The Tigers broke out their new double wing offense and ran past Cheyenne-Eagle Butte 47-0 in the annual homecoming game at Tiger Stadium on Friday.
“It looked pretty good,” said coach Dan Merkel of the three-running back offense. “We’re putting more plays in this week. You can’t beat good teams with just four or five plays.”
Running the double wing, the Tigers opened big holes early and often. On the game’s opening drive, the Tigers went 57 yards in just three plays. Dylan Cerney ripped off a 28-yard gain on the second play before Parker Blom went up the gut and cut outside for a 25-yard touchdown run on the next play.
On their second drive, the Tigers went 64 yards in four plays. Blom had a run of 24 yards, Nathan Bauer a 15-yard run and Cerney an 11-yard run (plus a defensive personal foul) before Bauer trotted into the end zone from three yards out to make it 14-0.
The Tigers took to the air for the first time to finish a five-play 83-yard drive on their third possession. Blom had a 24-yard run and Bauer a 10-yard run to set up Reece Cerney catching a short pass from Caden Halsey and racing down the sideline for a 51-yard touchdown, giving the Tigers a 21-0 lead one play into the second quarter.
After forcing Cheyenne-Eagle Butte’s third straight punt, the Tigers scored quickly on a three-play, 41-yard drive. Dylan Cerney did the honors, cutting left and leaving the defense behind for a 39-yard touchdown run.
The Tigers’ fifth possession was a fifth touchdown with the team driving 64 yards in four plays. The drive was set up through the air with Reece Cerney catching a 31-yard pass and Noah Feyereisen catching a 30-yard pass. It set up homecoming king Carson Keller, who moved from his line position to running back to score a four-yard touchdown that lifted the Tigers to a 34-0 lead with 3:30 left in the first half.
The Tigers put the game away on their first two possessions of the second half.
On their first, they went 50 yards in three plays with Dylan Cerney scoring on a nine-yard run. On their second, they went 25 yards in one play with Reece Cerney catching a 25-yard scoring pass.
With the clock running continuously and a whole bunch of different Tigers getting playing time, the rest of the game went scoreless.
The Tiger offense racked up 451 yards, while running just 34 plays, giving the team an average of more than 13 yards per play. Running backs Blom, Cerney and Bauer combined for 243 yards on 19 carries. Blom had 107 yards and a touchdown on eight carries in his first game at fullback. Cerney ran for 107 yards and two touchdowns on seven carries and Bauer had 28 yards and a touchdown on four carries.
“Parker Blom, the more he plays the more confidence he gets, both on offense and defense,” said Merkel. “Now we have those three guys, plus Isaac Olson (who played on the line in the game) and we have four guys to run the ball.”
Halsey added 162 yards and two touchdowns on five of seven passes (32.4 yards per completion). Reece Cerney caught three balls for 106 yards and two touchdowns.
The Tigers’ playoff hopes hinge on a successful road game in Sisseton on Friday.
“We have a bunch of seniors on this team,” said Merkel “This should be their moment.”
This is the third time this season the Tigers are trying to break a long losing streak against a team. They came up one point short against Aberdeen Roncalli and a touchdown short against Groton Area. They cannot come up short again if they hope to stop an eight-game losing streak against the Redmen.
“I shouldn’t have to deliver a big speech this week,” said Merkel.
Merkel said they can expect Sisseton to be pumped up and confident on Friday. After all, the Redmen beat the Tigers 36-14 in the Tigers’ homecoming game last season and ran away with a 40-7 win in Sisseton two years ago.”
“It’s win or stay home from the playoffs,” said Merkel.
This is the 21st meeting between the Tigers and Redmen. Before the last two years, the teams had not played since 2004. The Tigers have not beaten the Redmen since 1995.
Cheyenne-Eagle Butte (1-5) 0 0 0 0- 0
Mobridge-Pollock (2-4) 14 30 13 0- 47
MP- Parker Blom 25 run (Tom Zott kick) 11:12
MP- Nathan Bauer 3 run (Zott kick) 7:01
MP- Reece Cerney 50 pass from Caden Halsey (Zott kick) 11:51
MP- Dylan Cerney 39 run (Zott kick) 8:32
MP- Carson Keller 4 run (kick failed) 3:30
MP- D. Cerney 9 run (conversion failed) 9:46
MP- R. Cerney 25 pass from Halsey (Zott kick) 5:24
Cheyenne-Eagle Butte: Rushing 37-93 (Dyllan Lesmeister 13-47, D.J. High Bear 6-19, Payden Peterson 3-11, Stacey Red Horse 28, Harley Neigel 8-8, Colin DuBray 4-5, Duane Marshall 1-(-5)); Passing (Neigel 7-17-1-70); Receiving (High Bear 2-29, Bradley Iron Hawk 1-17, Lane Mousseaux 1-16, Red Horse 2-3, Ashten Ganje 1-(-1)); 10 first downs; 2 turnovers; penalties 8-60.
Mobridge-Pollock: Rushing 25-247 (Blom 8-108, D. Cerney 7-107, Bauer 4-28, Gavin Reinert 1-7, Bryston Goehring 2-7, Halsey 1-1, Dakota Weleba 1-(-2), Cayden Eisemann 1-(-90)); Passing 7-9-0-204 (Halsey 5-7-09-162, Cayden Eisemann 2-2-0-37); Receiving (R. Cerney 3-106, Noah Feyereisen 1-30, D. Cerney 1-26, Reinert 1-21, Braden Goehring 1-16); 13 first downs; 0 turnovers; penalties 10-75.