By Rickey Clardy
UNIONVILLE — The Community Vikings could not solve the Sequatchie County Indian defense early as the Vikings had trouble moving the ball and the Indians capitalized with six first half touchdowns as Community fell 58-14 in a Region 4-3A football game Friday night.
After the Vikings failed to gain a first down on their opening possession, Jackson Tate of the Indians took the Community punt and raced 61 yards down the left sideline for the first score of the game.
Will Machado, who was a perfect 8-of-8 on extra points, connected on his first extra point to give Sequatchie County a 7-0 lead with 10:11 left in the opening quarter.
Another Viking 3-and-out gave the Indians good field position and Sequatchie County responded as William Tripp Stewart ran six yards for the score to give the Indians a 14-0 advantage with 5:42 left.
A safety and a 50-yard touchdown pass from Sam Evitts to Tate completed the first quarter scoring as the Indians moved out to a 23-0 lead.
Britt Chadwick rushed for two touchdowns and Hunter Minton ran for one in the second quarter as the Indians increased their lead to 44-0.
“They were big, strong, and physical,” Coach Chris Grooms of the Vikings said. “We came in with a game plan and was trying to get it going, but we weren’t able to push their D-line around.”
“At that point, we went back to Nyles (Barnet) at quarterback and tried to get the ball in the air,” Grooms added.
The passing combination of quarterback Nyles Barnet and Maki Fleming was a highlight of Viking drives for the rest of the game.
The duo hooked up for six passes of at least 18 yards that totaled 220 yards, with two of the passes ending in touchdowns.
On the last Viking possession of the half, Braxtin Landers rushed twice for gains of seven and nine yards before Barnet and Fleming connected on a 27-yard pass play. The Vikings gained 67 yards on the drive before time expired to end the half.
After an onside kick recovery by Percy Wilson to start the second half, the Vikings knocked on the door as Barnet and Fleming connected on passes of 26 and 18 yards to give Community a first-and-goal at the Indian 9-yard line. But the Vikings could not score as the Indians took over deep in their territory.
An Indian pass completion of 62 yards for a touchdown with three seconds left in the third quarter gave Sequatchie County a 51-0 lead before the Vikings broke the ice in the final quarter.
It only took two plays on the Community possession before Fleming hauled in a pass in the open field from Barnet and outran the Indian defense en route to a 72-yard touchdown.
Fleming followed with a run for the 2-point conversion to cut the Sequatchie County lead to 51-8.
“Maki does a great job when he gets it,” Grooms said. “It’s going to hurt losing Maki being a senior.”
The Vikings used two big plays from Barnet and Fleming on their next possession to once again find pay dirt. After a 23-yard pass from Barnet to Fleming on the first play from scrimmage, the duo connected for 54 yards and a Community touchdown as the Vikings cut the Indian lead to 51-14.
“Sooner or later, they’ll move the safety,” Grooms said.
“Once they started moving the safety, we told Nyles to do the RPO.”
“At that point, it’s on them,” Grooms added. “However they played is where the ball goes.”
An Indian rushing touchdown and extra point ended the scoring on the night.
Community continues region play next Friday night with a road game at Giles County.
Game time is 7 p.m.
Sequatchie Co. 23 21 7 7 — 58
Community 0 0 0 14 — 14
SC — Jackson Tate 61 punt return (Will Machado kick) 10:11.
SC — William Tripp Stewart 6 run (Machado kick) 5:42.
SC — Safety 4:41.
SC — Tate 50 pass from Sam Evitts (Machado kick) 4:30.
SC — Britt Chadwick 8 run (Machado kick) 11:33.
SC — Chadwick 17 run (Machado kick) 8:59.
SC — Hunter Minton 18 run (Machado kick) 6:14.
SC — Tate 62 pass from Minton (Machado kick) 0:03.
C — Maki Fleming 72 pass from Nyles Barnet (Fleming run) 11:04.
C — Fleming 54 pass from Barnet (run failed) 4:53.
SC — Stewart 23 run (Machado kick) 1:14.