Defense does it as Vikings near playoffs

Sunday, October 22, 2017
Preston Bennett (16) of the Vikings wards off a Summertown tackler for a gain. (T-G Photo by Rickey Clardy)

UNIONVILLE – The Community Vikings got off to a slow start against the Summertown Eagles, but big plays from the defense and special teams helped to right the ship as the Vikings finished with a 42-13 win over the Eagles in a Region 5-2A matchup Friday night.

The Vikings outscored Summertown 20-0 in the second quarter to erase a first quarter deficit.

“I was proud of how the defense played tonight,” Coach Chris Grooms of the Vikings said. “They were focused all week and they came out and executed.”

Starting score

Community (4-5, 2-3 R5-2A) scored on the opening kickoff to take an early lead. Wyatt Sobiek scampered 27 yards for a touchdown to complete a 65-yard drive and put the Vikings up 6-0.

The Eagles, going predominantly to the run, took the lead as Ty Mattox raced three yards to pay dirt. The extra point by Austin Abbott put Summertown up 7-6 with 2:03 left and ended the first quarter scoring.

“We knew they were going to be hard to stop on the run,” Grooms said. “We knew their plays and what they were doing, but we had a problem at first getting used to the flow of the game and feeling each other out.”

The Vikings marched 76 yards on their next drive, but were stymied on a fourth down conversion attempt at the Summertown two-yard-line.

Stepping up

The Viking defense and special teams then stepped up in a big way.

The Community defense forced the Eagles to punt after a three-and-out. Nathan Hudson blocked the Eagle punt, giving the Vikings the ball at the Summertown two.

Elic Smith promptly scored to give the Vikings a 12-7 lead.

The field position began to turn in the favor of the Vikings as the kickoffs of Antonio Lanham forced the Eagles to start deep in their territory.

The Vikings followed with another defensive stop, giving Community the ball and allowing Sobiek to score his second touchdown on an 18-yard run to put the Vikings up 18-7.

Sobiek sparkled on defense with an interception to give the ball back to the Vikings. Community capitalized on the turnover as Garrette Gochee scored on an 18-yard run with 1:52 remaining in the second quarter. Sobiek’s run for two put the Vikings up 26-7.

Darious Ransom (21) of the Vikings goes low to make the tackle on a Summertown runner. (T-G Photo by Rickey Clardy)

Threat stopped

Summertown threatened to cut the Viking lead with a drive deep in Community territory. But Sobiek’s second interception at the Viking two thwarted the drive as the Vikings took their lead into the break.

“Our goal for this game was to get three turnovers,” Grooms said. “I think we got it with the blocked punt.”

The Eagles took only 38 seconds to score to start the third quarter. Timmy White scored from 25 yards out to cut the Community lead to 26-13.

Community widened its advantage with a 53-yard drive. After an Eagle offside penalty on fourth down kept the Viking drive alive, Sobiek scored his third touchdown on a fourth-and-goal from the four with 2:04 left. Smith’s run for two put the Vikings up 34-13 and completed the third quarter scoring.

The Eagles again drove deep into Viking territory, this time to the Community five, but the Viking defense rose to the occasion and kept Summertown out of the end zone on a fourth down stop.

Final run

Community went 95 yards for the final score of the night as two big runs culminated the drive. Sobiek ran for a 49-yard gain before C. J. Rivera bounced off an Eagle defender for a 29-yard touchdown run. Sobiek’s pass to Luke Murrill was good on the two-point conversion as Community finished with the 29-point victory.

With the win, the Vikings face a showdown against the Forrest Rockets Friday night for the final playoff spot in Region 5-2A. Game time is 7 p.m.

“It’s going to be a fun atmosphere,” Grooms said. “They’ll be a lot of people here.”

“Hopefully we can put together 48 minutes of football and try to stop a real tough Forrest team.”

Summertown 7 0 6 0 - 13

Community 6 20 8 8 - 42

First Quarter

Community – Wyatt Sobiek 27-yard run (pass failed) 9:35

Summertown – Ty Mattox 3-yard run (Austin Abbott kick) 2:03

Second Quarter

Community – Elic Smith 2-yard run (pass failed) 7:06

Community – Sobiek 18-yard run (pass failed) 4:16

Community – Garrette Gochee 18-yard run (Sobiek run) 1:52

Third Quarter

Summertown – Timmy White 25-yard run (run failed) 11:22

Community – Sobiek 2-yard run (Smith run) 2:04

Fourth Quarter

Community – C. J. Rivera 29-yard run (Luke Murrill pass from Sobiek) 7:13