Photo: Offense MVP Zack Dorton and defense MVP Danny Reyes hold their trophies after MVC’s opening round play-off win against Northwestern College on Nov. 23. (Photo by David L. Roberts)
Story by Alex Missey
The Missouri Valley Vikings had a tough task ahead flying to Helena, Montana, for their second round playoff game against the Carroll College Fighting Saints. The Fighting Saints were ranked number three and the Vikings were ranked number seven. The game did not go as planned for the Vikings as they were defeated 27-3 and ended their hopes at their second straight Final Four appearance. The Vikings finished the season with a record of 9-3 (8-1).
Previously the Missouri Valley Vikings defeated the Northwestern Iowa Red Raiders at Gregg Mitchell Field by a score of 38-13. With the win, the Vikings advanced in the FCS NAIA playoffs.
The Vikings hosted their third straight opening round playoff game November 23 against the number 12 ranked team in the nation Northwestern of Iowa. Having a home game was a big advantage for the Vikings.
The Missouri Valley College football team has seen its fair share of success over the past three seasons. The Vikings have captured three straight Heart of America Athletic Conference title and they are on their way to the playoffs for the third straight season.
Last year the Vikings went to the Final Four and finished the season with a loss in the final seconds.
With the number one defense in the NAIA, this set up a tough task for any offense that took the field.
“The old adage is if they can’t score, they can’t win,” said Head Coach Paul Troth. The team has had their ups and downs this year going 9-3 (8-1) but they still managed to win when it mattered. The last three games of the season were do or die for the Vikings.
They managed to beat Peru State on the road in a tough fought game. The following Saturday Benedictine came into Marshall ranked number four in the nation while the Vikings were ranked number 10. The Vikings were a big underdog. This did not phase the team as they went out and won in a game that they took control of from the opening kick-off. The offense and defense put together a full 60 minutes of football and beat the Ravens 42-14. Finally capping off the regular season, they went to Avila and the defense played up to their number one ranking posting a shutout. The final was 26-0.