By Jay Davis
The number one team in Class 11B got off to a fast start and never looked back. Aberdeen Roncalli scored 34 points in the first half and went on to beat the Tigers 48-7 at Tiger Stadium on Friday.
“We came out playing slow and tense,” said coach Nathan Lamb. “We weren’t moving and weren’t getting over to our spots. We were always a step away from being in the right spots.”
Roncalli drove 63 yards for a touchdown on its first possession and 77 yards for a score on its second possession to take an early 14-0 lead.
After the Tiger offense punted for a third time, the defense stopped Roncalli for the first time. That somehow set up a chain of events that put the game out of reach. When Roncalli went to punt, Chase Schoenhard busted through the line and blocked his second punt of the season, giving the Tigers the ball at the 45-yard line.
On the Tigers first play, the Cavalier defense blitzed and caused a fumble that Zach Andera scooped up and raced 56 yards to the end zone, giving Roncalli a 21-0 lead.
On the Tigers’ ensuing possession, another fumble turned into a Lucas Lorenz 32-yard return for a touchdown. Suddenly the score was 27-0 with 8:22 left in the second quarter.
The Tigers started getting something going on the next possession and drove 45 yards to the Roncalli 24, but a pass interception thwarted the drive.
Roncalli took advantage and drove 68 yards, scoring with 56 seconds left in the half and taking a 34-0 lead.
The Tigers played Roncalli to a 14-7 game in the second half. Mobridge-Pollock put its points on the board when Austin Borah found an opening, broke a couple tackles and pushed his way into the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown run with 11:49 left in the game.
“In the second half we got a little more confidence and played pretty well,” said Lamb. “The scores may not show it, but we’re getting closer to where we want to be. We’re real close.”
After gaining just three yards in the first half, Borah finished the game with 70 yards on 15 carries. Mason Keller threw for 83 yards on eight of 14 passing.
Noah Chase and Jason Hill each caught three balls for 28 yards. Ethan Kettering had two receptions for 27 yards.
Roncalli quarterback Zach Lundquist and running back Dalton Cox were the main instigators of the Cavalier offense in the game. Lundquist was nine of 13 passing for 171 yards and three touchdowns. Cox ran for 81 yards and caught passes for 60 yards, while scoring two touchdowns.
Lamb expects his Tigers to play well as the season continues.
“We’ve got some playmakers on this team and we’re getting better at making adjustments,” said Lamb.
The Tigers will shoot for that elusive win number one against Crow Creek in Stephan on Friday.
Crow Creek is 2-2 with wins over Cheyenne-Eagle Butte and St. Francis, but has never beaten the Tigers. Mobridge-Pollock is 6-0 all-time against the Chieftains including a 64-6 romp last fall in Mobridge. The closest game in the six-game series was a 43-12 game in 2006.
The Tigers go to Chamberlain the following week before coming home to host number two-ranked Winner on Oct. 11.
“It will be a good two weeks for the team,” said Lamb. “This is going to be about pride, not caring what the score is, and winning every down.”
Aberdeen Roncalli (3-0) 14 20 8 6- 48
Mobridge-Pollock (0-3) 0 0 0 7- 7
AR- Brayden Hilton 15 run (Sam Van Orman kick)
AR- Dalton Cox 20 pass from Zach Lundquist (Van Orman kick)
AR- Zach Andera 56 fumble return (Van Orman kick)
AR- Lucas Lorenz 32 fumble return (kick failed)
AR- Cox 18 pass from Lundquist (Van Orman kick)
AR- Anthony Andera 10 pass from Lundquist (Brayden McNeary pass from Lundquist)
MP- Austin Borah 20 run (Chase Schoenhard kick)
AR- Hilton 5 run (kick blocked)
Aberdeen Roncalli: Rushing 37-174 (Cox 11-81, Hilton 9-50, A. Andera 5-189); Passing 11-15-0-184 (Lundquist 9-13-171, McNeary 2-2-13); Receiving (Cox 4-60, Lorenz 2-30, A. Andera 2-39); 18 first downs; 1 turnover. Defense: McNeary 8.5 tackles, Cox 7 tackles).
Mobridge-Pollock: Rushing 23-87 (Borah 15-70, Mason Keller 8-17); Passing (Keller 8-14-1-83); Receiving (Noah Chase 3-28, Jason Hill 3-28, Ethan Kettering 2-27); 11 first downs; 3 turnovers. Defense: Lucas Ulmer 6.5 tackles, Schoenhard 6 tackles, Keller 6 tackles, Jordan Feist 5.5 tackles, Borah 4.5 tackles, Chase 4.5 tackles, Brett Lang 4 tackles.