Turnovers sink Vermilion

Ironmen cough the ball up nine times in 51-20 home loss to Rochester

GIVING CHASE - Vermilion’s Jontez Chaney, Leandro DeBrito and Luke Miske converge on a Rochester ball carrier last Saturday at Ely School Stadium. The visiting Yellowjackets capitialized on nine VCC turnovers and two blocked punts in a 51-20 victory. Photos by Eric Sherman.

by Tom Coombe
Whatever could go wrong, did go wrong on Saturday for the Vermilion Ironmen.
The community college football team lost 51-20 to Rochester, but the score told just part of the story of a bizarre day at Ely School Stadium.
Twice in one quarter, Vermilion had punts blocked and returned for touchdowns.
The Ironmen also turned the ball over a whopping nine times - including six interceptions - while dropping their third game in four contests.
Total yards were roughly equal for the afternoon, but VCC’s many mistakes spoiled any hope for an upset.
Rochester (1-3) pounced quickly, forcing VCC to turn the ball over on downs and coming up with an interception as the Ironmen got the ball into Yellowjacket territory on their first two possessions.
Greg Henry capped a five-play, 53-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown plunge, and quarterback James Stovall connected with ElRay Duncan on a 21-yard scoring strike as Rochester led 14-0 after one quarter.
Turnovers continued to plague VCC and the second quarter all but sealed matters.
The Yellowjackets moved 75 yards in 11 plays as Raymonte Maynard scored from a yard away, and Rochester got to VCC punter Justin Freyholtz twice in the quarter. Henry scooped one punt in and ran it back for a score while Treevon Prater blocked another in the end zone and fell on it.
VCC quarterback Ryan Walker found Denzell Adams on a long bomb that went for 80 yards and an Ironmen score, but that was the lone first half highlight as the hosts trailed 35-6 at the break.
A Walker-to-Tevin Sudduth pass went for eight yards and a Vermilion score to make it 35-12 early in the third, but that’s as close as it would get.
Kicker Dylan Stetter nailed a 43-yard field goal, while backup quarterback Cornelius Hudson as well as Maynard added touchdown runs.
Adams, who relieved Walker as the Vermilion quarterback, hooked up with wide receiver Carlis Richardson for a late touchdown.
Rochester finished with 400 yards of total offense, compared to 402 for the Ironmen, but the hosts’ many mistakes spoiled their chance for victory.
Prater had two interceptions and a fumble recovery for the winners and Henry rushed for 110 yards.
Adams had five catches for 175 yards for the Ironmen, and teammate Peter St. Fluer had seven receptions.
Vermilion looks to bounce back Saturday when it hosts Mesabi (1:30 p.m.) in its second straight home game.
• Prior to last weekend’s game, about a dozen members of Vermilion’s 2006 state and national champion football team were introduced.
Quarterback Chuck Hughes, who came all the way from Philadephia, was among those who returned to Ely for a weekend celebration and reunion.
The 2006 team went 12-1, beat Rochester for the state title and lost to Butler (Kan.) in the Dalton Defenders Bowl in Coffeyville, Kan.