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Vikings seeking revenge against Green

Last season, the Symmes Valley Vikings were 6-4 and the Green Bobcats just 3-7.

Thursday, September 30, 1999

Last season, the Symmes Valley Vikings were 6-4 and the Green Bobcats just 3-7. Judging by the records, it would be easy to assume the Vikings beat the Bobcats.

Not so. In fact, Green dominated Symmes Valley 38-6, limiting the Vikings to 23 yards rushing.

The same scenario occurred the previous season and Green upset the Vikings then, too. With that in mind, the Vikings seek a measure of revenge this time around.

"They’ve whipped us the last two years. They’ve been getting after us. We’ve had a long discussion with our kids and talked about it, but we just don’t know what the situation is," Vikings coach Herb Conley said. "We just haven’t played well and we have to think about football and correct it."

Symmes Valley comes into the game 4-1 and 1-0 in the Southern Ohio Conference after stunning Oak Hill 14-7 last week. Green was beaten by SOC preseason favorite Lucasville Valley 35-16 and fell to 1-4 and 0-1.

Deja vu? Not according to Green coach Dan McDavid.

"We’ve had some success in the past, but they have a lot of experience in the backfield now including a senior quarterback pulling the trigger," McDavid said. "(Noah Henson) has been the quarterback for three years and he makes good decisions."

Henson is only one quarter of Green’s concerns. The Vikings are led by halfback Brad Carpenter, fullback Adam Niece, and halfback Jarod Leffingwell.

"They’re a well-coached ball club," McDavid said. "They have good athletes all over the field and they’re always fairly big. We know they’ll run option at us and they run it as well as anyone. We’re not going to stop their backs from gaining yards, but we have to try and control them and keep them out of end zone.

"Everyone knows about Carpenter, but their others backs run well. Niece likes to pop it in there hard and Leffingwell and Henson can both run."

Green’s ability to shut down Symmes Valley’s ground game the past few seasons could mean more passing from Henson this time around.

"We can throw the ball pretty good, we just don’t throw that much," Conley said. "But we just haven’t blocked them well or hit them. Hopefully, we’ll get after them. I think we’re getting more aggressive. This is the most aggressive team we’ve had."

McDavid said the blocking and tackling will be the difference.

"We have to stay focused and block and tackle. Our kids are getting better, but we’re not there yet. Whoever block and tackles the best will win the game," McDavid said.

The Vikings need a win over Green, especially with league opponents Lucasville Valley and Portsmouth Notre Dame to follow at home.

"We feel like we just have to do our job and play the way we’re capable. The next four games are at home, so the schedule is in our favor. We had a good practice (Tuesday) and that’s the first time we’ve practiced well before the Green game. We haven’t had a good practice for Green the past two years," said Conley.

"We know they have a good quarterback (Alex Poe) and a good tailback (Brad Bainer). All their skill players seem to be good skilled players. We have a lot of respect for Green. They’ve beat us the last two years, so we better respect them."