MONTPELIER – After a listless first quarter, Evergreen’s offense put enough together to score three times and used an extremely solid performance on defense to knock off Montpelier, 20-6 to go to 2-0 on the season.
“We still need more consistency,” said Viking coach Paul Amstutz of his offense. “When we get inside the red zone we need to get the ball in the end zone. But like they say a win is a win is a win.”
“This is the first time we’ve started 2-0 since the seniors were freshmen and we want to keep building on that each week, one game at a time.”
Evergreen twice got deep into Montpelier territory early, the first keyed by Nick Etue’s 17 yard pass to Dylan Komisarek that moved the ball to the 25.
However, a pair of incomplete passes put an end to the threat.
After a three-and-out, Evergreen drove again as first down catches by Komisarek, Levi Carson and Josh Laux put the ball on the 11 but the Vikes again squandered the opportunity.
Finally, Evergreen cashed in on a third try in Loco territory when on a fourth and goal from the 11, Laux cradled in a tipped pass for a score and a 7-0 lead with 4:04 left in the half.
Another fast three-and-out gave Evergreen yet another opportunity before halftime, and the Vikings made the most of this one when after Etue found Komisarek down the middle for 35 yards to the Loco 15, Carson finished the drive by going in from the three with 1:45 left in the half to give the Vikes a 14-0 halftime lead.
After being held to just two first downs in the first half, the Locos answered on the first possession of the third quarter.
Dallas Royer returned the kickoff to the Evergreen 48 and eight plays later, Royer barreled in from the six to chop the lead to 14-6.
However, the Viking defense sent the Locos off in three plays the next three possessions as the middle of Ian Seabolt, Sam Williamson and Cole Johnson sparingly gave up yardage and Tyler Coopshaw and Free Canales clamped down on the edge.
“This was Free’s first game back with us and he really did a job,” exclaimed Amstutz. “Defensively we were pretty solid except for one drive.”
The Vikes tacked on an insurance score with 5:37 to go, rambling 65 yards in six plays.
Peyton Pawlaczyk’s 14 yard catch set up Etue’s 28 yard scoring run to make it 20-6.
Montpelier picked up three first downs to get to the Viking 16, but Johnson’s shot on Austin Grubb dislodged to ball and Laux recovered to end the last Loco threat.
Evergreen picked up 337 yards, including 170 on the ground, but the big story was the defense.
Montpelier went three-and-out on seven possessions, only got seven first downs, and picked up just 111 yards.
Evergreen held the Locos to six yards in the air on 2 of 12 passing and a couple of picks by Tyler Noe and Etue.
The Vikings now return home to play Ottawa Hills Friday.
Joe Blystone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org