Friday, December 1, 2023

Vienna-Goreville varsity football headed to the play-offs

By Mike McGinnis

The Vienna-Goreville varsity football team improved its record to 7-2 with a 22-12 victory at Eldorado last Friday.

The Eagles scored all of their points in the second quarter. Near the end of the first quarter, following a Cody Edmonds punt, Eldorado took possession at its own 10 yard line.  Eldorado had moved out to the thirty when the V-G defense came up with a couple of big plays. Caleb Belcher and Alex Lloyd teamed up to sack the quarterback for a seven yard loss. On the next play, Connor Seavers tackled the Eldorado ball carrier in the backfield for a six yard loss, forcing a fourth down punt. The Eagles’ defense broke through to block the punt and Edmonds realized every lineman’s dream of scoring a touchdown when he recovered the ball in the end zone. Seavers ran for the extra points to put V-G ahead 8-0 at the 9:46 mark of the second quarter. Eldorado made it 8-6 less than a minute later, when they scored on a 59 yard run. The Eagles then answered with a 54 yard drive that took 5:10 off the clock. Seavers carried it in from five yards out and Mason Bishop kicked the extra point to push the V-G lead to 15-6. On the next series, the V-G special teams came up with another big play when Edmonds blocked an Eldorado punt and Colton Brown recovered the ball, giving the Eagles possession at the Eldorado 48. V-G wasted no time in taking advantage as on the very next play, Christian Dahncke threw a strike to a wide open Belcher, who made a nice cutback move on his way to the end zone. Bishop again kicked the extra point, giving the Eagles a 22-6 halftime lead.

Neither team scored in the third quarter, although the Eagles kept possession for the majority of the period. V-G had driven to the Eldorado 35 with 4:48 left in the game when they turned the ball over on an interception. However, the Eagles regained possession on the next play as Belcher intercepted a pass and returned it to mid-field. V-G was unable to capitalize when their drive stalled and Eldorado took over on their own 37 yard line. Eldorado moved down the field and scored on a two yard run, closing the gap to 22-12, with just under two minutes to play. They then recovered their on-side kick, but two plays later, Blake Gray sealed the win with an interception and the Eagles ran out the clock.

After the game, head coach Mike Rude gave credit to  coach Al Way, who has never lost to Eldorado, for calling a great game.  Coach Rude also commented that the “seniors are setting the bar awful high for the younger kids coming behind you.”

Connor Seavers had 78 yards rushing, Caleb Belcher had 73 yards on 14 carries, and Kyefer Cavins added 42 yards. Christian Dahncke completed three passes for 73 yards.

The Eagles close out their regular season this Saturday with a game at Johnston City at 1 p.m.

The play-off pairings will be announced this Saturday and should be available for viewing at after 8:30 p.m.