Vikings suffer heartbreaking loss in battle for SOC crown
WILLOW WOOD — The Symmes Valley Vikings hopes of a Southern Ohio Conference championship were wiped away as clean as a whistle.
An inadvertent whistle, that is.
The Northwest Mohawks’ Dakota Secrest attempted a 24-yard field goal to try and put his team ahead in a showdown with the Vikings on Friday.
But the Vikings blocked the kick and appeared to have sealed the win and a share of the title along with Northwest.
The officials told Vikings’ coach Rusty Webb that there was an inadvertent whistle and played the down over. Secrest connected with the questionable second chance and the Mohawks had the lead with 1:24 to play.
The Vikings were unable to generate any threat and Northwest came away with the win.
“I felt our kids really left it on the field. I’m very proud of their effort. We couldn’t ask any more from them,” said Webb. “They just left it all out there on the field. With all our injuries, we were a big underdog but these kids fought for 48 minutes.”
Symmes Valley (4-2, 3-2) was limited to just 86 yards rushing on 25 attempts and completed 2-of-9 passes for 43 yards and a meaningless interception at the end of the game.
Josh Ferguson had 41 yards rushing on seven attempts and scored the Vikings’ touchdown.
Northwest (5-1, 5-0) racked up 253 yards — all on the ground — as Wyatt Brackman carried 22 times for 143 yards and a score. Evan Lintz ran 10 times for 55 yards and Brayden Campbell had 57 yards on 18 attempts.
The Vikings — who recovered three of Northwest’s five fumbles — recovered a fumble in the first quarter that set up a 19-yard scoring run by Ferguson.
Ferguson also ran for the conversion and it was 8-0 with 2:18 on the clock.
Northwest went on a 42-yard, six-play drive with Brackman going the final 4 yards for the touchdown. Secrest kicked the conversion and the Vikings led 8-7 with 2:54 left in the quarter.
“They did a really good job keeping us pinned deep in our own territory. We ran the second half kickoff back for a touchdown but it was called back on a penalty and then we were backed up the whole second half,” said Webb.
The Vikings’ recovered a Northwest
Northwest then had the late drive to set up the winning field goal.
The Vikings will play host to Southeastern at 7 p.m. next Saturday in the first round of the Division 6 Region 23 playoffs. The winner advances to play at Nelsonville-York on Oct. 17.
“We need to keep our heads up. We have Southeastern in the playoffs at home and we need to have the same kind of effort,” said Webb.
Northwest 0 0 7 3 = 10
Sym. Valley 8 0 0 0 = 8
SV –Josh Ferguson 19 run (Ferguson run) 2:18
NW –Wyatt Brackman 4 run (Dakota Secrest kick) 2:54
NW — Dakota Secrest 24 field goal 1:24
First downs 17 7
Rushes-yards 53-253 25-86
Passing yards 0 43
Total yards 253 129
Cmp-Att-Int 0-5-1 2-9-1
Fumbles-lost 5-3 0-0
Penalties-yards 9-82 7-54
Punts-average 2-34.5 7-33.7
RUSHING —Northwest: Brayden Campbell 18-57, Wyatt Brackman 22-143, Evan Linz 10-55, Austin Newman 1-minus 2; Symmes Valley: Josh Ferguson 7-41, Luke Leith 11-29, Derek Crum 2-0, Grayson Walsh 1-3, Ethan Patterson 4-13.
PASSING — Northwest: Austin Newman 0-5-1; Symmes Valley: Luke Leith 1-7-0 40, Grayson Walsh 1-2-1 3.
RECEIVING — Northwest: None; Symmes Valley: Nick Strow 1-40, Ethan Patterson 1-3.