By Mike McGinnis
Last Saturday, the Vienna-Goreville High School football team opened its 2013 season with a 14-8 victory over Johnston City on a brutally hot afternoon at Vienna. The win was the Eagles’ first over Johnston City since V-G began competing at the varsity level four years ago.
After the Eagles’ defense forced Johnston City to punt on its first possession, V-G’s offense went to work at its own 35 yard line. Eagles’ quarterback Austin Krelo completed screen passes to Connor Seavers and Kyefer Cavins before a run by Seavers put the ball just short of the 45, leaving V-G with a fourth down.
The Eagles decided to go for the first down, giving the ball to Seavers, who followed good blocking and broke a couple of tackles on his way to a 55 yard touchdown run. Austyn Frassato kicked the extra point to put V-G ahead 7-0.
Johnston City took the ensuing kick-off and moved deep into Eagles’ territory before the Indians fumbled and Cavins recovered, giving V-G possession at its own 16 yard line, but the Eagles could not capitalize.
Late in the second quarter, with the Eagles lined up to punt, a bad snap gave Johnston City the ball at the V-G four yard line. Two plays later, the Indians scored on a three yard run, then also ran for the extra points to give them an 8-7 halftime lead.
With the “feels like temperature” well into the triple digits, the heat was a definite factor. V-G head coach Mike Rude had to be helped from the field at halftime and was taken to an area hospital.
In the third quarter, one of the game officials was overcome by the heat and had to leave the field, and throughout the game several players were treated for heat related issues. In coach Rude’s absence, assistant coach Brian Trambley stepped into the head coach position for the second half.
The Eagles appeared headed for another score on their second possession of the third quarter. V-G used the running of Cavins, Seavers, and Quin Colson along with pass completions from Krelo to Alec Gold and Zeke Snell to move from its own 23 to the Indians’ 16 yard line before Johnston City intercepted a pass to end the drive. V-G’s defense held, forcing the Indians to punt.
Cavins then gave the Eagles good field position when he received the kick near mid-field and returned it down to the Johnston City 24 yard line. Three plays later, Seavers scored his second touchdown on a six yard run and Frassato again kicked the extra point to give V-G a 14-8 lead going into the fourth quarter.
The V-G defense came up with some big plays in the final period to preserve the victory. The Indians opened the frame by driving down to the V-G 22 before their fourth down pass fell incomplete. Following an Eagles’ punt, Johnston City moved to the V-G 35 but an interception by Frassato ended the threat.
On the Indians’ next series Frassato recovered a fumble, stopping Johnston City’s drive at the V-G 22 yard line. With less than two minutes to play, the Indians had the ball at the V-G 37 when Eagles’ defensive end Jace Ennis broke through the line and sacked the quarterback at mid-field. Johnston City’s final pass attempt was broken up by Frassato and Blake Crain, and the Eagles took over on downs and ran out the clock.
Connor Seavers led the V-G ground game with 124 yards rushing, while Zeke Snell caught two passes for 45 yards.
The Eagles’ varsity will travel to Chester this Friday, with kick-off set for 7 p.m. The freshman team is scheduled to play Chester this Thursday at Vienna at 5 p.m. and the sophomore squad will host Chester on Monday, also at 5 p.m.