Red Dogs drive by Diesel, 62-13

05/19/02 Rapid City Journal
RAPID CITY -- The 2,239 fans who attended the NIFL contest between the visiting Tri-City Diesel and the Rapid City Red Dogs were not only treated to an offensive show by the host team, but were also favored with a strong defensive effort as the Red Dogs hounded the Diesel, 62-13.

In fact, Tri-City's coach Leland Skeen, who characterized the game as a good old fashioned (butt) kicking, accurately stated that "They dominated us on both sides of the line. Their O-line and their defensive line pretty much had their way with us." Skeen added, "We didn't play well as a team, but our quarterbacks (victimized with three bad exchanges with the center that led to three recovered fumbles by the Red Dogs) were probably facing the best nose guard (Red Dog Andrae Rowe) in the NIFL."

Red Dogs coach Dan Maciejczak concurred. "Andrae's a hard worker and now he's in great shape," Maciejczak said. "He's a team leader, he's been one for us all season long. And one-on-one with a center he's hard to handle." Maciejczak, who has played center against Rowe in practice, knows of what he speaks first hand.

For the Red Dogs, back at .500 with a 5-5 record, this game was a chance to work their way out of some bad habits - losing large leads and letting opposing teams run rampant on kickoffs.

Rapid City, which has shown a penchant lately for building big leads only to squander them in losing efforts late in the game, came out determined in the second half after holding a 34-13 lead to change that with an opening six-play drive in the third quarter that stalled at the Tri-City 12-yard line. Aaron Turner's field goal attempt failed.

"I was a little bit worried about not scoring on that shot," Maciejczak said. "But with the way our defense and offense were playing, I wasn't too worried. We did still have that third quarter stall...we haven't figured out how to cure that. But it boils down to how your defense stops the other team."

Neither team could make headway until late in the period when the Red Dogs defense dogged the Diesel into four incomplete passes from the Rapid City nine-yard line. Although the Red Dogs registered no points in the third, they did manage to move down to Tri-City's nine-yard line then scored on the first play of the fourth on Murdock's pass to Antonio Conley, 41-13 at the 14:54 mark.

Tri-City's next series went just 5 plays as Rapid City took the ball over on downs. The Red Dogs immediately made good on he opportunity with Tom Skoog coming off the bench and running over the Diesel three consecutive times for 27 yards and the touchdown. At that point, the Red Dogs were well out in front 48-13 with 8:34 to play.

The next two possessions for the Diesel became the next two scoring possessions for the Dogs as Tri-City quarterback Justin Coleman fumbled the ball with Eric Rice recovering his second fumble of the game at the Tri-City 14-yard line. Rapid City's offense, buoyed by the defensive effort, reciprocated with two hard runs by Skoog, the second resulting in another TD for the 6-foot running back from Northern State, 55-13 at the 6:23 mark.

And after Tri-City fumbled again in the following series, this time by replacement quarterback Tavares Thompson at Tri-City's 14-yard, it took Skoog four blasts to find paydirt, 62-13 with 2:15 remaining.

There would be no letdowns this game.

The Red Dogs erupted in the opening quarter with two TDs to take a 14-3 lead.

Tri-City started the contest with a 39-yard kickoff return from Andre Hatcher that put the Diesel at Rapid City's 6-yard line. After the Red Dogs shut down three straight running plays, the Diesel settled for a 20-yard field goal by Darin Tankersley, TC 3-0, with 12:36 left in the first quarter.

"When they reeled off that long return I was worried," Maciejczak admitted. "But our defense did the job by keeping them to a field goal."

Rapid City answered quickly with a 5-yard touchdown pass from Jason Murdock to Brian Mills, 7-3, at the 8:41 mark.

The Red Dogs followed that up with a deep 25-yard TD toss from Murdock to Ryan Speed, 14-3, and just 3:17 remaining in the opening quarter. That series started courtesy of the defense's Eric Rice who scooped up the fumbled exchange between Tri-City's quarterback and center at the Red Dogs 11-yard line.

Tri-City's Tankersley added a 14-yard field goal just 13:55 into the second to close the deficit to 14-6.

But the Red Dogs were on a roll. Just three minutes after the Diesel's field goal, Rapid City scored again on a Murdock-to-Speed connection, this one going for 13-yards, 21-6 Red Dogs, and 10:35 left.

The Diesel's Sherman Jones scored from the two-yard line on Tri-City's next possession, a 7-play series, that was aided by a offsides penalty and a pass interference call on the Red Dogs two-yard line. Jones' TD run cut the lead to eight, 21-13, with seven minutes before halftime.

The Tri-City Diesel, 3-6, host Sioux Falls next week, while the Red Dogs have two weeks before they host the Bismarck Rough Riders.

Tri-City 3 10 0 0-13

Rapid City 14 20 0 28-62

Tri City-Darin Tankersley 20 FG

Rapid City-Brian Mills 5 pass from Jason Murdock (Aaron Turner kick)

Rapid City-Ryan Speed 25 pass from Murdock (Turner kick)

Tri City-Tankersley 14 FG

Rapid City-Speed 13 pass from Murdock (Turner kick)

Tri-City-Sherman Jones 2 run (Tankersley kick)

Rapid City-Mills 7 pass from Murdock (Turner kick)

Rapid City-Mills 30 pass from Murdock (Turner kick)

Rapid City-Antonio Conley 14 pass from Murdock (Turner kick)

Rapid City-Tom Skoog 7 run (Turner kick)

Rapid City-Skoog 12 run (Turner kick)

Rapid City-Skoog 1 run (Turner kick)


First downs 9 18

Rushes-yards 18-13 27-149

Passing yards 124 168

Comp-att 14-31-1 15-22-0

Return yards 8-137 4-64

Fumbles-lost 3-3 0-0

Penalties-yards 4-22 8-28

Sacks 0-0 2-10

Possesion Time 30:59 29:01


RUSHING-Tri City: Andre Hatcher 6-17, Jones 4-10, Smith 1-0, Tavar Thompson 3 (-5). Rapid City: Johnny Johnson 11-52, Skoog 10-51, Murdock 4-29, Speed 2-17.

PASSING-Tri City: Justin Coleman 13-28-0-113, Thompson 1-3-1-11. Rapid City: Murdock 15-22-0-168.

RECEIVING-Tri City: Greg Albright 7-75, Mitch Ables 4-35, Jones 2-7, Hatcher 1-7. Rapid City: Mills 6-81, Speed 5-72, Johnson 2-1, Conley 1-14.

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