After 20 years and 17 games, the Tigers are the victors against Aberdeen Roncalli. The Tigers forced six turnovers and scored two third quarter touchdowns to defeat the Cavaliers 14-8 in Aberdeen on Friday.
“What a great win,” said coach Paul Goehring. “It was a great win for the kids and for the program.”
Trailing 8-0 early in the third quarter, the Tigers took control of the game. With the Cavaliers facing third and long on their first possession of the second half, Trace Cerney picked off a Brady Morgan pass and took the ball 44 yards to the Cavalier two-yard line.
“That play turned the game around,” said Goehring.
It wasn’t easy, but three plays later, Caden Halsey took the ball into the end zone for the Tigers’ first score. The conversion failed, but the lead was cut to 8-6.
On the Cavaliers’ next possession, the Tigers forced a fumble recovered by Reese Cerney. The Tigers pounded the ball for 29 yards on six plays with Isaac Olson plunging over for the go-ahead touchdown. Halsey hit Reese Cerney for the two-point conversion, giving the Tigers a 14-6 lead.
The defense and Olson took over after that. The defense got the ball back with turnovers on Roncalli’s last three possessions. Reese Cerney picked off balls in two straight possessions, before Noah Feyereisen thwarted the Cavaliers’ last effort with an interception when Roncalli was inside the 20.
Olson did the work on the offensive end. In the second half alone, Olson carried the ball 23 time for 68 yards, including getting two first downs on the final drive. For the game, Olson had 33 carries for 123 yards. The Tigers did not complete a pass in the game but ran the ball 56 times for 147 yards. Halsey had 16 yards rushing (including yards lost on three Roncalli sacks), including a 12-yard run to set up the go-ahead touchdown and a 10-yard run for a first down on the closing drive.
“Our game plan did not have Olson touching the ball much,” said Goehring. “But he had a 10-yard run for a first down late in the second quarter that was kind of an eye-opener. Caden’s bootlegs got us some important yards.”
Things did not look like they would go the Tigers’ way in the early going. On the Cavaliers’ second possession, Morgan took the ball up the middle, cut outside and raced 60 yards to the end zone. The two-point conversion gave Roncalli an 8-0 lead with seven minutes left in the first quarter. On their next possession, the Cavaliers drove down to the Tiger 11 before a Trace Cerney sack forced a field goal attempt that missed to the left.
After that, the defenses held the offenses at bay and the teams went to halftime with the 8-0 score.
For the Tigers, the defense was key. After Morgan went eight for 11 for 83 yards in the first half, the Tigers picked him off four times and held him to four for 14 passing after the intermission.
“Coach Knudson did a really good job of mixing up the defenses,” said Goehring, “and Reese Cerney made some awesome plays.”
Along with his pounding the ball up the middle to pound on the Roncalli defense, Olson led the defense with eight tackles, a quarterback sack and a fumble recovery. Kregen Norder had four tackles, while Trace Cerney and Hudson Filler had three tackles each.
Goehring said that this is the kind of win that shows his young men what all their hard work can culminate in.
“The plan was to be better conditioned and wear them out,” said Goehring. “We did that. [The win] was a lot of fun for the kids.”
The Tigers host Stanley County in the annual homecoming game at Tiger Stadium on Friday with opening kickoff at 7 p.m.
Stanley County the started season 0-2, but the losses were to third-ranked Mt. Vernon/Plankinton and fifth-ranked Winner. Since then they have beaten Wagner and Custer.
Goehring said the Buffaloes are going to be an athletic, fast team.
“We have to stop the jet sweep with the Carter kid and the Gabriel kid can run too,” said Goehring, “and their quarterback can throw.”
What the Tigers are going to do is just what they have been doing, playing hard-nosed, stout football.
“We have our foot on the pedal and we’re not going to take it off,” said Goehring.
This is the 12th meeting between the Tigers and Buffaloes. The Tigers hold a 6-5 edge, but Stanley County won the last one, a 17-14 win in Ft. Pierre last season. That game was Stanley County’s homecoming game.
Mobridge-Pollock (2-1) 0 0 14 0- 14
Aberdeen Roncalli (2-2) 8 0 0 0- 8
AR- Brady Morgan 65 run (Jaden Karst run)
MP- Caden Halsey 1 run (conversion failed)
MP- Isaac Olson 1 run (Reese Cerney pass from Halsey)
Mobridge-Pollock: Rushing 56-147 (Olson 33-123, Tucson Freeman 5-14, Halsey 16-12, Jayce Chasing Hawk 1-(-1), Cerney 1-(-1)); Passing (Halsey 0-4-1-0); 8 first downs; 1 turnover; 6-55 penalties. Defense: Olson 8 tackles, sack, fumble recovery, Kregen Norder 4 tackles, Trace Cerney 3 tackles, sack, interception, Hudson Filler 3 tackles, Reese Cerney, fumble recovery, 2 interceptions, Noah Feyereisen interception.
Aberdeen Roncalli: Rushing 23-99 (Morgan 12-77, Sam Mounga 11-22); Passing (Morgan 12-25-4-158); Receiving (Karst 6-98, Spencer Titus 2-30, Mounga 3-29, Brandon Fauth 1-7); 10 first downs; 6 turnovers; 7-45 penalties.