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Vikings Overpower Rebels

By David Whatley

web posted September 18, 2017
SPORTS The Emerald Vikings seemed to be well prepared for the visiting Rebels at Frank Hill Stadium in Greenwood, S.C.  The first half was dominated by a very physical, Viking team that saw Strom Thurmond happy to go to the locker room at half-time, down by only six points.

The Vikings began their first drive on their own 35-yard line after receiving the opening kick off by Thurmond.  On 1st and 10, Emerald turned to senior workhorse, Keshawn Settles for a 10 yard run.  Eight running plays and 55 yards later, Settles scored on a 5 yard run.  A bad snap on the extra point attempt resulted in a blocked field goal try.  The Vikings led 6-0.

The Rebels began their first possession on their own 35 yard line.  A jumpy, Viking defense drew 3 consecutive penalties for encroachment before settling down.  On 1st and 10, Dante Holloway was stopped for a 1 yard loss.  Thurmond drew a delay of game penalty on 2nd and 11, bringing up a 2nd and 16 situation.  Senior running back, Jaquan Edwards picked up 8 yards, leaving quarterback, Jequan Harris, to go to a pass play on 3rd and 8.  The pass was batted down by Emerald and Lawson Reel was called on to punt.

Emerald took over on their own 15 yard line.  On 1st down, Settles picked up 5 yards.  Second down found Settles with the ball again for a pickup of 3 yards.  On 3rd and 2, Settles made good his attempt for a first down.  Viking senior running back, Treshawn Chamberlain ran for another 1st down, but was held for no gain on the next play.  Quarterback, Luke Deal passed for a 9 yard completion on 2nd and 10.  On 3rd and 1, Settles ran for 7 yards gaining another Emerald first down.  Thurmond's, Tyrek Williams, dropped Settles for a 4 yard loss on the next play.  Another powerful defensive play on the next snap occurred when Rebel senior, Tre Moore, dropped RB Chamberlain for a big 7 yard loss.  This would end the first quarter.  On the first play of the second quarter facing 3rd and a long 21, the Vikings turned again to Chamberlain.  With a spectacular run, Chamberlain clicked off 58 yards for a touchdown.  The point after attempt was good and the Vikings led 13-0.

Thurmond started their next possession with good field position at their own 47 yard line.  The drive yielded only a couple of short gains and a 5 yard penalty for illegal procedure.  On 4th and 6, with the ball on Emerald's 49 yard line, Lawson Reel punted away.  The Vikings would start from their own 29.

This drive by Emerald was fruitless.  Settles was dropped for a 6 yard loss by Thurmond's, Tyrek Williams.  On the next play Settles went around the corner for 9 yards.  Chamberlain was stopped on a run up the middle.  Anderson Wells would punt the ball for the Vikings and Thurmond would try again from their own 48 yard line.

The Rebels ran Jaquan Edwards for 3 consecutive plays moving the ball into Emerald territory.  On 1st and 1 from the Vikings 41, Harris completed a 5 yard pass to Jacoby Miles.  A draw play to Edwards picked up 4 more yards.  On 3rd and 1, a bad snap caused Edwards to fall on the ball in the backfield.  Faced with 4th and 5, from the Emerald 36 yard line, Thurmond was able to draw the Viking defense offside to pick up the first down.  Harris handed the ball to Edwards on the next play.  Edwards made it to the 24 yard line, but Thurmond was penalized for holding, setting up 1st and 15 on the Emerald 34.  Harris took the snap and completed a pass to Dante Holloway in the end zone.  Reel's point after was good, and the Rebels were back in the game, down 13-7 with 3:03 left in the half.

The Vikings junior wide receiver, Jamil Martin, would have an excellent return negated by a holding penalty on the kick off and Emerald would start their final possession of the first half on their own 28 yard line.  Running back, Treshawn Chamberlain carried the ball four times straight, ultimately ending up with a 4th and 3 on the Rebel 47 yard line, where the Vikings would punt to the Thurmond 5.  With 23 seconds left in the half, RB Jaquan Edwards pounded out a 2 yard run.  The Rebels let the clock tick down and headed for the locker room 6 points down.

A long driving kick to Thurmond's 5 yard line was fielded by senior, Javin Holston, who returned the ball to the 24 to start off the second half.  Harris then handed off to Edwards who picked up 9 yards on the first snap.  On 2nd and 1, Edwards took the hand off again, but a Viking helmet punched the ball from his grasp.  Emerald recovered the fumble, declining the penalty called against the Rebels, taking over on the Thurmond 39 yard line.

On 1st and 10, Settles runs for close to first down yardage.  On 2nd and inches, Settles took it to the Rebel 11.  With 1st and 10 again, Settles drives down to the Thurmond 4 yard line.  On 2nd down, Settles was stopped in the center.  Wary of another play by Settles, the Thurmond defense was lured by a fake to him allowing quarterback, Luke Deal to walk into the end zone for the score.  The extra point was good and the Rebels trailed 20-7 with 9:33 left in the third quarter.

Tyrek Williams returned the Emerald kick off to the Thurmond 28, where Harris and company took the field.  On 1st and 10, the Rebel offense took to the air with a pass to WR Dante Holloway.  Holloway had his hands on the ball, but was met with a big hit causing him to drop the pass. On 2nd down, Harris kept the snap picking up 5 yards.  Harris then faked to Tyrek Williams and kept the ball picking up another 5 yards and a Thurmond 1st down.  Edwards lost a yard on the next play.  Harris attempted a pass to Tyrek Williams on 2nd and 11, but the ball fell incomplete.  The Rebels called a time out on the 3rd and 11 play.  When the game resumed, Harris picked up 27 yards on a keeper to the Viking 35 yard line.  Edwards gained nothing on 1st and 10, but picked up 4 yards on the next play.  With the line of scrimmage at Emerald's 31, Harris attempted a pass on 3rd and 6, but Viking corner back, Jamil Martin intercepted the ball on his own 5 yard line.

Relying on Settles, the Vikings ran three plays to the running back netting 3 yards against a determined Thurmond defense.  On 4th and 7, a bad snap led to the Emerald punter being tackled in his own end zone for a safety, making the score 20-9.

Tyrek Williams would return the Viking free kick to the Emerald 40 yard line putting Harris and crew in good field position.

On 1st and 10, the Vikings called for a time out to gather their composure.  When the whistle sounded, the Rebels ran Edwards for three back-to-back plays setting up a 4th and 1.  Edwards took the next hand off to the Emerald 9 yard line for a first down.  Facing 1st and goal, Harris took a high snap, but got it down to Edwards who was nearly stopped at the 6 yard line, but muscled his way into the end zone for the touchdown.  Thurmond set up for the 2-point conversion, but some confusion caused them to use up a time out.  The Rebels lined up again for the 2 points, and successfully executed the play with a pass to Tyrek Williams.  Near the end of the third quarter, the score stood in favor of Emerald 20-17.

The Rebel kick off was very nearly returned for a touchdown by Settles.  Corner back Javin Holston kept Thurmond in the game by pulling Settles down on the Rebel 9 yard line.  The Thurmond defense went on to dig in their heels, denying the Vikings the score and forcing them to turn the ball over after a failed 4th and goal pass attempt.

Unfortunately, the Rebel offense could get no traction, going 4 downs and out, punting the ball after gaining only 1 yard.

The Vikings commenced the next series of downs from the Thurmond 34 yard line.  After two running plays, and an incomplete pass, QB Luke Deal scrambled for a first down to the Rebel 16 yard line with 7:57 left in the game.  On the next play, Settles took it in for the score.  The extra point attempt was blocked, and the score stood at 26-17.

Thurmond's next drive began at their own 26 yard line with 7:38 left in regulation play.  The 6 minute and 18 second drive seemed to lack the urgency that the situation called for.  The Rebels would make it to the Viking 37 yard line in about 13 plays, but turned the ball over on downs with 1:20 left in the game.

Emerald took a time out, a knee, a delay of game penalty, and a final knee to win the contest 26-17.

Thurmond's record stands at 3-1 overall. 

Their next game will be against the Yellow Jackets of North Augusta (4-0) who trounced the White Knoll Timber Wolves, 42-14 in their last contest.

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