The Vermillion Tanagers football squad traveled to Canton Friday, Sept. 17 and learned that the C-Hawks number one ranking comes not only from talent, but also from their ability to surprise their opponents.
The C-Hawks overwhelmed Vermillion on the gridiron, defeating the Tanagers 42-7 by inflicting all of their damage to the Tanagers in the first half.
After securing a 7-0 lead with a touchdown with about five minutes left to go in the first quarter, Canton added to the Tanagers’ misery with a successful onside kick that allowed them to secure the ball on the Tanagers’ 37-yard line with about 4:30 left in the quarter.
Canton soon scored another touchdown and with a success point after attempt held a 14-0 lead. The C-Hawks surprised the Tanagers once again with a second successful onside kick, securing the ball at the 36-yard line. They successfully moved the ball down the field and scored a third touchdown with just over a minute left in the first quarter, taking a 21-0 lead.
“I wish I had an answer to our lack of recognition … our kids certainly don’t try to do those things, but they seem to be confused, seem to not understand,” coach Tom O’Boyle said following the game during an interview on the Vermillion Stream YouTube channel. “The ball is kicked, everybody is looking at it and we choose not to recover it.”
Canton scored yet another touchdown with 10:20 left in the second quarter. The Tanagers offense responded by moving the ball down the field and getting it into the endzone with a little over 3 minutes left until halftime.
The C-Hawks player, however, ran the Tanagers’ kickoff down the length of the field to score a touchdown, giving Canton a 35-7 lead with about 3 minutes left in the game.
Following a Tanagers fumble, Canton was able to score again. The halftime score was 42-7 and no additional points were scored by either team in the second half.
“We certainly have glaring things to work on this week,” the coach said.
He noted that the C-Hawks did a nice job running the ball hard without turning it over.
“They played mistake-free football and unfortunately we didn’t,” the coach said. “We threw an interception, we came out to throw the ball, to get them off of us a little bit and we weren’t accurate.
“We’ll figure out why and work on that,” coach O’Boyle said. “Our task is to improve each and every week and I think we took a step back tonight in a big way from our performance a week ago. We’ll go to work, we’ll take a look at film and we’ll keep trying to put kids in the best place to make this team better.”
Improvements must be made to the Tanagers’ offense, he said.
“The onus is on me as the guy running the offense and putting kids into position to be successful,” coach O’Boyle said. “It seems that at times we have six or seven kids playing real hard and doing their job and then we have three or four guys that aren’t bringing it for the team.
“We lost to a good football team. I certainly don’t want to take anything from Canton,” he said. “I certainly hope we right this ship and get an opportunity to see this team again. I think they’ll see a much better version of who we are.”
The Tanagers, now 2-2, travel to face the 3-1 Lennox Orioles on Friday.