Vikings rally to keep Tribe winless
by Jamie Harris
Last season, Berkeley Springs used a late rally along with a defensive stand to upend Petersburg 29-27. Fast forward to the 2012 season where both teams were looking for their first win on the grid iron. The Vikings returned the favor and dealt the Tribe a heartbreaking loss.
In a matchup that featured a Berkeley Springs rally from 12 points down to take a lead into the fourth quarter, it was the Vikings of Petersburg who had the final say in the matter as they rallied from a 21-19 deficit.
At the 11:50 mark in the fourth quarter, Petersburg took over at their 15 yard line and put together a 19 play, 85 yard drive that produced a diving touchdown grab from Vikings Alex See that put the visitors up for good 25-21.
The Vikings ran the ball 12 times straight at an Indian defense that seemed to tire late in the game. One of those runs came on a botched snap on a punt attempt on a fourth and six that could have given Berkeley Springs the ball back with a chance to grind out the clock. However, Viking punter Billie Self picked up the botched snap and rumbled seven yards for a game changing first down.
The Indians got the ball back with close to three minutes left in the game and a chance to stage their own comeback.
On first down, Indian quarterback Mark Cowles fired an incompletion, on second and 10 he found Levi Haines open for a five yard gain. An incomplete pass on third had the Indians facing fourth down from their own 26 yard line. Cowles attempt was picked off by a Viking defender and returned 26 yards for the proverbial nail in the coffin for the Indians. The PAT made the final score 32-21.
Berkeley Springs entered the game Friday night scoreless in the last eight quarters. The Indians snapped that drought quickly as they took the opening kickoff and put together a six play 58 yard drive that was capped off with a 42 yard run by quarterback Mark Cowles on a busted pass play. Zack Wise’s PAT gave the Indians an early 7-0 lead.
Petersburg answered the Indian score with a five play 86 yard drive that was highlighted by a 60 yard catch and run by Viking tight end Ryan Van Metre. Then wide receiver Corey Pool caught an eight yard touchdown pass and the extra point attempt tied the game at 7-7.
The Vikings then score two more times in the second quarter to grab a 19-7 lead. On the ensuing kickoff the Indians Caleb Athey returned the ball 72 yards to the Viking 12 yard line to give the Tribe great field position and a chance to get back into the game.
The Tribe drove down to the Viking four yard line and then turned it over on downs after failing to convert a fourth and two.
With momentum in their favor and a chance to put the game out of reach, the Vikings had to put on the brakes quickly. Indian outside linebacker Richard Recio had excellent coverage in the flats and picked off the Viking pass and returned it 20 yards for a Tribe touchdown. Wise’s extra point was good and Berkeley Springs was back in the game down 19-14.
Petersburg again tried to drive down the field and score before halftime, but the Indians Preston Hovermale picked off another pass to end the half.
The Indians had the only score in the third quarter as Cowles found Athey open on a quick slant. Athey made a great twisting catch, and then displayed his blazing speed with a 62 yard run for the go ahead score. Wise’s third extra point was good and the Indians held a 21-19 lead late into the third quarter.
The fourth quarter belonged to Petersburg as the Vikings put together their version of the “The Drive.” (Football fans this is flashback to Denver’s miracle drive against the Cleveland Browns back on January 11, 1987 in the AFC Championship Game.)
Berkeley Springs falls to 0-3 and will host Frankfort this Friday night at Morgan field. Kick-off is set at 7:30 p.m.
Petersburg 7 12 0 13
Berkeley Springs 7 7 7 0
Final stats and notes:
Passing: Mark Cowles 7/17 108 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, sacked 4 times.
Rushing: Mark Cowles 8 attempts for 25 yards, 1 TD, Brady Tritapoe 10 attempts for 11 yards, Sam Brake 4 attempts for 11 yards, Ryan Zinzow 2 attempts for 4 yards.
Receiving: Kaleb Athey 3 catches for 74 yards, 1 TD, Matt Johnson 2 catches for 29 yards, Brady Tritapoe 1 catch for 0 yards, & Levi Haines 1 catch for 5 yards.
Kicking: Zack Wise 3/3 on extra point attempts.
Defensively: Richard Recio 1 INT for a TD & Preston Hovermale 1 INT.
Injury Note: Late in the second quarter the Indians lost linebacker Richard Recio for the season with a broken tibia and fibula.