Vikings lock up 2nd straight SOC title

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 18, 2003

WILLOW WOOD - It looks like the Symmes Valley Vikings like this thing where you win a league championship.

After winning the school's first-ever football league championship last season, the Vikings repeated the feat by blanking the Sciotoville East Tartans 38-0 Friday in a Southern Ohio Conference game.

Symmes Valley is 7-2 overall and finishes 5-0 in the SOC, their second straight unbeaten league title.

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"That was the goal going into the season. We knew we had four of our five league games at home, and the kids really wanted to defend their title," Vikings coach Rusty Webb said.

The shutout was the result of a defensive effort that allowed East only 55 total yards, one through the air. The defense is comprised of linemen Jon Dillon, Caleb Bland, Josh Dillon and Eli Bowling. Derek Carpenter, Derrek Cremeans, Matt Owens and Justin Holland are the linebackers with Chris Elswick, Cory Burcham and Craig Neal in the secondary.

"Our defense has played well all year, not only against the run, but against the pass. We feel we're very athletic on defense and the kids fly to the ball," Webb said. "The kids play a great team defense. Everybody knows what their assignment is. That's a credit to the kids and the other coaches."

Offensively, the Vikings racked up 361 rushing yards and had 409 total yards. Cory Burcham ran 12 times for 141 yards and a touchdown, Derek Carpenter had 84 yards on eight tries, and Craig Neal got 72 yards on 10 rushes. Neal also threw for 48 yards and a touchdown.

"This is a super bunch of kids. They're a tight-knit group. They'll block for each other," Webb said. "We figured this was going to be a tough game, but all our kids ran hard and our offensive line stepped it up. And our backs blocked well for each other.

Symmes Valley scored on its first possession as Burcham bolted 64 yards for the touchdown. He then threw to Justin Holland for the conversion.

Neal hit Derrek Cremeans with a 35-yard touchdown strike two minutes later and it was 14-0.

Carpenter had a 1-yard scoring run and Neal added the conversion as the lead went to 22-0 at halftime.

The second half was all Vikings again as Neal had an 11-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and Kyle Meadows ran 1 yard for a score with 5:23 to play. Carpenter ran for the conversion after both scores.

One other thing that pleased Webb was the Vikings only had five penalties for 50 yards, half of what they were penalized last week.

"We usually have some penalty yards, but it's effort penalties. We're trying to get in front of the block. But the effort is there. I couldn't ask any more from these kids."

Holland had an interception for the Vikings.

Next up is a season-ending road trip to Hamilton New Miami and then a playoff game.

"We have to stay focused and take it a game at a time. We can only control the games we're in, and that's all we're going to worry about. If we finish fourth or we finish eighth, we're going to do the best job we can do," Webb said.

Prts. East0000-0

Sym. Valley14888-38

First Quarter

SV - Cory Burcham 64 run (Justin Holland pass from Cory Burcham)


SV - Craig Neal 35 pass to Derrek Cremeans (run failed)


Second Quarter

SV - Derek Carpenter 1 run (Craig Neal run)


Third Quarter

SV - Craig Neal 11 run (Derek Carpenter run)


Fourth Quarter

SV - Kyle Meadows 1 run (Derek Carpenter run) 5:23

First downs: Portsmouth East6, Symmes Valley18

Rushes-yards:Portsmouth East34-54, Symmes Valley45-361

Passing yards:Portsmouth East1, Symmes Valley48

Total yards:Portsmouth East55, Symmes Valley409

Cmp-Att-Int:Portsmouth East1-7-0, Symmes Valley2-7-0

Fumbles-lost:Portsmouth East2-0, Symmes Valley3-1

Punts-average:Portsmouth East5-31.0, Symmes Valley1-25.0

Penalties-yards:Portsmouth East5-33, Symmes Valley5-50

Individual Leaders

RUSHING - Prts. East: Adkins 16-21, Rundquest 4-14. Symmes Valley: Cory Burcham 12-141, Derek Carpenter 8-84, Craig Neal 10-72, Justin Holland 5-27, Matt Owens 6-26, Kyle Meadows 3-16, Chris Elswick 1-minus 5.

PASSING - Prts. East: Stiltner 1-7-1

1. Symmes Valley: Craig Neal 2-7-0


RECEIVING - Prts. East: Rundquest 1-1. Symmes Valley: Derrek Cremeans 2-48.