Symmes Valley stays focused to clinch share of SOC Div. I football crown

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 12, 2003

Tribune sports editor

WILLOW WOOD - Any time a team comes off a big win, the fear of a letdown looms the next game.

Symmes Valley Vikings coach Rusty Webb was feeling that fear following a 14-7 win over Lucasville Valley last week. The Vikings were hosting the winless but scrappy Portsmouth Notre Dame Titans, and playing a winless team could make it easy for them to look ahead.

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But none of that happened. Symmes Valley did all its scoring in the first half, then coasted to a 34-12 win over the Titans Friday to clinch at least a share of a second straight Southern Ohio Conference championship.

"I was very pleased with the way our kids came out," Webb said. "I was afraid we'd come out flat. But we stepped it up again."

The Vikings are 7-1 on the season and 4-0 in the SOC. They can wrap up the title outright with a win over Sciotoville East next week.

"We're happy to clinch at least a share, but we still have work to do. We have another league game left and we're going to start Monday preparing. East has had some injuries, but they're still a good football team and we've got our work cut out for us," Webb said.

Symmes Valley racked up 232 yards rushing and had another 104 yards passing for 336 total yards.

Cory Burcham ran eight times for 105 yards - all in the first half - and Derek Carpenter had 53 yards on 10 attempts. Craig Neal and Chad Artrip each completed their only pass, both for touchdowns.

"Our passing game looked the best it's looked all year. We're going to need it down the road," Webb said, referring to the Vikings impending postseason playoff berth.

Notre Dame (0-8, 0-4) finished with 188 total yards, most of it coming against the Viking reserves. Michael Russell had 55 yards rushing on 18 attempts and quarterback Matt Mader was 6 of 17 for 114 yards and an interception.

"Both our offense and defense did another outstanding job," Webb said. "The biggest thing we have to do is cut down on penalties. We have way too many penalty yards."

The Vikings had 105 yards in penalties.

Burcham ran 22 yards for a touchdown, then kicked the extra point as the Vikings went up 7-0.

Neal hit Derrek Cremeans with a 43-yard scoring pass with 3:42 left in the first quarter. Burcham's conversion kick extended the lead to 14-0.

Justin Holland had the big play on special teams with a 77-yard punt return just before the end of the quarter and it was 20-0.

Burcham got his second touchdown on a 12-yard run with 8:19 left in the half. Artrip then hit Chris Elswick with a 61-yard touchdown bomb and Matt Owens' two-point conversion run put the lead at 34-0.

Notre Dame got a pair of fourth quarter touchdown passes from Matt Mader to Ben Haaf.

Notre Dame00012-12

Sym. Valley201400-34

First Quarter

SV - Cory Burcham 22 run (Cory Burcham kick)


SV - Derrek Cremeans 43 pass from Craig Neal (Cory Burcham kick)


SV - Justin Holland 77 punt return (kick failed)


Second Quarter

SV - Cory Burcham 12 run (kick failed) 8:19

SV - Chris Elswick 61 pass from Chad Artrip (Matt Owens run)


Fourth Quarter

PND - Ben Haaf 25 pass from Matt Mader (kick blocked) 11:53

PND - Ben Haaf 11 pass from Matt Mader (kick blocked) 1:11



First downsPND8SV 9

Rushes-yardsPND32-74SV 44-232

Passing yardsPND114SV 104

Total yardsPND188SV 336

Cmp-Att-Int PND6-17-1SV 2-2-0

Fumbles-lostPND3-1SV 0-0

Punts-averagePND5-23.3SV 2-29.0

Penalties-yardsPND4-30SV 8-105


Individual Leaders

RUSHING - Notre Dame: Michael Russell 18-55, Brad Hoover 6-39. Sym. Valley: Cory Burcham 8-105, Derek Carpenter 10-53, Chad Artrip 6-9, Kyle Meadows 5-14, Matt Owens 6-16, Kirt Shipley 1-minus 6, Justin Holland 5-37, Seth Saunders 3-4.

PASSING - Notre Dame: Matt Mader 6-17-1

114. Sym. Valley: Craig Neal 1-1-0

43, Chad Artrip 1-1-0


RECEIVING - Notre Dame: Ben Haaf 5-104, Tyler Webb 1-10. Sym. Valley: Derrek Cremeans 1-43, Chris Elswick 1-61.