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