Vermilion downed in home debut
by Tom Coombe
The Vermilion offense sputtered and struggled for much of its home debut.
That led to a slow start and allowed visiting North Dakota School of Science to open up a big lead and cruise to a 37-6 community college football victory last Saturday at soggy Ely School Stadium.
Vermilion was held to 190 yards of total offense, but 70 came on a fourth-quarter touchdown sprint by Octavis Cherry.
Cherry’s gallop to the end zone averted the shutout, but the Ironhawks fell to 0-3 for the season.
An all-freshman Vermilion squad lost the battle of field position throughout the contest, and the Wildcats had success early with their running game.
Chandler Ross had two first-half scores, chewing up yards on the opening drive and capping his team’s first possession with a one-yard scoring plunge.
Ross scored early in the second quarter to make it 14-0, and kicker Nik Hunchak had an impressive day, connecting on a 42-yard field goal midway through the second quarter with room to spare.
Hunchak also pushed Vermilion back with punts and kickoffs, and the NDSCS defense got in on the fun late in the second quarter when Vermilion was backed deep into its own territory as a result of a punt.
Not long after, Manny Garcia stepped in front of a Nick Glowack pass and ran it back 18 yards for a Wildcat touchdown and a 24-0 halftime lead.
Vermilion split quarterback duties but neither quarterback - Glowack or Quantarius Armstrong - found much success through the air.
Ironhawk quarterbacks combined to go four-for-14 passing for 40 yards and a pair of interceptions.
Armstrong ran for 53 yards, although Cherry had a team-best 87 based largely on his touchdown run.
Cartel Lamb two catches for 22 yards for Vermilion.
Despite scoring 37 points, NDSCS finished with just 242 net yards.
Vermilion has a long road trip today, going to Worthington to take on Minnesota West in a Minnesota Community Athletic Conference clash.
The Ironhawks’ only other home date is Oct. 15 with Rochester, led by former Vermilion Head Coach Terrence Isaac.