VCC derailed in defeat

by Tom Coombe

They moved the ball. Their defense was sound. Opportunities were numerous.<BR><BR>But all the Vermilion Ironmen had to show for their Sept. 18 home matchup with Ridgewater was a disappointing loss.<BR><BR>The visiting Warriors kept the community college football team out of the end zone until the final quarter and held on to win 15-7.<BR><BR>The Ironmen fell to 1-2 and misfired on several chances to take control of the game.<BR><BR>Vermilion amassed nearly 400 yards of total offense, but didn’t score until a fourth-quarter throw from quarterback Lenny Serfling to Irvin Bethea.<BR><BR>“There were too many inconsistencies, missed assignments,” said Vermilion Head Coach Keith Turner. “Defensively we played very tough and the kids are getting after it. I attribute that to sophomore leadership on that side of the ball. I think on offense now our guys realized the speed of the game, especially the offensive line and the receivers. Receivers can’t jog their routes and get to where they’re supposed to be.”<BR><BR>The defensive units on both sides were in command in the opening quarter, and while VCC moved the ball well at times, the offense always stalled before it could put points on the board.<BR><BR>The only touchdown of the first half came in the second quarter, when Ridgewater’s Aaron Minter hooked up with Scott Bicknese on a 10-yard scoring pass. The extra-point failed and it was 6-0 at the half.<BR><BR>Ridgewater tacked on three more points in the third on Kyle Anderson’s 30-yard field goal.<BR><BR>Trailing 9-0, VCC was still in the game going into the fourth quarter, but a long bomb helped seal it for the visitors.<BR><BR>Minter found Lee Foemmel and it turned into a 40-yard scoring play.<BR><BR>Vermilion got on track later in the fourth, driving down the field and scoring on Serfling’s 30-yard completion to Bethea.<BR><BR>Serfling completed 13-of-25 passes for 269 yards, and the Ironmen rushed for over 100 yards in the contest, but the only time VCC put points on the board was in the final quarter.<BR><BR>“I think in the fourth quarter we realized what we had to do to move the ball,” said Turner. “We picked up the blitz and looked a lot better.”<BR><BR>Bethea finished with eight catches for 133 yards and on defense, Ed Wilson led with six solo tackles and six assisted stops.<BR><BR>The Ironmen went to Brainerd over the weekend to take on Central Lakes, and they open Northern Division play Saturday with a difficult assignment. Vermilion goes to Mesabi to take on the undefeated, nationally-ranked Norsemen.