Vermilion blanked in debut
by Tom Coombe
The all-freshmen Vermilion football team got a rough introduction to college football.
Mesabi, with a deeper and more experienced roster that even included a few players who formerly wore Vermilion blue and gold, ran roughshod in Saturday’s season-opener and cruised to a 55-0 win at Mt. Iron.
Former Vermilion quarterback Trinate Jacobs passed for two touchdowns and ran for another - all in the first quarter - while the Mesabi defense dominated at the line of scrimmage.
The Norse, who avenged a 2021 defeat to Vermilion, rank up a 41-0 lead by halftime and had an immense 385-33 edge in total yards.
Vermilion averaged less than a yard per play and its offensive line was dominated by Mesabi early on.
Special teams were also key with Vermilion having a pair of punts blocked on the sunny early-September afternoon.
The game was decided early on as Mesabi struck first in the opening quarter on a 36-yard pass form Jacobs to Aundreus Griffin.
After an exchange of turnovers, the Norse drove 59 yards on only six plays with Jacobs plowing in from two yards out.
A blocked punt set up Mesabi’s third score - a five-yard completion from Jacobs to Justice Johnson - and it was 20-0 after the opening frame.
The rout was on as Mesabi added three more second quarter scores - including two Johnson catches and another on a 40-yard punt return by Carson Harris.
Mesabi used three different quarterbacks and seven different backs gained at least 10 yards on the ground.
Jordan Haney and Tynan Saney both had a sack-and-a-half for the winners and the Norse had a whopping 17 tackles for losses during the game.
Vermilion quarterback Myles Holder went seven-for-14 through the air for 44 yards and Jon’Terrius Turner had four total receptions. Elijah Moore was the top ground gainer with 12 yards on seven attempts.
On defense, the Ironhawks’ Alexander Briggs and Kyland Nash both were in on 10 tackles each while Christopher Edmonds finished with four solo stops and contributed to nine tackles overall.
Chauncey White-Oliver finished with eight tackles, Casey Chavalier had seven, and Ramon Arrington and Christian Simmons wound up with five each for Vermilion, which returns to action Sept. 17 at Minnesota West.
The home debut is slated for Sept. 24 against North Dakota School of Science.