BOUNTIFUL For a game between surprising Syracuse (3-1) and Viewmont (2-2) that was sloppy and largely uneventful for the first three and a half quarters, the final four minutes were more than worth the price of admission as the Vikings escaped with a 13-7 victory.
Both the Vikes and the Titans came through with gutsy performances down the stretch. First up was Syracuse and their feisty quarterback Braden Hamblin. Although he had a listless game that included four interceptions, Hamblin rallied Syracuse to a go-ahead touchdown with 1:29 in the game as he found Rick Reardon in the back of the end zone for a 29-yard touchdown pass giving the Titans a 7-6 lead.
With how badly the Viewmont offense had struggled to put a consistent drive togetherthey committed three turnovers on the game a one-point lead appeared safe. But wide receiver/kick returner Dustin Grigg and the Vikes had other ideas.
"The only thing that was running through my head was, 'Do we have enough time?'", said Grigg.
Viewmont did indeed. Grigg took the ensuing kickoff 32 yards to the Viewmont 46 yard line. On the second play from scrimmage, quarterback Ryan Workman avoided the rush and scampered 28 yards to the Syracuse 11 yard line. Time was running down, with just over 30 seconds remaining, when Workman called "Riverdash 1", a play for Grigg to put the finishing touches on a comeback victory.
Workman took the shotgun snap as Viewmont flooded the right side of the field with receivers. He swung the ball out to Grigg and let the receiver do the rest of the work as he found his way into the end zone with 12 seconds remaining.
"This was an amazingly big win. We didn't give up. We had to comeback and show what we could do," said Grigg.
"I'm proud of our guys. They're so resilient," said Viewmont coach Robbie Gunter. "I think we can do these things, but the kids have gotta believe."
Even with an unblemished 3-0 record, Syracuse was still an unknown coming into the game, as they haven't played a quality 5A opponent such as Viewmont. The Titans showed they are indeed a team on the rise, but were done in by their own mistakes committing six turnovers in the game. None proved bigger than an interception by Viewmont's Austin Cheney on his own two yard line on the opening drive of the game. Cheney had two picks and a fumble recovery on the night.
"The defense was lights out. This was they're coming out party," said Viewmont coach Robbie Gunter.
Workman led the Vikes with 129 yards rushing and 113 passing with a score on the ground and in the air.