MOREHEAD – Rowan County recovered from an early deficit to to close out the regular season with a winning record.
The Vikings’ 27-12 victory over the Montgomery County Indians improved the Vikings to 6-4 on the season. It’s the first year the Vikings have locked in a winning season since 2011.
“It’s great for our program. We have been building this thing from scratch, and for our guys to get that first edge on a winning season is tremendous,” said Vikings head coach Kelly Ford.
The Vikings had given up an early touchdown putting them behind with 5:38 left in the first quarter. The Indians quarterback Trey Ishmeal completed a nine yard pass to Tanner Orme for the first touchdown of the game.
The Indians’ attempt at the two-point conversion came up short. They entered the second quarter with a 6-0 lead.
Cole Wallace scored three touchdowns and rushed over 100 yards.
“Cole Wallace is a warrior for us. He has always ran the ball hard. I remember watching him in the youth leagues coming up to middle school, and now here, he is doing the same thing. He is our work horse,” said Ford.
Wallace knotted the score with 4:12 left in the first half on nine yard carry. Nathan Beseant kicked the extra point to put the Vikings ahead. Beasant went three for four missing to the left of the goal posts after the Vikings fourth touchdown.
Wallace scored again in the third and fourth quarters. With 6:48 left in the third quarter, Wallace carried the ball for 11 yards and the Vikings second touchdown, his 20th rushing touchdown this season.
Wallace entered Friday night’s game with 1283 rushing yards, averaging 142 yards per game.
He scored the third touchdown for the Vikings with 10:24 left in the game. Fighting his way through four defenders, Wallace carried the ball for another five yards to put the Vikings up 21-12.
The Vikings honored 17 seniors Friday night and were able to showcase some of those seniors during the last four minutes of play.
Senior Nick Johnson scored the Vikings’ fourth touchdown with 4:31 left on the clock. Johnson carried the ball for 13 yards and a touchdown.
“It couldn’t have happened to two better seniors. Nick Johnson all year long has made big plays for us and made some big third downs. I was happy to see him in the end zone. And Matt Bailey made a heck of a catch to seal it,” said Ford.
Senior defender Matthew Bailey caught his second interception of the season. His interception regained possession for the Vikings with under two minutes left in play. The Vikings ran down the clock and claim victory.
Montgomery’s second touchdown was scored by Austin Eichenberger with 2:31 left in the third quarter.
Wallace sacked Ishmeal for a loss of five yards. He forced the Indians 3rd and long and on the Vikings 32 yards line.
In one final attempt before relinquishing the ball on downs, Eichenberger caught a 29 yard pass from Ishmael on 4th and 12. The Indians had a chance to tie up the game 14-14, but Josh Wheaton’s attempt for the two point conversion was stopped by the Rowan County defense.
The Vikings return to action next Friday at Scott for the first round of the postseason. The Vikings lost 54-28 to Scott during the regular season.