There is a difference between getting beat and giving a game away.
Evergreen had no one to blame but themselves, as costly mistake after costly mistake led to a 28-0 loss to Otsego Friday night at Pifer Field in the football season opener.
After a pair of Brian Floyd catches from Jack Etue that totaled 34 yards got the Vikings into Knight territory on the game’s first drive, a false start put Evergreen behind the sticks and a fourth down stop turned the ball over on downs to the Knights.
The penalty bug kept biting the Vikes on defense as four flags that accounted for 30 yards – three of which gave the Knights first downs – allowed Otsego to travel 56 yards to paydirt on Joe Dzierwa’s 10-yard pass to Noah Keifer for the game’s first score midway through the first.
Behind Jack Krispin’s first down runs of 11 and 13 yards, the Vikes drove to the Knight 16 yard line where Etue executed a perfect fake and rolled into the end zone.
However, a hold on the play nullified the score and on fourth down, Etue missed Jacob Riggs slicing through the middle, again turning the ball over on downs.
The Vikes stuffed Otsego to force a punt and on the first play after from the Viking 29, Etue broke loose for 13 yards but fumbled to again give Otsego a second chance.
This time Dzierwa connected with Keifer on a screen for 41 yards that set up Jesse Wright’s one-yard burst to make it 14-0 late in the second quarter.
Wright broke away for a 57-yard score early in the third. Later in the period after the Vikes drove deep into Otsego territory, a miscommunication on an Etue pass resulted in Brandon Timko’s 90-yard pick six for the game’s final tally.
For the game Otsego gained 262 yards, including 180 in the air.
Fifty-seven of the Knights’ 82 rushing yards came on the TD run by Wright.
Evergreen gained 230 yards. Krispin had 98 on 21 rushes.
Evergreen committed 60 yards in penalties and had two costly turnovers that led to 14 of Otsego’s 28 points.
The Vikings travel to Montpelier (1-0) Friday.
Reach Joe Blystone at firstname.lastname@example.org