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Vikes run out of time in season finale

By RICKEY CLARDY ~ Sports Writer
Posted 10/30/22

COALMONT – After losing their halftime lead, the Community Vikings fought back with a fourth-quarter touchdown, but could not score on a potential game-tying drive in the final seconds as …

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Vikes run out of time in season finale

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COALMONT – After losing their halftime lead, the Community Vikings fought back with a fourth-quarter touchdown, but could not score on a potential game-tying drive in the final seconds as the Vikings fell to the Grundy County Yellow Jackets 28-20 in a Region 4-3A matchup Thursday night.
Three Yellow Jacket touchdowns on fourth-down conversions proved to be the downfall for Community as the Viking season came to a close.
Community (1-9, 0-4) started the game in impressive fashion with an 11-play, 70-yard drive that culminated in a touchdown.  The Vikings divided the wealth as Dallas Grooms, Emery Smith, Cole Crockett, and Jacob Harden all had rushes on the drive. 
A 13-yard run by Smith and an 11-yard pass from Grooms to Smith were the big plays as the Vikings moved the chains for four first downs before facing a fourth-and-five at the Yellow Jacket 20. 
The Vikings came up big as Grooms found Smith for 20 yards and the score to give Community the early lead. 
The run by Grooms was good as the Vikings took an 8-0 lead with 4:47 left in the opening quarter.
The Yellow Jackets wasted little time getting in scoring position as a 42-yard run by Colton Rogers gave Grundy County a first-and-goal at the seven-yard line. 
The Viking defense stiffened as the Yellow Jackets could not score on the next three plays, but Grundy County converted on fourth down from a foot out as Kaeden Sitz ran for the score. 
The run failed as the Vikings maintained their lead at 8-6 with 2:23 remaining.
Once again, the Community offense stayed hot on its next possession.
Starting at their own 35, the Vikings used a 28-yard run by Grooms and 22-yard pass from Grooms to Smith to move into the red zone as the game went to the second quarter.
On third down, Grooms ran three yards for the touchdown as the Vikings increased their lead. 
The pass for two failed as Community took a 14-6 lead with 10:24 left.
The Yellow Jackets responded with a 10-play drive to cut into the Viking lead. 
After a Community offside penalty gave Grundy County a fourth-and-one at the Viking 15, Kyler Hopkins ran 15 yards for the Yellow Jacket touchdown.
The run failed as Community led 14-12 with 3:35 left.
Neither team could score the rest of the half as the Vikings took their lead into the intermission.
"We got on them early," Coach Chris Grooms of the Vikings said. "We had a missed tackle and they took it 40.  After that, we lined up and played pretty well." 
The Yellow Jackets started the second half with a 5-play drive as Sitz scored from 12 yards out to give Grundy County its first lead. 
Sitz followed with the run for two as the Yellow Jackets led 20-14 with 9:09 left.
Despite a 15-yard pass from Grooms to Smith and runs of eight yards each by Grooms and Smith, the ensuing Viking drive stalled as Community could not convert on fourth down in its own territory. 
The Yellow Jackets responded with a 43-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown as the game moved to the fourth quarter.
On fourth down, Hopkins ran for 16 yards and the score as Grundy County increased its lead. 
Hopkins ran for the 2-point conversion as the Yellow Jackets led 28-14 with 10:20 left.
The Vikings battled back with an 8-play drive that resulted in a score.  An 11-yard run by Grooms and a 12-yard run by Crockett were the big plays as Community faced a fourth-and-one at the Grundy County 20 before James Bowling followed with a 20-yard run for the touchdown.
The Vikings could not convert on the run for two as the Yellow Jackets led 28-20 with 6:33 left.
After the Viking defense produced a Grundy County three-and-out, Community started at its own 25 with one final chance to tie the game.
With their backs to the wall and facing a fourth-and-nine at their own 36, the Vikings came up big as Grooms avoided a sack and connected with Ramon Hernandez for a 46-yard pass play to advance the ball to the Yellow Jacket 18-yard line. 
But the Vikings could not make another first down as a fourth-down conversion attempt failed with 37 seconds left as the Yellow Jackets took over and ran out the clock.
"We threw that slip screen to Ramon. I thought he was going to take it," Grooms said.   
"Dallas told me he broke his hand on that play," Grooms added. "His throwing hand was broken, so we had to try to run it in and we did what we could."          
The contest was the final game for nine seniors on the Community roster.
"They had their final high school game tonight," Grooms said.  "Several of them have a chance to play at the next level."        
                            
Community   8  6  0  6 — 20  
Grundy Co.   6  6  8  8 — 28
              
First Quarter
C – Emery Smith 20 pass from Dallas Grooms, (Grooms run) 4:47.
GC – Kaeden Sitz 1 run, (run failed) 2:23.
Second Quarter
C – Grooms 3 run, (pass failed) 10:24.
GC – Kyler Hopkins 15 run, (run failed) 3:35.
Third Quarter
GC – Sitz 12 run, (Sitz run) 9:09.
Fourth Quarter
GC – Hopkins 16 run, (Hopkins run) 10:20.
C – James Bowling 20 run, (run failed) 6:33.

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