Vikings get #039;special#039; win over Green

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 3, 2005

WILLOW WOOD - It was the best of the kicking game, it was the worst of the kicking game.

Special teams play was good and bad for Symmes Valley, but the defense was good enough to make big plays as the Vikings held on to beat the Green Bobcats 28-26 Friday in a Southern Ohio Conference game.

The Vikings had two kick returns that set up touchdowns, but two miscues on punts led to a pair of Green scores including one touchdown with only seconds remaining.

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"That's the best and the worst we've looked on special teams," Symmes Valley coach Rusty Webb said.

"We made plays when we had to, but we need to be more consistent. We're happy to get the win, but we have a lot to work on."

Trailing 28-20, Green's John Dawson blocked a punt and Corey Dyer scooped up the ball at the 17-yard line and ran for the touchdown.

But on the potential game-tying conversion, Seth Saunders tackled Dustin Williams short of the end zone to preserve the win with 25 seconds to play.

"We tried to beat them to the corner (of the end zone) and their kid came up and made a good play," Green coach Kevin Sheridan said. "They made good plays on special teams. We knew coming in that they were good on special teams' return."

Green (3-3, 0-2 SOC) took a 7-0 lead in the second quarter on a 3-yard run by quarterback Derek Lewis. Mark Castro kick the extra point.

Symmes Valley came back with a scoring drive capped by Matt Owens' 5-yard run. Kyle Meadows kicked the conversion and it was 7-7 with 3:07 left in the quarter.

A 29-yard run by John Butler gave Green a first-and-goal at the 3-yard line and Castro scored on the next play. Castro's conversion kick made it 14-7.

Owens returned the kickoff to the Green 19-yard line. Chris Capper hit Derek Carpenter on a 17-yard swing pass and Owens scored from 2 yards out on the next play. Meadows' kick with one second on the clock tied the game.

"We played the best we could the first half, and we played good defense the whole game, the best we have all year," Sheridan said.

Following a scoreless third quarter, the Vikings took a 21-14 lead on

a 1-yard run by Owens with 9:31 to play.

Green was forced to punt, thus giving the Vikings good field position. Carpenter got loose on a 37-yard scoring run and the lead was 28-14.

"Carpenter and Owens made plays when they had to," Sheridan said.

A bad snap on a Vikings punt gave Green the ball at the Symmes Valley 23. Four plays later, Williams caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Lewis and it was 28-20 with 1:51 to play.

Then came the blocked punt and clutch stand on the extra point.

"Green played extremely well. It was a physical game. Green was playing to win and for some reason we played tight," Webb said. "It would have been easy for our kids to hang their heads, but they stepped up and made plays."

Carpenter had 96 yards on 17 attempts while Owens finished with 79 yards on 18 attempts.

Castro ran for 46 yards, James McGuire 34, Williams 29 and Butler added 27.

"We had four guys with about 30

yards so we had good balance. Derek (Lewis) played the best he has all year even if the stats don't show it. He stepped up and took charge," Sheridan said.

Next Friday Symmes Valley (4-2, 2-0) hosts Lucasville Valley while Green (3-3, 0-2) is at home against Portsmouth Notre Dame in SOC games.