M State hang on for 1st win over VCC 26-23Published 8:56am Monday, September 10, 2012
The M State Spartan football team traveled to Ely on Saturday to take on the Vermillion Community College Ironmen and came away with a hard fought, come from behind 27-26 victory.
The Ironmen opened the scoring on their second possession of the game as a perfectly executed halfback pass hit a wide open receiver for a 70 yard touchdown completion. The Ironman extra point attempt was blocked by Spartan linebacker Garrett Stokeling and Eric Riley scooped the ball up in the end zone, received a key block from Andrew Brooks and went 109 yards to the Spartan end zone. This resulted in two points for the Spartans and Vermillion led 6-2.
Vermillion added to their lead on their next possession, converting a fourth down and seven for a 19 yard touchdown pass. The two point conversion was good to stretch the lead to 14-2.
The Spartans would score respond on a play action pass play that found Logan Connelly on the receiving end of a Jarod Mold pass for a 62 yard touchdown. This was Connelliy’s first collegiate touchdown reception. The 2 point conversion failed and the Spartans trailed 14-8.
Running backs Hayden Zenner and Victor Lumley were both injured and unable to play, but Jake Schauer, freshman from Eagle Valley High School, filled in nicely and scored the next Spartan touchdown on a 28 yard burst.
That lead didn’t last long as Vermillion marched 60 yards on 10 plays, aided by two costly Spartan penalties, to score a go ahead touchdown with under a minute left in the half. The two point attempt failed and the half closed with Vermillion leading 20-15.
The Ironmen scored on their opening drive of the second half and took a commanding 26-15 lead.
A 39 yard kickoff return by Freshman Jacobi Scruggs set the Spartans up with great field position at the Ironman 31 yard line. 10 run plays, Spartan quarterback Jarod Mold turned a broken play into a five yard touchdown run. The two point conversion failed, but the Spartans had cut the Ironman lead to 26-21.
The Spartans still trailed 26-21 well into the fourth quarter, until Riley intercepted an Ironman pass and rambled 45 yards for the Spartan go ahead touchdown. The Spartans failed again at a two point conversion, but took a 27-26 lead.
Vermillion had one last shot and drove to the Spartan 27 yard line. On a 3rd down and 16, Spartan freshman Michael Atonio sacked the quarterback and forced a fumble which was recovered by sophomore Garrett Stokeling. The Spartans did have to punt the ball back to the Ironmen, but the defense held on and time ran out for the Spartan 27-26 win.
“Obviously as a coach, you always want to play better and win going away, but that just doesn’t happen for us, every game is going to be tough” added King. “I am very proud of the guys for battling back and winning a difficult game. Hopefully this will lead to a great week of practice and a great performance on Saturday against a very good Ridgewater team.”
The Spartans will host Ridgewater College at Spartan Field on Saturday September 15. Kickoff is set for 1:30.