By Meliyah Venerable / Delta Sports Editor
The Missouri Valley College football team came back from a 14-0 deficit to defeat William Penn University (Oskaloosa, Iowa) Saturday, giving the Vikings a 3-2 record this season.
The Vikings trailed 14-0 in the second quarter. A 39-yard touchdown pass from Jeremiah Bryant to John Hoffman put Valley on the board, but left them trailing by one score. With 6:34 left in the second quarter Kenneth Sanford had a 17-yard touchdown run to give the Vikings a chance to tie the game, but the extra point was no good leaving Valley down by one.
Head Coach Paul Troth was impressed with the grit that the team had.
“Our kids kept playing hard even when we were down early by two scores,” he said.
William Penn did not hesitate to answer back with a 31-yard touchdown run by Ben Sherman. At the beginning of the third quarter, a field goal by James Lahrman kept Valley in the game and down by five. In the middle of the third quarter a 45-yard interception returned by Jordon Londo put the Vikings on top. Shortly after in the beginning of the fourth quarter a run by Bryant clinched the lead for MoVal, Making the score 30-21. Willam Penn scored again with 9:30 left in the game. The rest of the game remained scoreless, giving Valley the 30-27 victory.
Offensive Lineman Adam Balkin said: “Running the ball worked really well for us in the second half, our defense also played really well in the first half.”
Defensively, the Vikings also had a productive game. Zahir Williams led the team with 12 total tackles, followed by Tynan Braymiller with 10. Braymiller also had a blocked extra point kick. Cavonte Legree had nine total tackles and one sack, while Victor Gabriel had four tackles and 1.5 sacks.
The coming games for the Vikings are against higher ranked teams, which means the team is working to prepare for them, but Coach Troth said they have the same focus every week, regardless of what teams they will face.
“First thing we have to do is not beat ourselves,” Troth said. “We cannot turn the ball over or have assignment mistakes on defense. That is our focus every week.”
The Vikings host No.4 Grandview (Iowa), Saturday Oct. 2 at Volney C. Ashford Stadium starting at 1:00 p.m.
“Grandview is as good as any team in the NAIA,” Troth said. “It will be a very tough game. We will still focus on ourselves and execution.”