MCARTHUR — Through the first six weeks of the season, Vinton County had managed its best start since 2004 sitting at 4-1.
It had done so with a stout running game featuring a stable of running backs. But Friday was its turn to be ran over instead of doing the running.
In a matchup of former TVC rivals, Warren ran for over 300 yards and controlled the line of scrimmage as it defeated the Vikings 28-12.
“We started off pretty strong defensively, but our offense started slow and never really caught up,” Vinton County coach T.J. Carper said. “We aren’t going to win games just because we’re Vinton County and we got off to a great start. You have to play and know that every team is going to give you their best shot. Warren did that and we didn’t answer back.”
In particular, there was one guy who owed the gridiron and that was Warren sophomore running back Jason Williams.
The 5-foot-8 dynamo used his lower center of gravity, combined with his speed to find the gaps and bruised the Vikings’ defense all night long.
He ended the night with 25 carries for 260 yards and scored all four Warrior touchdowns on the evening.
“He hurt us bad. It was just one big run after another, and we just couldn’t wrap him up,” Carper said. “In the second half, it just felt like Warren wanted it more. They got the push up front and put us on our heels. Maybe it was because it was an old TVC rivalry from a while ago, but we should have been better.”
It started off good for the Vikings in the beginning. On their opening drive, they marched right down the field, then Braylon Damron took the quarterback option and sprinted 32 yards up the right sideline for the touchdown for a 6-0 lead following a missed point after.
Fast forwarding to the second quarter, the Vikings had possession and were beginning to put a drive together. But they committed a false start on fourth down which pushed the ball back.
They still went for it and came up short in their own territory, leaving Warren to work with a short field. A few plays later, Williams broke a tackle and dashed 17 yards to paydirt to put Warren ahead 7-6 at halftime.
“We had some missed assignments and guys were running wide to the outside instead up straight up the middle,” Carper said. “Being down 7-6 wasn’t new territory for us, but we needed to play with more sense of urgency. All we needed was just the right block and meeting Warren at the point of attack.”
Warren opened the second half with the ball, and rode the legs of Williams down the field. Realizing it was getting the push up front, it ran the ball the entire drive before Williams cashed in from three yards out to push the lead to 14-6.
Heading into the final quarter, Vinton County had the ball but fumbled it into Warren’s hands which seemed to have flipped all momentum.
However, Warren returned the favor on the next play as its pass was intercepted by Brady Woltz to give Vinton County back possession.
It cashed in on the turnover as Zayne Karr found the endozne from two yards out to bring the score within 14-12 after a failed two-point try.
Despite the Vikings attempting to swing momentum, it wasn’t meant to be as Williams scored the final two scores of the night from 33 and 41 yards respectively to ice the game on a Warrior victory.
“We had penalties at the wrong time, and the way we run our offense, 3rd-and-2 or 3rd-and-3 is where we want to be,” Carper said. “But we had holdings and false starts that just completely killed drives. We need to be more mentality checked in and clean up those mistakes.”
For Vinton County, Karr finished with 142 rushing yards and a touchdown, while Damron added a rushing touchdown.
Vinton County returns to TVC action on Friday at home against River Valley.