The Tigers scored two touchdowns in each of the first three quarters to run away for a 43-6 win over Sisseton at Tiger Stadium on Friday.
The Tigers stopped Sisseton on a three-and-out to start the game and then put the first six points on the scoreboard in a hurry. Reese Cerney returned the punt 30 yards to the Sisseton 24 and on the first play from scrimmage, Tucson Freeman scampered 24 yards into the end zone.
Sisseton responded with a 72-yard drive and tied the game on a 20-yard touchdown run by Anthony Tschida.
The drive never should have been. The Tigers had the Redmen looking at third and five on the third play of the drive when an encroachment call gave Sisseton a first down.
Coach Paul Goehring said the Tiger defense had to make an adjustment following the scoring drive.
“The whole team was tackling a bit too high,” said Goehring, adding that the team had to loosen up the linebackers, so they weren’t overrunning the cutback lanes.
The adjustment took care of what the Tigers needed to do on defense. Sisseton did not earn another first down until midway through the fourth quarter.
On offense, the Tigers kept on putting points on the board. The Tigers answered Sisseton with a five-play 83-yard drive. Isaac Olson started it with a 54-yard run and ended it with a 15-yard touchdown run.
“Isaac did a really good job of hitting the holes,” said Goehring.
The next drive was quick. Facing third and nine at their own 32-yard line, Caden Halsey launched a long pass to Cerney who corralled the ball at the 30, cut around a defender and raced to the end zone to give the Tigers a 19-6 lead with 9:32 left in the first half.
Goehring said the play worked just like it was drawn up.
“The run set up the pass,” said Goehring. “We said we were going to use play-action to go deep on that drive.”
Two possessions later, Halsey and Braxton Albers took over. Halsey hit Albers for an eight-yard gain to start the drive and a 27-yard gain to set the Tigers up before hitting Albers in stride at the goal line for a 33-yard touchdown pass.
“Braxton is playing well,” said Goehring. “The way he’s playing, teams are going to have to start thinking twice about doubling Reese.”
The Tigers opened the second half with a short drive set up by a Cerney 58-yard kickoff return. Olson took the first handoff and rumbled 31 yards to set up first and goal. Two plays later, Halsey found Albers open in the end zone to lift the Tiger lead to 35-6.
The Tiger special teams and defense stepped to the forefront to set up the next two scores. With Sisseton facing a fourth and long, Kregen Norder broke through and blocked a punt that set up a one-play drive with Olson doing the honors from 11 yards out.
On Sisseton’s next possession, Keene Schlomer caused a fumble and Albers recovered, but when the Tigers went deep it was intercepted, giving the Redmen the ball at their two-yard line. Two plays later, Hudson Filler and Jacob Steiger led a Tiger charge that sacked Sisseton quarterback Ty Peterson in the end zone to make the score 43-6 Tigers with 2:10 left in the third quarter.
The rest of the game went quickly as the Tiger JV controlled most of the action while the clock ran continuously due to the 35-point rule.
The Tigers racked up 298 yards of offense, despite Sisseton doing its best to keep the clock running and shorten the game. Olson ran for 133 yards and scored two touchdowns on just eight carries to lead the ground game. Halsey needed just eight pass attempts to complete six for 147 yards and two touchdowns. Albers finished with four catches for 75 yards.
Other than the scoring drive, Sisseton had just 65 yards and one first down on offense the rest of the game and 31 of those yards came late in the fourth quarter.
The Tigers play at 3-4 McLaughlin on Friday with a chance to secure one of the top two spots in Class 11B Region 1 and a home game in the first round of the playoffs.
Goehring said the Tigers are going to put future games out of their mind come Friday.
“We’re going to worry about us,” said Goehring. “We’re not going to worry about who or where we play next. We’re going to go out and play and get better.”
Last season the Tigers beat the Mustangs 50-0 in the first football game played between the two schools since WWII. The Tigers are 7-0 all-time against McLaughlin. Before last fall, the teams previously played in 1920, 1921, 1925, 1926 and twice in 1945.
Sisseton (1-6) 6 0 0 0- 6
Mobridge-Pollock (4-3) 13 14 16 0- 43
MP- Tucson Freeman 24 run (kick failed) 10:10
S- Anthony Tschida 20 run (conversion failed) 4:02
MP- Isaac Olson 15 run (Feyereisen kick) 1:26
MP- Reese Cerney 68 pass from Caden Halsey (conversion failed) 9:32
MP- Logan Albers 33 pass from Halsey (Halsey run) 1:26
MP- Albers 7 pass from Halsey (Cerney pass from Halsey) 10:27
MP- Olson 11 run (conversion failed) 7:53
MP- Safety, Hudson Filler, Jacob Steiger tackle Ty Peterson in end zone 2:10
Sisseton: Rushing 39-104 (Tschida 5-43, Christian Kirk 13-27, Isiah Grimm 11-20, Peterson 9-18, Isaiah Harrison 1-(-4)); Passing (Peterson 3-6-0-28); Receiving (Trevor Anderson 2-29, Kirk 1-(-1)); 5 first downs; 1 turnover; 2-15 penalties. Defense: Peterson interception.
Mobridge-Pollock: Rushing 22-151 (Olson 8-133, Freeman 6-33, Gavin Reinert 2-4, Tucker Holzer 1-3, Halsey 3(-21)); Passing 6-13-1-147 (Halsey 6-8-1-147, Cayden Eisemann 0-6-0-0); Receiving (Albers 4-75, Cerney 1-68, Olson 1-4); 7 first downs; 1 turnover; 2-20 penalties. Defense: Albers fumble recovery, Kregen Norder blocked punt, Keene Schlomer forced fumble. Defense: Olson 6 tackles, Trace Cerney 6 tackles, Jayce Chasing Hawk 5 tackles, Holzer 5 tackles, Albers 2 tackles, fumble recovery, Keene Schlomer 2 tackles, forced fumble.