Photo: Viking Mikquel Johnson catches a short pass from quarterback Bruce Reyes.
Story by DelMeko Jordan
The No. 6 Missouri Valley College football beat Evangel by running up the score in the second half at MVC Homecoming on Oct. 19 at Gregg-Mitchell Field. The final score was 31-14.
Both teams struggled in the first half to get anything going for both the Vikings offense and the Crusaders as well. Both teams traded out punts through the whole first quarter, until the Vikings put up an eight-play drive that drove them down to their 29-yard line. Nevertheless, the Vikings drive ended up with a 46-yard field goal attempt missed by kicker Lucas Guilfoil.
The score was 0-0 late in the first quarter until tight end Zach Thomas flew by the lineman to block an Evangel punt with the ball going out of bounds. However, on the second play, Vikings quarterback Bruce Reyes took a hit and was injured. On the third play, backup quarterback Zack Dorton threw an interception in the end zone to Evangel defense.
Both teams force punts on their drives and the Vikings took over on their 20-yard line. Then Vikings running back Nijel Daw fumbled, giving Evangel the ball on Viking’s 30-yard line. Evangel didn’t waste any time with scoring on a broken coverage by the Vikings defense. Evangel took the lead at 7-0 with 11 minutes remaining in the second quarter.
After the Vikings had three more possession in the second quarter, they failed to put up any points. The score was 7-0 Evangel leading at the end of the first half.
Things changed in the third quarter for the Viking offense as they got the ball to start the second half. The Vikings drove down the field on Evangel with a 67-yard drive that ended in a 20-yard field goal by Lucas Guilfoil. The Vikings scored into the Evangel lead at 7-3 with nine-minutes remaining in the third quarter.
The Viking defense held Evangel on the next drive, and a 45-yard punt return by junior wide receiver Jarrell Davis set up the Vikings on their next drive. The Viking starting quarterback Reyes came back in from his injury and he and the offense drove down the Crusaders defense with running back Malachi Daniels running the ball the majority of the drive. The Vikings didn’t face a third down and they caped off a seven-play 54-yard drive with a nine-yard run by running back James Tillman and an extra point by Guilfoil, giving the Vikings the lead 10-7.
Evangel was stopped and the Vikings stuffed them to just three plays, with one yard gained. However, the Vikings scored again on an eight yard run by Daniels. The scoring play occurred after a pass play from Reyes to receiver Mikquel Johnson to set up a touchdown run by Daniels.
The next drive Evangel responded with a deep pass touchdown that cut the Vikings lead 17-14. The Viking team was stopped by the Crusaders defense forcing them to punt. The Vikings defense made another stop, with the Vikings offense trying to put away the game. The Vikings drove the ball down the field and scored on a four-yard touchdown run by Tillman extending the lead 24-14 with just 5 minutes remaining in the game.
After taking over on the failed fourth down attempt by the Vikings, Evangel was trying to make a comeback with 3 minutes left but the quarterback was sacked by Viking linebacker Brad Avila and fumbled. The ball pick up by nose tackle Leon Jackson running for a touchdown, giving the Vikings a huge lead 31-14. The game ended with the Vikings running out the clock ending the score with a Vikings win 31-14.
The Vikings now have won 18 straight Heart of America Athletic Conference games. MVC is 5-1 overall and 5-0 in HAAC play while Evangel falls to 2-4 overall and 2-3 in HAAC play. The Vikings have another home game next week on Saturday as they host Baker University at Gregg-Mitchell Field. The game is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
Photo below: Quarterback Bruce Reyes looks to the sidelines for the next play.
Viking Malachi Daniels celebrates after a touchdown run.