Thunder lose 40-22 to Vermilion Community College
Game Summary and Statistics
by Jonathan Becker, FDLTCC Student
On Saturday, September 10, the Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College Thunder played host to the Vermilion Community College Ironmen at NBC Spartan Sports Complex in Superior, WI. Trailing 6-0 at halftime, the Ironmen pulled away with 27 points in the third quarter to cruise to a 40-22 victory over the Thunder.
Both teams struggled to find any type of offensive flow during the first half that was plagued with penalties and miscues. The Thunder led 6-0 at the halftime break after running back Darion Griner put the home team on the board in the second quarter from two yards out, followed by a missed 2-point conversion attempt.
The third quarter is where the action started. Vermilion received the ball after halftime and on their second play, quarterback Ryan Walker, who had his way with the Thunder secondary in the second half, found wide receiver Lewis Balom wide open to complete a 55-yard touchdown pass. The quick-strike touchdown pass gave the Ironmen their first lead of the game.
The Thunder answered immediately to counter the quick Vermilion score out of the halftime break. The Thunder put together an impressive 11-play drive capped off with another Griner touchdown run from two yards out. The Thunder’s 2-point conversion attempt was good to make it 14-7 Thunder midway through the third quarter.
After the second Griner rushing touchdown for the Thunder, Vermilion took control of the game.
On the first play of their next drive, Walker again found a connection deep downfield for a score, completing a big pass to running back Matthew Tillman out of the backfield for a 62-yard completion to tie the score at 14-14.
Walker added another touchdown pass after Thunder quarterback Matt Iovine was picked off by defensive back Myron Riley deep in Thunder territory. With great field position, Walker found wide receiver Tevin Suddeth in the end zone from five yards out, and following a missed extra point attempt, the Ironmen were back on top 20-14.
Since the start of the third quarter, Vermilion ran just eight total plays of offense which resulted in 20 points. As the third quarter came to a close, Vermilion put together a sustained 13-play, 60-yard drive capped off with another Walker touchdown pass to Tevin Suddeth. Walker ended his day 27 of 49 with four touchdown passes and 426 passing yards.
The Thunder did find the end zone one more time in the fourth quarter on another Griner touchdown run. Griner had a solid day with 116 yards and three touchdowns, but the damage had been done at this point.
The Thunder did seem to have things clicking at times during the game, but penalties (17 total for 151 yards) consistently seemed to destroy any rhythm they had developed.
Thunder defensive end Damon Garner led the Thunder defense with eight tackles, 1.5 sacks, 3.5 tackles for loss, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble. Garner is a rarity in college football in that he plays full-time, doubling as an offensive lineman. Thunder punter Dalton Bryant also had a busy day, punting nine times with a 36.3 average on a windy day and several times from in the Thunder end zone.
The Thunder fall to 1-2 on the season. The Thunder host Mesabi Range Technical & Community College at noon on Saturday, September 17, at Bromberg Field in Cloquet.
The following tables are a complete game summary with team and individual statistics.

Vermilion vs FDLTCC (FINAL)
(09/10/2016 at NBC Spartan Field)
Superior,  WI


First Downs2314
Rushes / Yards (Net)21 / 1641 / 109
Passing Yards (Net)42677
Passes — Att / Comp / Int49/27/232/11/2
Total Offensive Plays / Yards70 / 44273 / 186
Fumble Returns / Yards0 / 00 / 0
Punt Returns / Yards3 / 312 / 25
Kickoff Returns / Yards4 / 427 / 169
Interception Returns / Yards2 / 192 / 37
Punts (Number/Average)5 / 37.09 / 36.3
Fumbles / Lost3 / 31 / 1
Penalties / Yards13 / 13317 / 151
Possession Time05:0030:29




Darion Buffin33602012.0
Denzell Adams18088.0
Matthew Tillman10-725-0.7
Darion Griner301163143.9
Tyrone Eastern315085.0
Juwan Johnson1-100-1.0
Donshay Perkins2-801-4.0
Ryan Walker49272426462
Matt Iovine2610161030
Donshay Perkins51116016
Passing ReceivingNoYardsTDLg
Peter St. Fluer7121030
Matthew Tillman479162
Tevin Suddeth442113
Denzell Adams379130
Passing ReceivingNoYardsTDLg
Miles Kelly552030
Tyrone Eastern39014
Tristan Snow1707
Brandon Pylar1505
Justin Freyholtz518537.00253
Dalton Bryant932736.30246
Punt ReturnsNo.YardsTDLg
Jaqulle Jackson331023
Punt ReturnsNo.YardsTDLg
Tyrone Eastern225017
Kick ReturnsNoYardsTDLg
Jaqulle Jackson1909
Kick ReturnsNoYardsTDLg
Joseph Jordan188088
Tyrone Eastern341022
James Nicoll538.01.04.0
Leandro DeBrito338.00.01.0
Ornandez Fils-Aime358.01.03.0
Deon Thompson246.00.01.0
Damon Garner538.01.53.5
Jeff Andrew088.00.00.0
Ronald “Paco” Davis325.00.00.0
Ronnell “Chico” Davis315.00.00.0


Scoring Summary:PlysYdsTOPScore
203:32FDLDarion GRINER Carries(Hand Off) TOUCHDOWN, clock 03:32 1 yds PAT Pass from Matt IOVINE to Unknown NO Good.73903:080 – 6
314:41VCCRyan Walker Passes to Lewis Balom COMPLETE TOUCHDOWN, clock 14:41 55 yds PAT Kick by Justin Freyholtz GOOD.25500:197 – 6
308:48FDLDarion GRINER Carries(Hand Off) TOUCHDOWN, clock 08:48 2 yds PAT Run by Matt IOVINE GOOD.117905:537 – 14
308:31VCCRyan Walker Passes to Matthew Tillman COMPLETE TOUCHDOWN, clock 08:31 62 yds PAT Kick by Justin Freyholtz GOOD.16200:1714 – 14
306:40VCCMatthew Tillman Carries(Hand Off) TOUCHDOWN, clock 06:40 5 yds PAT Kick by Justin Freyholtz NO Good34001:4420 – 14
301:19VCCRyan Walker Passes to Tevin Suddeth COMPLETE TOUCHDOWN, clock 01:19 12 yds PAT Kick by Justin Freyholtz GOOD.106002:2027 – 14
411:39VCCRyan Walker Passes to Denzell Adams COMPLETE TOUCHDOWN, clock 11:39 30 yds PAT Kick by Justin Freyholtz GOOD.33501:2034 – 14
400:01VCCMatthew Tillman Carries(Hand Off) TOUCHDOWN, clock 04:58 1 yds PAT Kick by Justin Freyholtz blocked by Artis FOUNTAIN Tackled by James Nicoll for 4 yards1104:5940 – 14
403:37FDLDarion GRINER Carries(Hand Off) TOUCHDOWN, clock 03:37 4 yds PAT Pass from Donshay PERKINS to Brandon PYLAR GOOD.3600:0140 – 22



My favorite thing about FDLTCC is the people. I’ve met fantastic students, faculty and staff who go above and beyond what I expected.

I chose FDLTCC because of its size and the curriculum. When I first came here in 2019, I was just looking for what I needed to volunteer, perhaps in a crisis shelter. I met with Don Jarvinen, and the rest is history.

It is awesome here at the FDLTCC Education Program because it is like a family here, if you need help or are struggling with anything, you have quite a few people who will help you out.