Vikings earn share of SOC Div. I title

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 29, 2004

PORTSMOUTH - The streak is at three.

The Symmes Valley Vikings clinched at least a share of their third straight Southern Ohio Conference Division I football championship Saturday night with a 21-0 shutout of the Portsmouth Notre Dame Titans at Spartan Stadium.

The Vikings are now 6-1 on the season and move to 4-0 in the SOC. They need a win at Portsmouth East next Friday to win the title outright.

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"It's great to get the win and clinch a share of the title, but we know we're not finished yet," Vikings coach Rusty Webb said. "East has a good team with some good running backs, and they always play well at home."

If Symmes Valley loses and Lucasville Valley wins, those two teams and East would finish in a three-way tie for the league championship.

A balanced running game was the key for the Vikings who had 317 total yards with 254 coming on the ground. Justin Holland led the backfield with 85 yards on 10 carries while Cory Burcham ran 15 times for 64 yards and Derek Carpenter carried 12 times for 63 yards.

Quarterback Craig Neal had net 38 yards rushing and hit 3 of 7 passes for 63 yards.

The Vikings defense held the Titans in check most of the game. Notre Dame finished with 81 yards on the ground and just 12 through the air for only 93 total yards.

"The defense did a great job. Notre Dame has hurt some teams with their offense, so this was a good test for our defense," Webb said. "I thought all our backs ran really well and blocked well for each other. And our line play just keeps getting better. We controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball."

Symmes Valley scored on its second possession of the game by driving 63 yards in nine plays capped by Carpenter's 1-yard run. Burcham kicked the conversion.

The next scoring drive came late in the first half when the Vikings went 70 yards in just five plays. Neal played a key role in the drive as he hit Burcham on a 28-yard pass play and then bolted 41 yards for the touchdown with 1:28 left on the clock.

Burcham's conversion kick put the lead at 14-0.

The Vikings were bogged down by penalties in the third quarter, but put together another drive to start the fourth quarter.

After a short 22-yard punt, the Vikings marched 40 yards in five plays with the drive culminating on a 9-yard run by Burcham with 9:42 to play.

Sym. Valley7707-21

Notre Dame0000-0

First Quarter

SV - Derek Carpenter 1 run (Cory Burcham kick) 4:11

Second Quarter

SV - Craig Neal 41 run (Cory Burcham kick) 1:28

Fourth Quarter

SV - Cory Burcham 9 run (Cory Burcham kick) 9:42



First downs145


Passing yards6312

Total yards31793






Individual Leaders

RUSHING - Sym. Valley: Justin H Holland 10-85, Derek Carpenter 12-63, Cory Burcham 15-64, Craig Neal 5-38, John Ferguson 1-3, Chad Artrip 1-0; Notre Dame: Matt Tenalio 7-44, Michael Russell 10-11, Brad Hoover 2-10, Kurt Harness 2-9, Matt Mader 6-7.

PASSING - Sym. Valley: Craig Neal 3-7-0 63, Cory Burcham 0-1-0; Notre Dame: Matt Mader 2-8-2 12.

RECEIVING - Sym. Valley: Cory Burcham 2-30, Derek Carpenter 1-33; Notre Dame: Ben Haaf 2-12.