OTTAWA HILLS – Maybe an Ottawa Hills fan at the halftime concession stand explained it best when he said, “I was only late by a couple minutes and when I heard touchdown Evergreen I thought it was only 7-0.”
That same gentleman had a lot more to say when he had seen the Vikings not only had scored once but two more times in the first 90 seconds of the game, and then scored three more first quarter touchdowns as Evergreen routed the Green Bears 54-0 for their second straight shutout win Friday night.
“Yes the shutout was important to the kids,” Viking coach Aaron Schmidt said. “The kids took a lot of pride in the one we had last week (a 48-0 shutout of Montpelier) and as the game went on, everyone no matter who it was wanted to get another one. They have taken the challenge to continue to improve each week defensively.”
Both coaches agreed to shorten the clock in the last three quarters with the running clock in the second half.
It took Evergreen only 13 seconds to dent the scoreboard as Hunter Van Wert secured the opening pooch kickoff and zig-zagged his way 74 yards to give Evergreen a fast 7-0 lead.
A quick three-and-out gave the Vikes possession at midfield after a punt and Van Wert streaked the 50 yards on the first play and when Tanner Pollard tossed to Van Wert for two, the Vikings led 15-0.
Brian Floyd outfought a Green Bear on a fumble behind the line of scrimmage on the first play after the kickoff and on the Vikes first play after, Jack Etue found Nick Beemer down the middle for a 20-yard score to make it 21-0 with 10:29 still left in the first quarter.
Two more three-and-outs led to a Van Wert 16-yard scoring run on a four play 40-yard drive and Etue’s short pass that Jack Krispin bulled through a Green bear tackler on his way to a 46-yard score.
Bryce Hudik’s pick at midfield set up a five play 50-yard trek to the end zone capped by Chandler Lumbrezer’s catch on the end line for a 15-yard scoring strike from Etue to make the score 40-0 at the end of the quarter.
Van Wert did get one more carry in the game in the second quarter and galloped 35 yards for a score to cap a five carry, 111-yard night as Schmidt subbed liberally the the last three quarters.
Trent Coopshaw picked up where Van Wert left off, rumbling for 101 yards on just 10 carries and the only second half score on a six yard run, as the entire second half lasted just under a half hour of real time.
“It was good to see our young guys get a lot of playing time tonight and do a lot of good things while they were out there in a varsity contest,” said Schmidt. “The key was to keep everyone healthy and get some good reps for our two’s and three’s, and we did that heading into this week’s game against an extremely good football team in Liberty Center.”
Evergreen amassed 361 yards, including 248 on the ground, while holding Ottawa Hills to 57 total yards.
The Vikings had 13 tackles for a loss and Zack Lumbrezer’s third quarter pick at the one stuffed Ottawa Hills’ best chance to score after a pass interference penalty gave the Bears a chance at the Viking 31.
Evergreen now heads into NWOAL play at 2-1 against the state-ranked Liberty Center Tigers this Friday.
Reach Joe Blystone at firstname.lastname@example.org