After seven straight setbacks, Evergreen took out some frustration with a season-ending 30-0 whitewash of Swanton for their third win of the season.
Swanton finished the year winless in 10 tries.
After a three-and-out stop on the Dogs’ first drive, allowed Swanton’s Cole Mitchey rumbled 16 yards on a fake punt for a first down but that drive ended when Landen Vance fell on a Bulldog fumble.
Riley Dunbar’s fumble after a Swanton punt gave the Bulldogs premium field position. A first down pass to Kaden Curtis and a pass interference penalty put the Bulldogs at the Evergreen 15.
But after three plays gained just two yards, Ethan Hensley’s 30-yard field goal sailed wide right.
Payton Boucher’s 10 yard run plus a personal foul pushed the Vikings out to the 45 and two Connor Hewson rushes totaled 26 yards to set up Alex Peete 35-yard field goal that gave Evergreen a 3-0 lead in the second quarter.
Max Mossing and Diesel Stoykoff combined for a 12-yard sack, then Vance and Stoykoff got together at the quarterback again setting up the Vikings for another scoring chance.
Eight plays later, Boucher hit Brock Hudik on the edge and it took the senior receiver one move to find an opening down the sideline for an 18-yard score and a 10-0 halftime lead.
“We handled that adversity (of the opening quarter),” explained Viking Coach Aaron Schmidt. “It would’ve been easy to fold up and feel sorry for ourselves. It showed a lot of the leadership of this team, it was one of things we focused on is having good leaders.”
In the third, Swanton appeared to have its first touchdown of the game before a penalty flag negated it. Mitchey found Kayden Davis in the end zone, but the score was called back due to an offensive pass interference call and the Bulldog drive stalled.
After that, Evergreen put together an 88-yard drive loaded with double digit plays to take a 17-0 lead.
Hewson had a 13-yard catch and 21-yard run.
Vance snared a Boucher strike across the middle for 20 more, Hewson added 10 more to get inside the 10 where Boucher finished it off with a five yard romp off the right side.
Ashton Sayers stuffed Trenton Eitniear on a 4th-and-2 to give the Vikings the ball back on the Bulldog 47 and on the first play, Boucher again hit Vance and the senior tight end carried Bulldogs like a fireman carrying people to safety, gaining 38 yards to get inside the 10.
Hewson scored from a yard away on the first play of the fourth to push the lead to 23-0.
Eitniear hit the edge for 36 yards to get the ball to the Viking 11 but three plays later, Hudik picked off Mitchey in the end zone to keep the shutout intact.
The Vikings scored once more a minute later when Dunbar had a 35-yard catch, Grant Richardson took a short pass and galloped 53 yards to the Bulldog 12, and Dunbar went high to grab a Boucher fade to make it 30-0.
“I sat in there at halftime and the upperclassmen and the seniors handled everything I had to say,” Schmidt exclaimed. “I just kind of said ‘OK they’ve got this.’ We handled adversity and we challenged them that we weren’t happy with how the first half went and then they came out and just showed out in the second half. We got a score early then we were able to establish a ground game. When you play in this league you have to be able to establish the run and that is something we haven’t been able to do lately. Then that opened up some things in the passing game. It comes down to not X’s and O’s but kids with big hearts.”
For the game, Evergreen totaled 401 yards with 244 coming in the air as Boucher was 13-19, while Hewson and Boucher combined for 151 on the ground in Evergreen’s best offensive showing in the last eight weeks.
“I just told the guys, you work so hard in the offseason, you work so hard during the season. There are ups, the downs, the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s really nice to end on a high note,” said Schmidt. “These kids have worked really hard, they deserve this night to walk off this field, some of them for the last time as winners. I hope they take the lessons they have learned and be better men from being part of this.”
Swanton ran for 110 on 38 tries with Eitniear getting 61 on nine totes.
Mitchey was 9-26 for 61 yards.