Vikings surprise Panthers
WILLOW WOOD, Ohio — There was a lot of whooping, hollering and honking of car horns Friday night at Symmes Valley High School. Vikings football fans had something to celebrate.
Tyler Rowe’s 3-yard touchdown run in the fourth period lifted Symmes Valley to a 21-14 victory over rival Chesapeake at Vikings Stadium. It’s the first win for the Vikings over their Lawrence County rival since 2010 and first on their home turf since 1989.
The players and fans who basked in the moment at school then made a beeline to Hog Heaven Restaurant, located a short distance from the field, where the celebration would continue well into the night.
“We played our hearts out. We went fist to fist,” senior lineman Tyler Celeski said of the Vikings. “When we went into that V (victory) formation at the end, it sure felt good.”
Chesapeake (0-3) had one final chance to possibly tie or go ahead with 2:49 left. However, Panthers quarterback Austin Stone threw four straight incomplete passes and Symmes Valley took over at the Chesapeake 38 and ran out the clock.
“I’ve heard them talk about this game,” senior lineman Ben Ferguson said. “I moved in here last year and I now know what the intensity is all about.”
Chesapeake took advantage of two Symmes Valley miscues to take a 14-6 lead at halftime. The Vikings fumbled the ball away on a punt return and the Panthers recovered and drove 29 yards in seven plays for a score. Midway through the second period, the Symmes Valley punter mishandled the snap and the Panthers took over at the host’s 26 and marched to another score. Chad Meadows got the TDs on runs of 7 and 3 yards.
In between, Symmes Valley’s Tanner Mays picked off a pass and returned it to the Chesapeake 10 where Collin Webb would score on a 4-yard run.
In the third quarter, Webb sprinted 17 yards for a TD after the Vikings fell on the ball at the 17 after a high snap on a punt attempt.
In the fourth period, Mays dashed 33 yards on a keeper around right end for a first down at the Chesapeake 3 and Rowe went over on the next snap.
“We had a lot of bad things go against us,” Symmes Valley coach Rusty Webb said. “The kids sucked it up. We had a good talk at halftime and the kids responded. We really grew up tonight.”
Chesapeake returns to action next Friday at Lucasville Valley. Symmes Valley is home against Fisher Catholic.
Chesapeake coach Andy Clark said the Vikings crowded the line and made it tough to run.
“They did a great job,” Clark said. “We moved it well at time. We blew some blocking assignments and that cost us. They executed better than we did.”
Celeski said he and his teammates are friends with many Chesapeake players. He said they’ll enjoy talking this one up.
“For the seniors this feels good,” he said. “They’re our rivals. We waited a while to do this. We’ll see a lot of them Sunday. This will be fun to talk about.”
CHESAPEAKE 7 7 0 0 — 14
SYMMES VALLEY 0 6 8 7 — 21
C — C. Meadows 7 run (Stephens kick), 4:30
SV — Webb 4 run (kick failed), 11:54.
C — C. Meadows 3 run (Stephens kick), 4:39.
Jac—Wrighster 25 yd pass from Garrard (Scobee kick), 1:40.
SV — Webb 17 run (Mays run), 9:39.
SV — Rowe 3 run (Wilson kick), 10:46.
First downs 12 8
Total Net Yards 179 162
Rushes-yards 46-172 38-154
Passing 7 8
Comp-Att-Int 2-12-1 1-4-0
Fumbles-Lost 2-0 5-2
Penalties-Yards 3-15 3-15
RUSHING—C: Stone 3-minus 4, C. Meadows 19-83, B. Meadows 2-0, Smith 2-0, Brown 13-45, Bartrum 1-minus 1, McComas 6-49. SV: Vallance 1-0, Holbrook 2-4, Mays 12-52, Webb 7-53, Rowe 11-33, Craft 5-12.
PASSING—C: Stone 2-12-1, 7 yards. SV: Mays 1-4-0, 8 yards.
RECEIVING—C: Saunders 1-13, Brown 1-minus 6. SV: Craft 1-8.