Vikings earn share of SOC title
PORTSMOUTH — The Symmes Valley Vikings aren’t greedy. They know how to share.
With Oak Hill beating Northwest on Friday, the Vikings knew they needed to beat the Portsmouth Notre Dame Titans on Saturday to earn a share of the Southern Ohio Conference I football championship along with the two afore mentioned team.
The Vikings not only knew what they had to do, they knew what to do against the Titans as they used a ball-control offense for a 34-14 win.
The championship was even sweeter because Oak Hill and Northwest were the favorites coming into the season.
“You always want to win one outright, but if a share is what you can get, take it and go on,” said Vikings’ coach Rusty Webb. “After the (overtime) loss to Northwest, people probably wrote us off and didn’t give us much of a chance. All we could do is control what we could.
“Our kids came together after that loss. We bounced back and got Green, and then we got East and Oak Hill. Any time you lose a game in overtime it is tough, but our kids did a great job of bouncing back.”
Symmes Valley not only improved to 6-3 overall but finishes 3-1 in the SOC I with a 3-1 record.
The Vikings play Danville at 6 p.m. next Saturday at Athens High School. A win would give them a higher seed in the Division VII Region 25 postseason playoffs.
“We’ve been trying to make this playoff push since week six. We still have work to do. The SOC is over now. We have a big test in Danville. We’re both trying to get in,” said Webb.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Vikings ended a 54-yard, 3-play drive on a 19-yard scoring run by Tanner Mays with 11:11 on the clock. Blake Bowen kicked the conversion.
Following a Titans’ punt, the Vikings scored on the ensuring play as Derrek Smith hit Dillon McFann on a 67-yard scoring strike and it was 14-0.
Symmes Valley got another score with just 2:27 left in the half when Brandon Craft had a 5-yard touchdown run to cap a 57-yard, 6-play drive.
There were only two possessions in the third quarter.
The Titans went 61 yards in 10 plays with Jonathon Major running the final 3 yards for a score. Drew Cassidy’s kick cut the deficit to 20-7.
The Vikings then went on a 57-yards, 14-play drive that spilled over into the fourth quarter. Smith scored on a 3-yard run with 11:51 to play and Bowen’s kick extended the lead to 27-7.
“We just wanted to eat as much clock as we could. We just wanted to do what we do. We picked the time to do certain things and the kids executed them great. The kids did an outstanding job,” said Webb.
On second down after the kickoff, Smith picked off a Titans’ pass and returned it 45 yards for a toucdown and the lead was 34-7 with 11:02 to play.
The Titans scored quickly as they used only four plays to cover 61 yards with Sam Kayser breaking loose on a 32-yard scoring run and it was 34-14 with 9:16 left.
But the Vikings went on a 13-play drive to end the game.
Symmes Valley finished the game with 286 yards rushing on 51 attempts and had 362 total yards.
Mays had 75 yards on 14 carries, Craft 62 yards on 11 tries and Webb added 56 on 11 attempts in the balanced offense.
Notre Dame (2-7, 1-2) was held to under 200 yards of total offense by the Vikings’ defense including just 24 passing.
“Defense has played very well all season,” said Webb. “We’ve been very pleased with the offense since week six. It started to get in sync about then.”
Smith ran eight times for 30 yards and was 2 of 5 passing for 76 yards and a score.
Symmes Valley 0 20 0 14 = 34
Ports. Notre Dame 0 0 7 7 = 14
SV — Tanner Mays 19 run (Blake Bowen kick) 11:11
SV — Dillon McFann 67 pass from Derrek Smith (Blake Bowen kick) 8:14
SV — Brandon Craft 5 run (kick failed) 2:27
ND — Jonathon Major 3 run (Drew Cassidy kick) 6:56
SV — Derrek Smith 3 run (Blake Bowen kick) 11:51
SV — Derrek Smith 45 interception return (Blake Bowen kick) 11:02
ND — Sam Kayser 32 run (Drew Cassidy kick) 9:16
First downs 18 9
Rushes-yards 51-286 35-174
Passing yards 76 24
Total yards 362 198
Cmp-Att-Int 2-5-0 1-4-1
Fumbles-lost 2-0 1-1
Penalties-yards 3-15 4-40
Punts-average 1-41.0 5-27.2
RUSHING —Symmes Valley: Collin Webb 11-56, Tanner Mays 14-75, Brandon Craft 11-62, Dillon McFann 1-34, Payton Hayes 6-29, Derrek Smith 8-30; Ports. Notre Dame: Sam Kayser 8-57, Michael Collins 10-47, Hayden Phillips 7-33, Cam Rodriguez 2-19, Jonathon Major 7-9, Hunter Harrell 2-1, Tyson Montgomery 2-0.
PASSING — Symmes Valley: Derrek Smith 2-5-0 76; Ports. Notre Dame: Jonathon Major 1-4-1 24.
RECEIVING — Symmes Valley: Dillon McFann 1-67, Cameron Meadows 1-9; Ports. Notre Dame: Isaiah Johnson 1-24.