Vienna-Goreville Eagles advance to second round in playoffs
Before this season started, Vienna-Goreville head football coach Mike Rude said that this year’s squad would be “the most competitive team we have fielded.” The Eagles have proved him right, as they defeated Sesser-Valier-Waltonville-Woodlawn 14-7 in V-G’s first ever play-off game, last Saturday at Vienna. After Saturday’s win, coach Rude credited those who played in the Eagles’ inaugural season six years ago with laying the groundwork for the success the team has had this year. The Eagles will travel to Greenville for their second round play-off contest this Saturday. Kick-off is set for 2 p.m.
V-G received the opening kick-off and moved into Red Devil territory before the drive stalled. The Eagles’ fourth down punt was blocked, giving S-V-W-W the ball at mid-field. Four plays later, the Red Devils scored on a 45 yard touchdown pass play. The point after kick was no good, making the score 6-0 with 5:42 left in the first quarter. Kyefer Cavins made a nice return of the ensuing kick-off out to the 43 yard line. The Eagles then drove down to the S-V-W-W 11 yard line before they turned the ball over on a fumble. The Red Devils appeared to be headed for another touchdown in the second quarter when they drove to the V-G 30 yard line. However, the Eagles defense came up with a big play when Brandon Pyle tackled the ball carrier for no gain on fourth down, and V-G took over. From there, the Eagles went on a 70 yard drive that Connor Seavers capped with a one yard touchdown run at the 3:03 mark. A 33 yard, fourth down run by Cavins kept the drive alive and gave V-G a first and goal at the five. The extra point kick was wide, making the score tied at 6-6. S-V-W-W then moved deep into V-G territory before the Eagles held, stopping the Red Devils’ ball carrier at the one yard line as the first half ended.
The V-G defense forced the Red Devils to punt on their first possession of the second half. The Eagles then moved 55 yards in 13 plays, with Seavers again scoring on a one yard run. Christian Dahncke ran for the two point conversion, to put V-G ahead 14-6 with 3:36 left in the third quarter. Dahncke completed two key passes in the drive, one for 15 yards to Caleb Belcher for a first down at the 20 yard line, and another 15 yarder to Colton Brown, to put the ball at the one yard line. The Eagles defense took over from there, making several big plays in the fourth quarter. On S-V-W-W’s first possession of the final period, Brown forced a fumble that Blake Gray recovered. On their next possession, Belcher picked off a pass and made a nice return to the Red Devils’ 41. Three plays later V-G turned the ball over on a fumble, giving the Red Devils the ball at their own 25 yard line. S-V-W-W moved to the Eagles 35 before Dallas Bent and Gray broke up two consecutive pass attempts to stop the drive. On their final possession of the game, the Red Devils had moved to V-G’s 37, when Cavins broke up a pass to S-V-W-W’s 6’6” receiver with five seconds left to seal the win.
Coach Rude called the game a “very tough battle” against a “very fine football team.” He also told the team that they “came up with whatever little bit it took” and that they “keep setting milestones for the two communities and the two high schools.”
Kyefer Cavins carried the ball 14 times, gaining 77 yards. Connor Seavers had 38 yards, while Caleb Belcher added 25 yards. Christian Dahncke completed five passes for 66 yards. On the defensive side, Seavers had 10 tackles from his linebacker spot. Defensive end Colton Brown had nine tackles and Cavins had seven.