By Mike McGinnis
The Vienna-Goreville High School football team moved a step closer to a second straight play-off berth by defeating Sesser-Valier-Waltonville-Woodlawn, 41-15, last Friday on senior night at Sesser. The Eagles, now 4-2 with three games remaining, need one more win to qualify for post-season play.
After forcing a Red Devil punt, V-G took over at the S-V-W-W 42 yard line. Two Connor Seavers runs went for no gain, but a face-mask penalty against the Red Devils moved the ball down to the 29. On the next play, Seavers broke a couple of tackles at the line of scrimmage and made it to the end zone. Austyn Frassato kicked the PAT to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead. S-V-W-W answered with a 60 yard drive that ended with a five yard touchdown pass. The extra point kick tied it up at 7-7 with 6:43 left in the first quarter. On V-G’s next possession, a 55 yard Frassato punt pinned the Red Devils at their own five yard line. On third down, Brandon Pyle and Jamie Paisley teamed up for quarterback sack, forcing a fourth down punt that Kyefer Cavins returned 39 yards for a touchdown, making his second straight game with a punt return touchdown. Frassato’s kick for the conversion put the Eagles ahead 14-7 at the end of the first period.
The Red Devils scored what would be their final points of the game on a 22 yard run at the 9:53 mark of the second quarter, then ran for the two-point conversion to go ahead 15-14.
However, their lead was short-lived as on V-G’s next possession, Cavins followed good blocking at the line of scrimmage and broke loose around the left side for a 58 yard touchdown run. Frassato again kicked the extra point, putting the Eagles ahead 21-15. Cavins scored his third touchdown with 2:34 left in the second period on a 41 yard run. Frassato’s PAT kick was no good, making it 27-15. S-V-W-W then drove down to the Eagles’ two yard line, but the V-G defense held. Spearheading the defensive stand were Dallas Melot and Jacob Hosier, who together tackled the Red Devil ball carrier for a loss on two separate plays in the closing seconds of the half.
With 2:49 left in the third quarter, Seavers scored on a 40 yard run to boost V-G’s lead to 33-15. On the ensuing kick-off, Alec Gold recovered a Red Devil fumble to put the Eagles back in business at the S-V-W-W 33 yard line. Two plays later V-G closed out the scoring when Seavers carried for a 26 yard touchdown run and Tylour Daubert ran for the two-point conversion to make it 41-15.
The Eagles defense, which coach Rude said “had done a great job adjusting in the second half,” shut out the Red Devils the rest of the way to preserve the win. Coach Rude also commented about “shooting ourselves in the foot,” as V-G was flagged nine times for 70 yards and had three touchdowns called back by penalties. He praised the team, saying “the effort was just fantastic, you came out tonight and took it.”
He also credited the offensive and defensive line play with being a key to the victory.
V-G racked up 453 yards of offense with Connor Seavers ( 211 yards rushing, 3 touchdowns) and Kyefer Cavins (121 yards, 2 rushing touchdowns, 1 punt return touchdown) leading the way.
The varsity squad is scheduled to play Carmi this Saturday at Vienna. PLEASE NOTE: THE STARTING TIME FOR SATURDAY’S GAME HAS BEEN CHANGED TO 11:30 A.M. The sophomore team will travel to Carmi on Monday (Oct. 14) for a 6:15 start.