No. 9 Grand View takes Odin's Helmet home

Monday, September 23, 2019
A 27-yard third-down catch by senior Ramiah Marshall (3) kept an early Valley drive alive. (Chris Allen/Democrat-News)

The difference between the Vikings of then and the Vikings of now was stark Saturday during the Battle of Odin's Helmet at Gregg-Mitchell Field.

Not so long ago the Missouri Valley College football team was what the 9th-ranked Grand View program is currently -- a perennial playoff contender. When the Iowa Vikings were punched in the mouth, they shrugged it off and went on about their business of knocking off a Heart of America Conference opponent, 41-14

When the hometown Vikings faced adversity, they created more of it.

It didn't start that way. Although Valley didn't score on its first two possessions, kicks of 71 and 48 yards by two-time all-America senior punter Drake Higgins kept Grand View trapped in its own end. Senior Jake Bridges led the Vikings on a five-play, 72-yard drive with a 10-yard bootleg -- with a 15-yard penalty added on -- and a 30-yard scoring strike to sophomore Wayne Grant.

After an exchange of punts, Grand View got its offense moving -- scoring touchdowns on the next three possessions. A 28-yard pass from sophomore Johnny Sullivan to senior Stevie Sarcone led to the first of three TD receptions by junior Anthony Turner, from 17 yards out.

After a Valley three-and-out, Turner caught a 48-yard bomb from Sullivan. A chop-block penalty spoiled the next Viking drive, with Grand View getting two completions for first downs from Sullivan, who then handed off to sophomore Arthur Braden for a 37-yard touchdown run.

Valley got the game's first turnover when senior Narqueese Smith stepped in front of a flat pass and went 55 yards for a pick-six, closing the margin to 21-13 with 1:20 to go in the first half. If the Vikings had gone into the break then, the rest of the game may have gone differently.

Unfortunately, the next few minutes were ruinous. Senior Ben Rooney caught a 28-yard pass, Grand View gained another 30 yards on back-to-back MVC penalty, and a 12-yard scoring toss to Rooney made it 28-13 with 10 seconds left in the period.

Valley's third play of the second half was intercepted by junior Brenden Flowers. It took Grand View nine plays to cover 43 yards, the last 14 on a Rooney TD catch.

After the next two series ended in punts, the Vikings drove 64 yards, scoring on junior Briquez Alvies' 9-yard run early in the fourth quarter. Valley got the ball back down by two scores with seven minutes remaining in the contest, but was stopped on downs at their own 29-yard line -- setting up Sullivan's fifth touchdown pass, 32 yards to Turner.

Bridges connected with senior Ramiah Marshall on passes of 13 and 15 yards -- but the second one was fumbled, freshman Kiaeem Mosley recovered and Grand View ran out the remaining 77 seconds of the clock.

Grand View (4-0) out-gained the Vikings, 418 to 235 yards, and had six sacks on defense -- three involving junior Anthony Harper. It returns to Des Moines this week for a clash with No. 14 Evangel.

Valley (2-2) gets a respire after consecutive losses with a trip Saturday to winless Graceland, but it has too many issues to address to take any opponent lightly.

Contact Chris Allen at callen@marshallnews.com

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