Vikings just short of victory

  For the second week in a row, the Ventura Vikings saw their chances for a victory slip away in the final minute of play.  With 1:15 remaining in Friday night’s match-up at Riceville the game was tied 40-40, but a final Wildcat TD with :09 remaining on the clock ended the game.  The loss closed the chapter on 67 years of Ventura football.
    “This was another hard fought game against a good team where our kids played well, but just came up short,” said Coach Mark Pueggel.  “We played well on defense at times, but still gave up a couple of big plays when we needed a stop.”

    The Vikings scored on their first possession of the game.  A 20-yard pass completion from Ryan Schmitz to Joel Watson put the ball on first and goal.  Schmitz was able to punch the ball in for Ventura’s first touchdown.  The two-point conversion failed, 6-0.
    Ventura took advantage on a bumbled Riceville snap that again put them on the one-yard line.  Schmitz again kept the ball for the second Viking TD.  The two-point conversion failed for a 12-0 first quarter Ventura lead.
    The Wildcats scored their first touchdown to start off the second quarter, but a 17-yard pass from Schmitz to Colton Knutson put the ball on the three-yard line for the Vikes.  Schmitz did what he does best and ran it in for another TD.  The two point conversion failed, 18-6.
    The Wildcats picked up another touchdown and connected on their two-point conversion to close the score to 18-14.  A Viking fumble set up Riceville’s next touchdown and the PAT was good giving the Wildcats a 21-18 halftime lead.
    Riceville came back from the break and collected two more TDs before Ventura got back on the board.  Ventura scored on a two-yard carry by Schmitz.  Schmitz kept the ball for the two-point conversion, 33-26, to end the third quarter.
    The Wildcats scored and connected on the PAT for a 40-26 lead.  Watson caught a long pass from Schmitz, but was tackled just shy of the goal line.  Zach Zwiefel ran the remaining four-yards for a Viking TD.  Zwiefel and Schmitz connected on a pass for the two-point conversion, 40-34.
    Schmitz found Knutson on a seven-yard pass to tie the game at 40-40 with 1:15 remaining.  The Wildcats scored with :09 remaining in the game.  The PAT was good for a 47-40 Riceville victory.
    “We passed the ball quite a bit this game, because they have a good run defense and we have a lot of confidence in our quarterback and receivers,” said Pueggel.
    Schmitz was 28/48 passing for 327-yards and two touchdowns.  He threw one interception.  Schmitz and Watson displayed great teamwork with Watson catching 16 passes for 172-yards.  Knutson also had a good night with seven catches for 93-yards and one touchdown.  Also making catches were Zwiefel with three receptions for 46-yards and one touchdown and Shawn Murphy with two catches for 16-yards.
    Rushing for the team was done by Schmitz and- Read More Via e-Edition

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