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Defense lifts Symmes Valley over Huntington Ross

CHILLICOTHE -- Turnabout is fair play.

After losing to the Huntington Ross Huntsmen last season, the Symmes Valley Vikings obtained their revenge with a 21-14 season-opening victory Friday night.

"We did to them what they did to us last year," Vikings coach Rusty Webb said. "We still have to fix our mistakes, but we had a great effort."

Turnovers and the Vikings defense played a big key part in the game. The Vikings used two interception returns for touchdown by Derrik Carpenter and Justin Holland to get the win.

It was Carpenter's 30-yard interception return just before the end of the first quarter that gave the Vikings the early lead. Cory Burcham kicked the conversion and it was 7-0.

The Huntsmen failed to score in the first half but came out and to a 3-yard touchdown run by Meadows with three minutes on the clock and it was 7-6.

Symmes Valley put together a scoring drive midway through the fourth quarter that culminated with Holland's 1-yard run. Burcham's conversion kick made it 14-6.

Holland came through again with a big defensive play as he stepped in front of a Chabert pass and ran it back 45 yards for the touchdown with just 1:17 to play.

Huntington Ross wasn't done just yet. Eldridge hit Ferguson with a 55-yard scoring strike and, after a penalty moved the ball half the distance, ran for the conversion and it was 18-14 with 1:02 left.

"We thought the quarterback was sacked and he came out of there and threw on a dead run," Webb said of the Huntsmen's score.

"But those are things we have to learn as a young team. We did mature as a young team. We didn't have the offense we wanted, but contribute that to Huntington Ross's defense."

The Vikings had an 85-yard touchdown run called back due to a holding penalty.

"We killed ourselves on big runs with penalties," Webb said. "But the mistakes we made were aggressive mistakes, and we can correct them. I was proud of our team effort. The defense made plays when they had to. Our offensive line did what we needed when we had to, and the backs did a good job of blocking for each other."

Burcham led the Vikings ground game with 93 yards on 14 carries. Symmes Valley had 141 yards total yards, all on the ground.

Chris Elswick had the third Viking interception.

Sym. Valley70014--21

Hunt. Ross0068--14

First Quarter

SV -- Derrik Carpenter 30 interception return (Cory Burcham kick)

:19

Third Quarter

HR -- Meadows 3 run (kick failed)

3:00

Fourth Quarter

SV -- Justin Holland 1 run (Cory Burcham kick)

5:32

SV -- Justin Holland 45 interception return (Cory Burcham kick) 1:17

HR -- Ferguson 55 pass from Eldridge (Eldridge run)

1:02

First downs: Symmes Valley11, Huntington Ross9

Rushes-yards: Symmes Valley42-141, Huntington Ross36-98

Passing yards: Symmes Valley0, Huntington Ross67

Totals yards: Symmes Valley141, Huntington Ross165

Cmp-Att-Int: Symmes Valley0-3-1, Huntington Ross2-12-3

Punts-average: Symmes Valley2-31.0, Huntington Ross2-30.5

Fumbles-lost: Symmes Valley5-3, Huntington Ross3-3

Penalties-yards: Symmes Valley6-93, Huntington Ross4-25

Individual Leaders

RUSHING – Symmes Valley: Cory Burcham 14-93, Craig Neal 14-4, Derrik Carpenter 8-16, Matt Owens 3-18, Justin Holland 3-10; Huntington Ross: Meadows 17-78.

PASSING – Symmes Valley: Craig Neal 0-3-1; Huntington Ross: Eldridge 2-12-3

67.

RECEIVING – Symmes Valley: None; Huntington Ross: Ferguson 2-67.