb.
ON The Tigers’ next possession they drove to the Braves 10-yard line but turned the ball over on downs.
Ethan Kettering put the Braves’ drive to a quick end when he intercepted a pass on the first play and ran it back 24 yards to the end zone to give the Tigers a three-touchdown lead.
When the Braves were forced to punt, the Tigers came up with a little trickery. The ball was punted to Chase, who took a couple steps, wheeled and threw a lateral across the field to Keller who raced 40 yards down the sideline and into the end zone. Brett Lang had a key block on the return. The score came with 1:14 left in the second quarter and gave the Tigers a 26-0 halftime lead.
The Tigers put three quick touchdowns on the board in the third quarter.
Taking the second-half kickoff, the Tigers drove 64 yards in five plays. Keller hit Kettering for 43 yards to set the touchdown up and then found him open in the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown two plays later.
The Braves were stifled on their next possession, setting up the Tigers’ third defensive touchdown. The Braves’ punt snapp was muffed and by the time the scrum was cleared, Lucas Ulmer had jumped on the ball in the end zone. Following the touchdown, foreign exchange student Andrea Murri kicked the extra point for his first scoring in the game of American football.
Murri got to use that foot again just a couple minutes later. Kettering got his second interception of the game on the second play of the Braves’ ensuing drive. That set up Stoick taking the ball into the end zone from eight yards out with 4:15 left on the third-quarter clock. Murri’s second extra point gave the Tigers their final point of the evening.
The Braves showed some late life. Cray Allen hooked up with Wyatt Knight for two fourth-quarter touchdowns. Allen hit Knight from 20 yards out for the first touchdown and 37 yards out for the second.
St. Thomas More
The Tigers will close out the regular season when they host the third-ranked St. Thomas More Cavaliers at 6 p.m. on Thursday at Tiger Stadium.
St. Thomas More is 6-1 on the season. Their only loss was 30-13 to Winner two weeks ago.
“They’re good and they’re athletic, obviously,” said Lamb. “They are more physical than they have been the last couple of years.”
The Tigers will have a couple walking wounded on the field for the Cavalier game. Austin Borah will make his return to the backfield, but Lang will be playing on an injured ankle. Dalton Martian was playing hobbled on Friday too.
“We have a lot guys nicked up,” said Lamb.
Cheyenne-Eagle Butte (2-5) 0 0 8 8- 16
Mobridge-Pollock (3-4) 6 20 20 0- 46
MP- Mason Keller 13 run (kick failed)
MP- Chase Schoenhard 8 interception return (Noah Chase pass from Schoenhard)
MP- Ethan Kettering 24 interception return (kick failed)
MP- Keller 36 punt return (kick failed)
MP- Kettering 20 pass from Keller (kick failed)
MP- Lucas Ulmer recovered fumble in end zone (Andrea Murri kick)
MP- Conner Stoick 8 run (Murri kick)
C-EB- Wyatt Knight 20 pass from Cray Allen (Knight run)
C-EB- Knight 37 pass from Allen (Knight run)
Cheyenne-Eagle Butte: Rushing 20-29 (Allen 8-33, Trey LaPlante 3-7, Dillon Dupris 1-4, Kaytonna Bartlett 1-3, James Charger 1-2, Trevor Bad Warrior 1-(-1), Trenton Clark 4-(-2), Joseph Balderdash 1-(-17); Passing (Allen 12-27-3-208); Receiving (Knight 3-71, T. LaPlante 5-72, Clay LePlante 3-44, Creighton LeBeau 1-21); 13 first downs; 5 turnovers. Defense: Allen 7 tackles, interception, Knight 4.5 tackles, Keenan Rousseau 4 tackles, Bartlett 3 tackles, LeBeau interception.
Mobridge-Pollock: Rushing 27-202 (Keller 5-128, Stoick 12-68, Jordan Feist 3-14, Chase 1-2, Joseph Avalos 2-1, Ulmer 4-(-11); Passing 4-10-1-67 (Keller 4-8-1-67, Ulmer 0-2-0); Receiving (Kettering 3-71, Feist 1-(-4); 13 first downs; 3 turnovers. Defense: Ulmer 7 tackles, fumble recovery, Schoenhard 4 tackles, interception, fumble recovery, Jason Hill 3.5 tackles, Brett Lang 3.5 tackles, Dalton Martian 3 tackles, Kettering 2.5 tackles, 2 interceptions.