Vinton County kicks off season with out of conference win, beats Unioto 31-15


Vinton County 31, Unioto 15

Week 1 of Friday night football had the Sherman Tanks of
Unioto traveling out Route 50 to McArthur for an SVC versus TVC match up.  In the end, it was the Tri Valley Conference
that came out on top, as the Vinton County Vikings captured an opening night
31-15 win.

McARTHUR – Week 1 of Friday night football had the Sherman
Tanks of Unioto traveling out Route 50 to McArthur for an SVC versus TVC match
up.  In the end, it was the Tri
Valley Conference that came out on top, as the Vinton County Vikings captured
an opening night 31-15 win.

“Well it is obviously positive to come out on opening night
and start the season with a win,” VC head coach Nolan Yates said.  “I think we are a much deeper team than
a year ago, and I as a coach am becoming more confident in more players, which
makes us a much more balanced team.”

After an ugly first quarter that saw multiple
three-and-outs, several penalties and an interception from both sides, it was
Vinton County’s defense that came up with the big play to get the Vikings off
and running. On the last play of the first-quarter, Vinton County’s Zach Graves
shot the gap and recorded a tackle for a three-yard loss inside Unioto’s
five-yard line.  After the two teams
marched the entire length of the field for the change of the quarter, the
Viking defense struck again, this time recording a safety to take an early 2-0

The score remained that way until the 6:16 mark of the
second quarter, when Vinton County senior running back Bobby Mason busted up
the middle and scampered 27-yards for the score.  The Adam Jarvis PAT attempt was blocked keeping the VC lead
at 8-0.

On the next possession, the Shermans needed only two plays
to answer, with the big blow coming when Unioto quarterback Quentin Detillion
hit receiver Hobey Cottrell on a quick slant, and the 5-10 junior ran away form
the Viking secondary.  All told,
the scoring pass and catch covered 64-yards and the Jeff Strausbaugh PAT cut
the Viking lead to one at 8-7.

This time it was Vinton County’s turn to strike back
quickly, and they did just that when they saw their next drive continue thanks
to a fourth-down penalty.  The
Vikings wasted no time capitalizing, as VC quarterback Ryan Stewart found a
wide open Andy Grillo who stumbled down at the one yard line after a 39-yard
reception.  On the next play,
Stewart called his own number, as the senior signal caller took the snap and
dove straight ahead for the score. 
The Jarvis PAT was once again blocked to keep the Viking lead at 14-7.

The Vikings would add to their lead with another score
before halftime, and again it was the combination of Stewart and Grillo, this
time on a 15-yard fade route that resulted in six and a 20-7 score.  The Viking two-point conversion failed
and the two teams headed to the locker room with VC owning the 13-point

“Overall I didn’t think we played a bad first half,” Yates
said.  “We have some little things
we have to clean up, but our coaches do a great job and I look for us to
improve quite a bit from week one to week two.”

It turned out that the halftime lead would be more than
enough for the Vikings’ defense, who took control in the second half and got
into the scoring act itself.  After
a Tyler Dutcher punt pinned the Shermans inside the five, Grillo – who has a
sophomore making his first varsity start caught two balls for 54 yards and a
touchdown – came off the corner to tackle the Unioto ball carrier for a second
Viking defensive safety.  Later in
the quarter the defense recorded its third safety to stretch the VC lead to
three possessions at 24-7.

A Stewart 13-yard TD run a little more than halfway through
the fourth quarter put the game away for good.  The Jarvis PAT was good making it 31-7.  All totaled, Stewart was 11-17 with 128
yards and a touchdown.  The
versatile QB also ran for two scores.

Despite the 31 point output, the Viking offense did have
some opportunities to put the Shermans away much earlier, but some sloppy
ball-handling and other decisions cost the Vikings a chance to get it in the
end zone.

“We have to do a better job of ball security,” Yates said.
“As we move forward and start to play some of the teams coming up on our
schedule, we just cannot make the same mistakes.  I feel we have the depth of athletes to compete, but we
definitely have to improve on the mistakes we made tonight.”

The VC coach must have got his message across because his
senior tailback echoed the words of the coach.

“Way too many fumbles, especially down close to the goal,”
said senior running back Nick Hurne, who combined with classmate running back
Bobby Mason to produce 155 yards on 31 carries.  “With it being the first game, you always feel good about
getting a win, but we have to improve on some of the little things before next

Unioto (0-1) did add some points on late as Detillion led
them on an impressive drive late in the game.  The 6-4 sophomore quarterback capped off the drive with a
quarterback draw from 4-yards out. 
On the night, Detillion completed 9-of-23 passes for 155 yards and a
touchdown.  The signal caller also
threw two interceptions in his first career varsity start.  Detillion’s favorite target was Cottrell
who snared five passes for 126 yards and a score. 

“We definitely have some positives we can pull from
tonight’s game,” said first-year Unioto head coach Curt Detillion.  “The kids have worked hard all summer
long, and have continued to do so leading up to this first game.  We had a good week of practice, and I
saw improvement from our scrimmages to tonight.  We have some fixable things, and I feel like we will play
better next week.”

Week two has the Vikings heading on the road to Gallia
Academy, while the Shermans have their home opener against Greenfield McClain,
who lost in week one to the SVC’s Frankfort Adena. 

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