MOREHEAD Rowan County recovered from an early deficit Friday night to close out the regular season with a winning record.
The Vikings’ 27-12 victory over the Montgomery County Indians improved Rowan County to 6-4 on the season. It’s the first year the Vikings have locked in a winning season since 2011.
“It’s great for our program,” Rowan County coach Kelly Ford said. “We have been building this thing from scratch, and for our guys to get that first edge on a winning season is tremendous.”
The Vikings had given up an early touchdown, putting them behind with 5:38 left in the first quarter. The Indians quarterback Trey Ishmael completed a 9-yard pass to Tanner Orme for the first touchdown of the game.
The Indians’ attempt at the two point conversion came up short. They entered the second quarter with a 6-0 lead.
Cole Wallace scored three touchdowns and rushed over 100 yards to lead Rowan County.
“Cole Wallace is a warrior for us,” Ford said. “He has always run the ball hard. I remember watching him in the youth leagues coming up to middle school, and now here, he is doing the same thing. He is our workhorse.”
Wallace knotted the score with 4:12 left in the first half on a 9-yard carry. Nathan Besant kicked the extra point to put the Vikings ahead. Besant went three for four on points-after.
Wallace scored again in the third and fourth quarters. With 6:48 left in the third, Wallace carried the ball for 11 yards and the Vikings second touchdown, his 20th on the ground.
Wallace entered Friday night’s game with 1,283 rushing yards, averaging 142 yards per game.
He scored the third touchdown for the Vikings with 10:24 left in the game. Fighting his way through four defenders, Wallace carried the ball for another five yards to put the Vikings up 21-12.
The Vikings honored 17 seniors Friday night and were able to showcase some of those seniors during the last four minutes of play.
Senior Nick Johnson scored the Vikings’ fourth touchdown with 4:31 left from 13 yards out.
“It couldn’t have happened to two better seniors,” Ford said. “Nick Johnson all year long has made big plays for us and made some big third downs. I was happy to see him in the end zone. And Matt Bailey made a heck of a catch to seal it.”
Bailey collected his second interception of the season with less than two minutes left. The Vikings were able to run down the clock and claim victory.
Austin Eichenberger scored Montgomery County’s second TD with 2:31 left in the third quarter.
Wallace sacked Ishmael for a loss of five yards to force an Indians third-and-long and on the Vikings 32.
But Eichenberger caught a 29 yard pass from Ishmael on fourth-and-12. The Indians had a chance to tie it, but Josh Wheaton’s two-point conversion attempt was stopped by the Rowan County defense.
The Vikings return to action next Friday at Scott for the first round of the playoffs. Rowan County lost 54-28 to the Eagles during the regular season.