Viking quarterback Bruce Reyes carries the ball. (Photo by Jim Clark)
Story by DelMeko Jordan
The No. 7 Missouri Valley College Viking football team traveled to Kansas City to play Avila University to end the regular season. The Vikings beat the Eagles 26-0 victory. The win gives the Vikings a share in the Heart of America Athletic Conference championship, also shared by Baker and Benedictine. This is the third straight conference title for the football program, and puts the Vikings in line for the playoffs and even a championship.
The Vikings scored early on the first drive of the game. MVC threw the ball down the field with Quarterback Bruce Reyes 5 for 7 on this drive, but had to settled for a 32-yard field goal by kicker Lucas Guilfoil to give the Vikings a 3-0 lead with just 6 minutes left in the quarter.
MVC Defense forced Avila to punt on their first drive, with the Vikings scoring on another drive. The Vikings took over on their 35 yard line and Reyes ran 24- yards, then he connected with wide receiver Jarrell Davis for a touchdown to put the Vikings up 10-0 with 5 minutes remaining in the first quarter.
The second quarter, MVC forced the Eagles to punt again, taking over on their 17 yard line, with another score. The 32- yard big run was picked up by running back Malachi Daniels and eventually scored by Reyes on a nine-yard run, giving the Vikings an extended lead 17-0.
After the Vikings and Eagles traded punts, MVC took over from its own five yard line with just over a minute left in the half. MVC drove it down the field and scored with just one second remaining in the half when Reyes threw a pass to Wide Receiver Travis Thornton for a four yard touchdown. The score gave the Vikings a 23-0 lead at the halftime.
MVC was able to put points on the board on its first drive of the second half, after Linebacker Danny Reyes blocked an Avila punt. The Vikings were kept out of the end zone by Avila, but Guilfoil connected on an 18-yard field goal to give MVC a 26-0 lead early in the third quarter.
The Vikings had another scoring threat late in the third quarter. The Vikings started at midfield and drove down the field, but missed a field goal. MVC defense didn’t let the Eagles score at all in the remaining of the second half, and the Vikings were able to use the last minutes left to win the game 26-0
The win moves MVC to 8-2 overall and 8-1 in HAAC play. The Vikings capture a third-straight HAAC championship with the win, No. 13 overall for the program. The Vikings share the conference title with Baker University and Benedictine College which both finished the season at 8-1 in conference play. Avila falls to 4-7 overall and 2-7 in the HAAC.
The Vikings now await word on their berth into the NAIA Football Championship Series. The 16-team playoff will be announced Saturday at 3 p.m. The opening round of the FCS will be Saturday Nov. 23.
Photo at left: Viking Jarrell Davis dodges an Eagle player. (Photo by Jim Clark)
Below: Vikings block as James Tillman carries the ball. (Photo by Jim Clark)