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Second half surge leads Vikes past L-E

Posted: November 2, 2013 1:45 p.m.
Updated: November 4, 2013 5:00 a.m.

So close but yet so far away. 
A three-point deficit at halftime left Lugoff-Elgin trailing Spring Valley, 17-14. It seemed so close at one point. But in the end it was the fourth ranked Vikings who pulled far away for a 38-14 victory on a wet and rainy Friday night at Lugoff-Elgin Stadium.
 The host Demons (1-9, 1-3 in Region 4-4A) gave the undefeated Vikings (10-0,4-0 in 4-4A) a scare but it wasn’t enough as the visitors put on a display in a 21-point second half.
L-E head coach Scott Jones was very vocal of how proud he was of his club.
“I’m so proud of them because we had a great chance to compete and be in the ballgame,” he said. “We were down, 17-14, at halftime. Our guys did a great job defensively but, we just made too many mistakes overall against this bunch on offense.
“But I’m extremely proud of the kids … I couldn’t really ask for anything else out of them.”
As the wins and yards have piled up for Spring Valley, every week it seems like a biblical “David vs. Goliath” type match-up for the Vikings as they played the obvious favorite. On this night, however, the Demons playing the role of little David, had plenty of fight in this one.
Early in the contest it, though, looked as if it could be a runaway for the powerhouse Vikings as it was 17-0 after the first quarter of play. The rain, which stopped around halftime, made the conditions slick and wet making the ball hard to hang onto. It seemed to play a role for both teams taking away the pitch on the option for Spring Valley while the Demons had trouble with snaps.
The Demons could not handle a snap on a punt in the first series which led to an easy score for Spring Valley. Then L-E fumble at its own 40, gave the ball right back to the Vikings who were only able to muster a 25 yard field goal. Still it was 10-0 with 2:31 left in the first quarter.
L-E had plenty of trouble moving the football early on the vaunted Spring Valley defense.
“Well, they just are better than we are. There’s no other way around it,” Jones said matter-of-factly. “That’s probably the best defense we’ve played all year, so moving the ball was extraordinarily hard for us tonight they have bigger and better people.
“Our thing was we had to fight and scratch and claw our way to be competitive and we did. Getting a first down was such a chore against these guys. We told them to just worry about getting first downs but we shot ourselves in the foot too many times.”
The Vikings showed their big play ability after another Demon punt. A 70-yard run by quarterback Chris Adams made it a three-score game as the guests led, 17-0, going into the second quarter. The Vikings run the triple option out of the flexbone and they have some very talented backs but Adams did it himself on that play.
Then came the Demon surge.
It took midway through the second quarter for the Demons to move the chains for the first time in the game. But they made the most of it with a 43-yard touchdown run on fourth and two by Shon Belton capped a seven-play 62-yard scoring drive. The time out before the 4th down play made it all the more dramatic.
Later, Jones talked about getting off the schneid on offense after a drought which seemed like forever in the first quarter.
“Shon did a great job, but our line did an awesome job,” Jones said. “We called a little trick play on fourth down that got Shon outside. But I was a little disappointed with our offense to start off there first quarter. Once they settled down and realized those guys put their pants on the same way we do, they started actually playing with them and competed.”
On the ensuing Spring Valley drive, the Demon defense could feel the momentum after the touchdown and swarmed all over the ball, pinning the Vikings back on two tackles for loss. On fourth and long, Illichris Gordon came in like a man possessed on a jail break to block the punt and recover it in opposing territory.
The play was one of the many highlights for the Demon defense that forced Spring Valley to punt and gave the guests fits in the first half.
“Those guys were flying around the football and there was a lot of gang tackling at one point,” Jones said of his defense. “We have that young secondary you know, and some things broke down and they were trying like crazy. I can’t say enough about them because they responded really well tonight.”
This time it took just three plays for the Demons to score as Belton scored, again, this time from 35 yards out by going along the near sideline. After the two-point conversion attempt it was 17-14 going into the half.
With the fourth-ranked class 4A team on the ropes, the Demons had all the momentum on their side. But Spring Valley is undefeated and top ranked for a reason. The Vikings came out strong in the second half and scored right away. A two-play drive finished off by a 35 yard run by Alec Koon. Before you blinked coming out of the half, SV extended the lead to 24-14 after just 30 seconds played in the second half.
The Demons would have one more highlight on defense however, as Spring Valley was on the move yet again and had it near the L-E goal line. On second and goal, the Demons forced another fumble and recovered it at their own one. The Demons were able to pick up a first down at the 12 but no more after that as the drive stalled and were forced to punt. It was still a moral victory for the defense.
 “I’ll say this,” Jones said of the sequence, “our guys fought hard ‘til the very end. They have great attitudes. I know that doesn’t mean a lot when you’re getting beat but it sure does mean a lot to us as coaches.
“But when we had the momentum, at times, offensively, we would get sacked or something else to put us back.”
After a very short punt, the Vikings added another touchdown to extend the lead to three scores, making it 31-14 with 10 seconds left in the third period.  A 27 yard touchdown pass from Adams to Kavon Breeland pretty much put the game on ice as this one headed into the final quarter.
When asked if Spring Valley made any particular adjustments, Jones said he was pretty sure it was just a matter of Spring Valley making plays.
“No, we just missed our assignments there,” he said. “Our guys just missed the wrong person on some drives. We’ve been playing so well and then that happening was unfortunate. It took the wind out of our sails a little bit there.”
An interception thrown ended the final threat for the Demons at midfield. The offense would never have any success after that.
Spring Valley added one more score later in the fourth to make it 38-14.
Even though it was a large deficit, this game had its share of moral victories and highlights for L-E. The Demons held an SV offense, which average well over 500 yards per game to just 328 on this night. But good teams know how to finish and put games away, and that’s exactly what Spring Valley did going into the second half and final quarter of play.
 Jones was very proud of his team and even though Goliath won this round, David still went down swinging in a good fight.
“I told them I couldn’t be more proud of them. Just because as a coach, of their attitudes on the sidelines and the way they kept fighting and fighting,” Jones said. “They kept positive on the whole thing. They could have easily quit and they didn’t do that. They represented very well for our school and class”

Demon Doings: Spring Valley’s star running back, John Miller did not play in the game presumably because of the possibility of being injured on the wet field … Unofficially, Spring Valley had 328 yards of total offense with 303 coming on the ground. L-E mustered 138 yards in offense with Belton accounting for all but three of those yards. He had 118 yards rushing on 24 carries and 17 yards through the air … Demons had three turnovers to two for Spring Valley … The Vikings had 12 first downs to just six for Lugoff- Elgin … The Demons had six three and outs in the ballgame … Defensively, Jacob Collins had 10 stops for the Demons while Gordon had six tackles, four for loss with two forced fumbles, and recovering two more fumbles.

 

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