The Tiger football season opened the season in dominating fashion with a 48-0 win over Miller/Highmore-Harrold in Miller on Friday.
“It was great,” said coach Paul Goehring. “For it being the first game of the year and a lot of kids getting their first start, they played well. We played pretty aggressive. We got up on them and didn’t let off.”
The Tigers owned the Rustlers on both sides of the ball. Miller/Highmore-Harrold received the ball to start the game and went three-and-out, for what would be the result of four of their first five possessions.
The Tigers started their first possession on the 35-yard line. Gavin Reinert moved the ball 11 yards to the 46 on the first play before Reese Cerney took a jet sweep around the end, turned upfield and raced 54 yards to the end zone to give the Tigers a 6-0 lead with 8:56 to play in the first quarter.
The second Tiger possession started at their own 33. On third and long, Caden Halsey went straight up the middle on a quarterback draw and outran Rustler defense for a 64-yard touchdown jaunt. Exchange student Paul Mueller kicked the first of his six extra points to give the Tigers a 13-0 lead at the 6:13 mark of the first quarter.
The Tigers went 55 yards in three plays on their third possession. Reinert again got a drive started with an 11-yard run. After playing tackle last season, Trace Cerney is playing fullback and tight end this year. He took advantage of being a skill position player when he caught a Halsey pass across the middle, took the ball outside and down the sideline for a 44-yard touchdown reception to give the Tigers a 20-0 lead with 3:40 still left to play in the opening quarter.
“Once he broke past the linebackers,” said Goehring, “that was pretty good.”
It was the defense’s turn next. With the Rustlers facing second and 11 from their own 43, quarterback Owen Fritsche threw a pass that Cayden Eisemann intercepted and took all the way back to the end zone for a touchdown with eight seconds left in the quarter.
The Tigers had two more scoring drives in the second quarter. Braden Goehring did the scoring honors on both of them. First, he made a leaping catch on a Halsey pass for a 10-yard touchdown and then scampered 67 yards on a jet sweep to give the Tigers a 41-0 lead with 3:28 left in the half.
“We did a nice job on the jet sweep,” said Goehring. “The tackles were key to that along with lead blocks by the backs.”
The Tigers ran five jet sweeps and gained 158 yards. Along with Braden Goehring and Reese Cerney, Bryston Goehring ran two sweeps for 39 yards.
With the clock running continuously after the intermission, the second half did not have much drama. The Tigers did lose a fumble on their possession, but they went on a long drive on their second possession that resulted in a one-yard touchdown run by Eisemann.
“The younger kids did a good job on defense,” said Goehring. “They came in to complete the shutout.”
The Tigers racked up 388 yards of offense, including 316 yards on 20 offensive snaps in the first half. That’s an average of 15.8 yards per play. Eight different runners combined for 295 yards rushing. Along with Goehring’s one run for 67 yards, Reinert had nine carries for 61 yards, Halsey four for 54 and Reese Cerney two for 52.
Halsey completed six of seven passes for 99 yards and two touchdowns.
“Halsey threw the ball pretty well,” said Goehring.
Eisemann’s four tackles and touchdown interception paced a defense that held Miller/Highmore-Harrold to 27 yards total offense and two first downs on 32 plays. The Tigers sacked Fritzche four times for losses totaling 36 yards. Seventeen of the Rustlers’ 32 plays went for zero or negative yardage.
With this being the first game of the year, the Tiger players recorded a number of career firsts and bests. On scoring plays alone: Reese Cerney’s touchdown was the longest run of his career and his first rushing touchdown; Caden Halsey’s 64-yard touchdown was the longest run of his career; Trace Cerney’s touchdown was the first reception of his career; Eisemann’s touchdown was the first interception and the first defensive touchdown of his career; Braden Goehring’s touchdowns were both firsts, his first touchdown reception and his first rushing touchdowns.
The Tigers play the Lead-Deadwood Golddiggers in Deadwood at 5 p.m., CDT, on Saturday.
The Tigers and Golddiggers are meeting on the gridiron for the first time. Lead-Deadwood is the 67th different team the Tigers have played all time.
Mobridge-Pollock (1-0) 27 14 0 7- 48
Miller/H-H (0-2) 0 0 0 0- 0
MP- Reese Cerney 54 run (kick failed) 8:56
MP- Caden Halsey 64 run (Paul Mueller kick) 6:13
MP- Trace Cerney 44 pass from Halsey (Mueller kick) 3:40
MP- Cayden Eisemann 50 interception return (Mueller kick) :08
MP- Braden Goehring 10 pass from Halsey (Mueller kick) 5:44
MP- Braden Goehring 67 run (Mueller kick) 3:28
MP- Eisemann 1 run (Mueller kick) 9:42
Mobridge-Pollock: Rushing 29-295 (Braden Goehring 1-67, Gavin Reinert 9-61, Halsey 4-54, R. Cerney 2-52, Bryston Goehring 2-39, Eisemann 4-22, T. Cerney 1-3, Ashton Pfitzer 6-(-3); Passing 9-12-0-93 (Halsey 6-7-0-99, Eisemann 3-5-0-(-6); Receiving (T. Cerney 2-64, Braden Goehring 2-27, Bryston Goehring 3-11, R. Cerney 1-6, Keene Schlomer 1-(-15); 15 first downs; 1 turnover; 1-5 penalties. Defense: Eisemann 4 tackles, interception, T. Cerney 3.5 tackles, Conner Wipf 2.5 tackles .5 sack, Tucker Holzer sack, Jacob Steiger sack, fumble recovery, Bryston Andrews sack, Kregen Norder .5 sack.
Miller/Highmore-Harrold: Rushing 15-21 (Tate Hoffman 7-36, Josh Lesnar 4-7, Gunner Brueggeman 3-4, Hunter Brueggeman 1-3, Jaden Anderberg 2-1, Owen Fritzsche 4-(-36); Passing (Fritsche 2-11-1-6); Receiving (Dylan McDonnell 1-3, Jordan Archambeau 1-3); 2 first downs; 2 turnovers; 1-5 penalties. Defense: Carson Palmer 5.5 tackles, 2 sacks, fumble recovery, Ryan Beckler 5 tackles, Colby Werdel 4 tackles.