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Saturday, Apr. 19, 2014

Vikings' offense finds groove at CMU

Monday, October 1, 2007

(Photo)
A 53-yard reception by junior Javion Jones set up the first of three Valley touchdowns during the third quarter.
(Chris Allen/Democrat-News)
FAYETTE -- The Missouri Valley College football team turned the lights out early on Central Methodist's first night game in over 50 years during Saturday's 56-7 Heart of America Conference romp at Fayette.

The Eagles' lone highlight was an 87-yard touchdown return of the opening kickoff by junior Jeremy Jefferson. The 22nd-ranked Vikings took command late in the first half and put the hammer down after the break.

The only thing which seemed to stop Valley was Valley. While the defense -- ranked second in the NAIA in rushing -- was stuffing Methodist's running game for a net of minus-9 yards on the ground, the struggling Viking offense got into high gear.

It didn't happen immediately, though. After putting together a nine-play, 54-yard drive to score on sophomore David Allen's 1-yard run midway through the first quarter, Valley missed a field goal and fumbled on its next two possessions.

The pattern repeated itself following junior Robert Holmes' 1-yard TD plunge to cap an eight-play, 77-yard series.

Yet, when Valley got the ball back with a little over three minutes left in the half, freshman quarterback Chris White engineered an eight-play, 76-yard drive which took only two minutes, finding senior Erik Brown with a 15-yard scoring strike.

White had a strong first half, throwing for 164 yards to nine different receivers, and was just getting started. The Vikings came away with touchdowns on three of their first four possessions of the second half, each series covering more than 60 yards.

Senior John Brinley caught a 5-yard toss in the end zone following a 53-yard catch by junior Javion Jones, who was tripped up from behind at the 7-yard line.

Allen went in from 6 yards out after earlier carrying the ball for 19 and 12 yards and catching a 17-yard pass. Sophomore sprinter Tommy Gayfield broke off a 76-yard dash to add to Valley's lead, which was 42-7 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Vikings' defense put up its first points of the season early in the final frame when junior Correy Webb returned an interception 48 yards. Valley added a touchdown on junior Adam Mares' 4-yard throw to senior T.J. White with 12 seconds left in the game -- those last points giving the program its highest total since head coach Paul Troth took over in 2002.

The Eagles (0-3, 0-3 HAAC) suffered 12 tackles for losses -- including five sacks, two by junior linebacker Jonathan Durham of Marshall -- and were forced to punt 12 times. Sophomore Andrew Boggs of Slater led Central Methodist with eight total tackles.

An easy win couldn't have come at a better for the Vikings (3-2, 3-2), reeling somewhat from a pair of home losses which set them back in their quest to repeat as conference champions.

Valley could take a big step toward recovering from its previous blows, and remain in the NAIA playoff picture, when -- after a much-needed bye week -- it hosts No. 11 MidAmerica Nazarene on Oct. 13.



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