The Vermillion High School football team played their homecoming game against Tri-Valley last Friday in the DakotaDome. The Tanagers fell to the Mustangs 7-20.

“The team learned that we have to finish drives and how important each time we have the ball is,” said head coach Andy Homan. “Everything we did Friday is fixable, and we will just keep getting after it.”

Tri-Valley took a 6-0 lead after a touchdown and missed the extra point in the first quarter.

The Tanagers had a tough time finishing a possession against Tri-Valley’s defense. The opponents added to their lead with a touchdown and 2-point conversion in the second quarter.

Vermillion was down 0-14 at the half. Tri-Valley carried their momentum into the third quarter as they scored another six to increase their score to 20.

In the fourth quarter, the Tanagers got on the scoreboard as sophomore quarterback Charlie Ward threw nearly 30 yards to junior Connor Saunders who ran it 30 more yards for a touchdown.

Saunders also made the extra point. The Tanagers were on the board 7-20 but did not have enough time for a comeback.

Vermillion lost to Tri-Valley 7-20. Ward had 24 completions in the game for 272 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions.

Saunders had 10 receptions for a total of 134 yards. Junior Cael Mockler had four receptions for 38 yards.

Saunders had six rushing attempts for 18 yards total. Junior John LaCognata had three for 15 yards.

Senior Kobe Culver had the team-high 18 tackles, one solo and 15 assisted. Sophomore Zach Brady tallied 11 tackles, and senior Trevor Tarr 10.

Vermillion will travel to Yankton this Friday to play class 11AA competition at 7 p.m. The Tanagers are not viewing them as a bigger team, however, and will prepare as they usually do for any opponent.

“They are a high school team, just as we are a high school team,” said coach Homan. “We are going to get ready to play football, just like they are going to get ready to play football.”

The Tanagers will return to the DakotaDome next Friday to play Sioux Falls Christian at 7 p.m.

Tri-Valley (3-0) – 6 8 6 0 – 20

Vermillion (1-2) – 0 0 0 7 – 7

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