UNIONVILLE – It was a battle of the Vikings Friday night as the Community Vikings scored three quick touchdowns in the first four minutes and used a stellar defensive effort to shutout the Perry County Vikings 46-0 in a non-region football matchup.
Just like its previous game, Community used the big play and success with the onside kick to jump out to a big lead.
After receiving the opening kickoff, Community (2-1) was backed up after its first three plays from scrimmage and faced a fourth-and-20 from its own 41-yard line.
Community rolled the dice on fourth down as quarterback Dallas Grooms rolled out and found Tyler Sanders down the middle for a 59-yard touchdown reception.
The run failed, leaving Community with a 6-0 first quarter lead with 10:20 remaining.
"We were saying if we've got the numbers, we'll take the shot," Community Coach Chris Grooms said.
Perry County went three-and-out, leaving Community with possession at the Perry County 43.
John Stanley proceeded to run 43 yards to pay dirt on the next play to extend the Community lead.
The run by Grooms gave Community a 14-0 lead with 8:31 left.
It would only be 12 seconds before the scoreboard would change.
Community gained possession again after recovering the onside kick at the Perry County 47-yard line. Community scored on the first play of its possession as Grooms found Maki Fleming for a 47-yard touchdown pass. Gavin Garcia ran for two, giving Community a 22-0 lead with 8:19 remaining.
"It was great. I was proud of how it went," Grooms said. "We've got a lot of athletes and we can get at it quick."
Community again recovered the onside kick on the ensuing kickoff, giving Community possession in Perry County territory.
An eight-yard TD run by Fleming was nullified by a penalty, preventing Community from scoring on its first four possessions.
The teams traded possessions as Community took its lead to the second quarter.
After Perry County failed on a fourth down conversion attempt, Community took possession with good field position.
A 29-yard pass play from Grooms to Stanley moved Community inside Perry County territory and set up a dazzling reverse play for the next Community score.
From the Perry County 36, Grooms completed the short shovel pass to Stanley.
Stanley ran to the right and made the lateral to Fleming, who streaked to the left side of the field and into the end zone for the Community score.
The pass for two from Grooms to Fleming was good, giving Community a 30-0 advantage with 10:13 left.
Fleming once again had a touchdown brought back after a 76-yard punt return, but Community responded to the penalty with a score.
After Stanley moved Community near midfield with a 20-yard pass reception, Grooms connected with Sanders for a 52-yard touchdown.
Garcia was successful with the run as Community took a 38-0 lead with 6:33 remaining.
Meanwhile, the Community defense played lights out and recovered a Perry County fumble as time expired as Community took its big lead into the intermission.
The second half went by quickly as a running clock sped up the contest. Each team had one possession but failed to score as the game advanced to the final quarter.
Community scored its final touchdown on its last possession.
A 17-yard shovel pass from Grooms to Logan Roberts set up a one-yard pass to Roberts for the score.
Jay Dabbs ran for the two-point conversion as Community finished with its big win.
Community had two onside kick recoveries, but also had a second successful option as Cole Crockett pinned Perry County back on long kickoffs, including one kick that left Perry County at its own three-yard line.
"It's good when you've got two kickers like that," Grooms said. "We've been over here working them. They know the game plan."
Grooms had high praise for the defense, which pitched its first shutout since 2017.
"The defense is solid. They've been playing hard," Grooms said. "They're fundamentally sound and they know what they're doing and they tackle well."
Community will play its first Region 4-3A matchup with a road contest at Giles County Friday night.
Game time is 7 p.m.
Perry Co. 0 0 0 0 — 0
Community 22 16 0 8 — 46
C – Tyler Sanders 59 pass from Dallas Grooms, (2pt. run failed), 10:20.
C – John Stanley 43 run, (Grooms 2pt. run), 8:31.
C – Maki Fleming 47 pass from Grooms, (Gavin Garcia 2pt. run), 8:19.
C – Fleming 39 run, (Fleming 2pt. pass from Grooms), 10:13.
C – Sanders 52 pass from Grooms, (Garcia 2pt. run), 6:33.
C – Logan Roberts 1pass from Grooms, (Jay Dabbs 2pt. run), 2:47.