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BALL FIVE: Last win over Roncalli was my first football story

In the Sept. 2, 1998 issue of the Mobridge Tribune, I wrote the first football story of my career.
In the opening game of the 1998 season, the Tigers beat Aberdeen Roncalli 15-6. Little did I know at the time, but it would be 20 years and 10 days until I wrote about another Tiger win over the Cavaliers.
That was a pretty good Tiger team. After the win over the Cavaliers, the Tigers went on to a 7-1 regular season and the Northeast Conference championship before falling in the postseason.
Going back and reading about the game jogged my memory and a phone call with then head coach Troy Stenberg (who is the line coach for this year’s Tigers) jogged his also. Maybe these tidbits will jog yours. The Tigers opened the season by turning the ball over on the first possession. Roncalli took advantage to take an early 6-0 lead. The Tigers answered with a long drive the culminated in a 38-yard touchdown run by Tim Gebhardt. The Tigers took a 7-6 lead when quarterback/placekicker Dustin Schilling nailed the kick. The game was a defensive battle until the Tigers took over late, drove down the field and salted the win away with a six-yard Gebhardt touchdown run with 2:06 left to play.
The game had a lot in common with Friday’s 15-8 win over the Cavaliers. more than the Cavaliers scoring first before the Tigers scored two touchdowns to win.
In both games, the Tiger defense was key to the victory. Friday’s win featured four interceptions, two fumble recoveries and two quarterback sacks. The 1998 win featured three interceptions, two fumble recoveries and three quarterback sacks.
Another thing the two games have in common is T.J. Knudson. The Tigers’ defensive coordinator was a starting linebacker in 1998.
The win is just the fifth time the Tigers have beaten the Cavaliers in 29 tries, but it may have a lasting memory. Rumor has it, Roncalli might be going to nine-man football next year. If that happens, hey, we beat you the last time we played!
Of course the series might not be so one-sided had the Cavaliers played the Tigers in the late 70s through the late 80s. The series has always been off and on, but the teams did not play from 1968 to 1989. The Tigers teams from 1975 to 1979 that went 39-5-1 might have put a few dents in those yellow helmets. The Tigers did not get to play the Cavaliers in either one of their dome years.
Our neighbors to the west had an historical win on Friday, too. When the Timber Lake Panthers beat (destroyed) the Harding County Ranchers, it was the first time they beat Harding County since 2007 and that win stopped an 11-game losing streak.
The Tigers and Panthers taking down their nemesis on the same night. That is a good Friday.