Ironmen stymied by state power

by Tom Coombe

To win on the road against undefeated Rochester, the Vermilion Ironmen had to keep their mistakes to a minimum.<BR><BR>Turning the ball over twice inside the Rochester 5-yard line, giving up a sack for a safety and amassing over 100 yards in penalties probably wasn’t what Vermilion Head Coach Keith Turner had in mind.<BR><BR>The community college football team misfired on too many opportunities, and the result was a 23-6 loss to the Yellowjackets, who emerged from the Sept. 11 contest with a 3-0 record.<BR><BR>Vermilion fell to 1-1, and Turner said his club missed out on a chance to pull the upset.<BR><BR>“Overall, I think if we take those mistakes away we can play with those guys,” said Turner.<BR><BR>Rochester had just 230 yards of total offense, but the Yellowjackets were aided by Vermilion turnovers and chances created by good field position<BR><BR>“Defensively we played very well,” said Turner. “But on offense we’d move the ball and then make mistake after mistake.”<BR><BR>Rochester led 7-0 in a first half controlled by the defenses, when VCC’s misfortunes began.<BR><BR>Quarterback Lenny Serfling was sacked in the end zone late in the half, allowing the hosts to take a 9-0 lead into the locker rooms.<BR><BR>Rochester returned the second-half kickoff to the Vermilion 30 and then fumbled, but two Ironmen missed out on a chance to recover the ball.<BR><BR>The Yellowjackets eventually turned the ball over on downs, but VCC was hampered by penalties that pushed the ball back deep into its own territory.<BR><BR>After a short punt, Rochester responded with a scoring drive that made it 16-0.<BR><BR>Vermilion got back in the game on the ensuing position.<BR><BR>Sophomore back Keena Turner broke away on a 60-yard run, and two plays later Serfling hooked up with Anthony Wiggins for a six-yard scoring play.<BR><BR>That made it 16-6, but VCC’s good fortunes wouldn’t last.<BR><BR>“We end up going for two and the snap went right over Lenny’s head,” said Keith Turner.<BR><BR>The Vermilion defense stiffened and created further opportunity for the offense.<BR><BR>Twice in the fourth quarter, Vermilion got to the Rochester five.<BR><BR>One drive ended on a fumble, and another was stalled when the Ironmen turned the ball over on downs.<BR><BR>The Ironmen got inside Rochester territory one more time in the final quarter, but a Serfling pass was picked off.<BR><BR>That set up the Yellowjackets’ final score of the day.<BR><BR>Vermilion played Ridgewater over the weekend, and the Ironmen are on the road this Saturday, going to Brainerd to take on Central Lakes.<BR><BR>