VCC knocks off Central Lakes

by Tom Coombe

A dominant first-half performance lifted the Vermilion Ironmen to victory Sept. 25 at Brainerd.<BR><BR>The community college football team built a 23-0 lead in the first half and cruised to a 30-14 win over Central Lakes, ending a two-game losing skid and evening its record at 2-2.<BR><BR>“We needed that one badly,” said Vermilion Head Coach Keith Turner. “It was 23-0 before you knew it, but we were a little flat after that.”<BR><BR>Sophomore quarterback Lenny Serfling threw for two scores in the first half, while defensive end Abraham Morales picked off a pass and returned it 66 yards for a touchdown.<BR><BR>Kicker Bob Karr got VCC off to a 3-0 lead with a 36-yard field goal and the Ironmen were on their way.<BR><BR>Otis Greenlaw’s opening quarter interception, the first of his two picks on the afternoon, set up a Vermilion touchdown.<BR><BR>Serfling connected with receiver Jason Vinje on a nine-yard touchdown pass to put Vermilion ahead 10-0.<BR><BR>Later in the quarter, Serfling and Ervin Bethea hooked up for a 36-yard scoring play.<BR><BR>The VCC defense stymied Central Lakes for much of the first half, and Morales gave the Ironmen a commanding lead with a defensive touchdown.<BR><BR>“He stepped in front of a screen pass, picked it off and ran it all the way back,” said Turner.<BR><BR>But despite the big lead, the Ironmen had to work a bit in the second half to preserve the victory.<BR><BR>A third-quarter lull led to a pair of Central Lakes touchdowns, both on passes from quarterback Cory Londree, and the Raiders trimmed the gap to 23-14 after three quarters.<BR><BR>“We were flat in the third quarter,” said Turner.<BR><BR>The Ironmen turned to their running game to help seal things.<BR><BR>Tyree Pinder, a freshman back from Ocala, Fla., led the way.<BR><BR>He finished with a team-high 100 yards on 11 carries, and his seven-yard scoring run made it 30-14 and put the Ironmen back in control.<BR><BR>Ed Wilson led the Vermilion defense with 11 tackles.<BR><BR>Serfling completed six-of-12 passes for 135 yards.<BR><BR>The win put Vermilion at the .500 mark heading into Northern Division play.<BR><BR>Over the weekend, the Ironmen were in Virginia to tangle with undefeated, nationally-ranked Mesabi, the prohibitive favorite for the division title.<BR><BR>They resume division play Thursday, with a home game (7 p.m.) against Itasca.