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Tigers dominate Pheasants in season opener

Nathan Bauer found plenty of running room, scoring touchdowns the first three times he touched the ball in Redfield on Friday. Bauer scored on runs of 35 and seven yards and caught a 38-yard touchdown pass as the Tigers rolled to a 49-8 win over the Pheasants.

The Tigers showed a dominant display on both sides of the ball in earning a 49-8 win over Redfield/Doland in Doland on Friday in the opening game of the season for both squads.

“It was a good showing,” said coach Dan Merkel. “The offense looked good and the defense was solid.”

The Tiger offense was in full swing in the early going, scoring four touchdowns on their first seven offensive snaps.

The Tigers went 55 yards in two plays on their first possession. Dylan Cerney ripped off a 20-yard gain on the first play, setting up a 35-yard touchdown by Nathan Bauer on the second play making it 6-0 with 8:21 on the first quarter clock.

The Tigers sacked Redfield/Doland quarterback Leyton Rohlfs twice on the next possession and got great field position following the punt, taking the ball just 48 yards from the end zone. On the third play of the drive, Caden Halsey found Bauer open on a screen pass. Bauer sprinted 38 yards to the end zone. Foreign exchange kicker Tom Zott followed with his first-ever successful extra point and the Tigers led 13-0 with 4:32 to play in the first quarter.

Redfield/Doland had its most successful drive of the first half on their ensuing possession. The Pheasants picked up three first downs and drove to the Tiger 20-yard line before the Mobridge-Pollock defense rose to the occasion, dropping Pheasant running backs behind the line twice for a total loss of 10 yards and then forcing two incompletions for a turnover on downs.

“They had that one good drive and then we shut them down,” said Merkel.

The Tigers answered with a one-play 7-yard drive when Cerney took a swing pass from Halsey, made a couple quick cuts and dashed past the Pheasants for the long touchdown.

The next Redfield/Doland possession was a disaster as the Pheasants lost one yard, then four, then threw an incomplete pass. The Pheasants reached their nadir when the punt snap sailed over the punters head for a 25-yard loss.

The Tigers took full advantage as Bauer found the end zone from seven yards out on the first snap, giving the Tigers a 27-0 lead.

Both teams had unsuccessful possessions before the Tigers took the ball back with 2:46 left in the first half, just 25 yards from pay dirt. Despite two holding calls, the Tigers figured out how to traverse that 25 yards, scoring their fifth touchdown of the first half when Halsey hit Reece Cerney in the corner of the end zone with 26 seconds left in the quarter.

Leading 33-0, the Tigers put the finishing touch on the game with the first possession of the second half with a three-play 55-yard drive. Isaac Olson did the honors, catching a screen pass and sauntering into the corner of the end zone on a 44-yard scoring play.

The JV team took over with 10:41 left in the third quarter and matched Redfield/Doland the rest of the way.

The Pheasants got rid of their goose egg on a one-yard Cooper Baloun touchdown with just under two minutes to play in the third quarter.

Mobridge-Pollock answered early in the fourth quarter on the most bizarre and maybe most exciting play of the game. With the ball at the Tiger 47-yard line, Noah Feyereisen took a handoff and headed left, finding himself in trouble 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage. He escaped that mess, reversed field, found an opening, hurdled a would-be defender and scampered the rest of the way to the end zone, making the score 49-8.

With so many short drives, the Tigers did not rack up dynamic offensive stats, but they didn’t have to with the line opening huge holes on nearly every play.

“That was nice and with a bunch of new men up front,” said Merkel. “Parker Mentz played really well and Carson Keller played his best game on both sides of the ball.”

The running game produced, creating 106 yards on 14 attempts. The passing game was on fire with Halsey going seven of eight for 229 yards and four touchdowns. Those were just the numbers put up by the varsity offense in one half and one second-half possession.

“Cerney and Bauer aren’t going to go off like that every night, but you’re not going to stop them all night either,” said Merkel.

The defense came up with stop after stop, holding Redfield/Doland to 11 yards total offense in the first half. The varsity defense sacked Rohlfs four times and made a total of 12 tackles behind the line of scrimmage.

“As fast as we scored, it did make us play a lot of physical defense,” said Merkel.

Parker Blom, Jason Gerry and Olson had six tackles each. Keller had two of the four sacks.

Home opener

The Tigers open the home half of the season on Friday when they host the Sioux Falls Christian Chargers at Tiger Stadium for a 6 p.m. start.

This will be the first meeting between the two teams. The Chargers were an 11A team last fall.

Sioux Falls Christian opened the season with a dominating 24-6 win over two-time defending 11B champion Winner in Winner on Friday.

“This is going to be a real tough test,” said Merkel. “They’re going to be big and their going to be fast. I think we’ll be alright. We’re fast and we’re going to want it more.”

– Jay Davis –

Mobridge-Pollock (1-0)         13 20 8 8- 49

Redfield/Doland (0-1)               0  0 8 0-   8

First Quarter

MP- Nathan Bauer 35 run (kick failed) 8:21

MP- Bauer 38 pass from Caden Halsey (Tom Zott kick) 4:32

Second Quarter

MP- Dylan Cerney 70 pass from Halsey (Zott kick) 10:17

MP- Bauer 7 run (Zott kick) 8:36

MP- Reece Cerney 15 pass from Halsey (conversion failed) :26

Third Quarter

MP- Isaac Olson 44 pass from Halsey (R. Cerney pass from Halsey) 10:41

RD- Cooper Baloun 1 run (Max Baloun pass from Leyton Rohlfs) 1:47

Fourth Quarter

MP- Noah Feyereisen 53 run (Bryston Goehring pass from Cayden Eisemann) 8:42

Mobridge-Pollock: Rushing 23-144 (Feyereisen 1-53, Bauer 4-37, D. Cerney 3-33, Olson 3-21, Parker Blom 2-13, Halsey 2-2, Gavin Reinert 1-2, Dakota Nickels 1-0, Keene Schlomer 2-(-2), Eisemann 3-(-15); Passing (Halsey 7-8-0-229); Receiving (D. Cerney 1-70, Olson 1-44, Bauer 1-38, R. Cerney 2-33, Braxton Albers 1-24, Blom 1-20); 5 first downs; 0 turnovers; penalties 4-46.

Defense: Blom 6 tackles, Olson 6 tackles, .5, sack, Jason Gerry 6 tackles, fumble recovery, Stone Jensen 5 tackles, Carson Keller 3 tackles, 2 sacks, D. Cerney 4 tackles, 1.5 sacks, Nickels 4 tackles.

Redfield/Doland: 34-6 (C. Baloun 13-32, Gannon Pudwill 4-13, Carsten McNeil 6-2, Sean Louder 1-1, Seth Sattler 4-0, L. Rohlfs 5-(-17), Team 1-(-25); Passing (L. Rohlfs 7-20-0-71); Receiving (M. Baloun 3-33, Gage Clausen 2-37, Pudwill 1-1, C. Baloun 1-0); 9 first downs; 1 turnover; penalties 2-20.