Diesel suffers 62-13 loss to Rapid City

05/20/02 Kearney Cyberhub
Tri-City coach Leland Skeen characterized the Diesel's 62-13 loss to Rapid City on Saturday night as a "good old-fashioned butt kicking."

"They dominated us on both sides of the line," Skeen said. 'Their O-line and their defensive line pretty much had their way with us."

Rapid City led 34-13 at halftime and opened the third quarter with a six-play drive 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," Rapid City coach Dan 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 third quarter 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 quarter, they did manage to move deep into Tri-City's territory and scored on the first play of the fourth quarter on Jason Murdock's pass to Antonio Conley.

Tri-City's next series lasted just four 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 reciprocated with two hard runs by Tom Skoog, the second of which gave the Red Dogs a 55-13 lead with 6:23 remaining.

Tri-City fumbled again in the following series, this time by replacement quarterback Tavares Thompson, and it took Skoog four blasts to find paydirt.

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.

"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.

The Red Dogs followed that up with a deep 25-yard scoring toss from Murdock to Ryan Speed, 14-3, and just 3:17 remaining in the opening quarter.

The  Diesel host Sioux Falls next week, while the Red Dogs have two weeks off before they host the Bismarck Rough Riders.

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