On a beautiful night for football in Haven, Kansas, the Smoky Valley Vikings took on the Haven Wildcats.
A first-half boxing match between the two defenses left us all tied up at 0-0 going into the half. The Viking defense stymied the Wildcat offense as they went for it on 4th down, with no success, on 4 separate occasions in the first half.
The Wildcat defense was just as good though, stopping the Smoky offense on 2, 4th down tries. They added 2 interceptions as well, to even the turnover battle at 4-a-piece.
The Viking offense finally broke through in the second half, and it didn’t take long. Just 6 minutes into the 3rd quarter, after stopping a solid drive by the Wildcat offense, Karson Pihl connected with Haven Lysell-Stewart on a 28-yard touchdown pass. An unsuccessful PAT left the Vikings with a 6-0 lead.
The Viking defense followed up huge with another stop on 4th down, only to be stuffed on their own offensive possession. After another defensive stop, the Smoky offense drove 59 yards, to be capped off by a 10-yard Justice Autry touchdown run. After another failed 2-point try, the Vikings lead 12-0.
A minute into the 4th quarter, Justice Autry took it 50 yards to the house, putting the Vikings up 18-0. Justice let the adrenaline keep him rolling, punching a successful 2-point-conversion, putting them on top 20-0. The Wildcats finally found the scoreboard, just 30 seconds later, on a 71-yard touchdown pass from Brant Snipe to Karter Cooprider. The point after run was good by Riley Loop, putting us at 20-8 for the ball game.
The Viking defense stepped up, ran the time down, leaving us with a final score of 20-8 in Haven.
Justice Autry led the offense with 23 rushes for 158 yards and 2 touchdowns. Karson Pihl added 102 yards in the air on 10 for 14 passing. Haven Lysell-Stewart was the defensive motor with 9.0 total tackles; 6 solo and 6 assists.
The Vikings take on Hillsboro next week for their first home game of the 2021 campaign.