WAVERLY – The Vikings hosted No. 1 Omaha Skutt in a matchup of Class B undefeated teams and fell in double overtime Friday night to the Skyhawks, 28-21.
The Vikings started the game off with a bang.
After a touchback on the opening kickoff, Waverly started at its own 20-yard line. Just 15 seconds later, the Vikings were in the lead.
Senior quarterback Mason Nieman took the snap, followed a couple blockers through the middle of the line, trudged through a few Skyhawk tackles, came out in the second level and was off to the races.
The 80-yard touchdown run started the Vikings off with some early game momentum and they had more chances to capitalize in the first quarter.
The Skyhawks started their first drive from their own 28-yard line but only gained five yards in three plays and were forced to punt.
Waverly brought pressure and blocked the punt starting their driving in the red zone at the Skyhawks’ 20-yard line.
The Vikings had a tough time reeling in their emotions in a passionate start and it ended up costing them.
The next drive would start deep in Skutt territory but end up only going backwards.
Three penalties, two illegal procedures and a delay of game, coupled with two runs that lost yards left the Vikings with a fourth and 31 and a punt.
The Skyhawks would recover from their shaky start and drive 80 yards for their opening score.
Skutt would convert a fourth down and 15 on a 24-yard pass over the middle to set up first and goal. Three plays later, Skutt senior quarterback Tyson Gordon slipped in from three yards out to tie the game.
The first quarter would pass with no further scoring as the two quarterbacks exchanged interceptions.
First, it was Gordon’s turn to step in front of a Nieman pass to set up the Skutt offense inside Waverly territory.
The very next play Nieman outjumped a Skutt receiver to put the Waverly offense back on the field.
Waverly would punt soon after and the Skyhawks would start the second quarter much like the Vikings started the first quarter.
Instead of No. 18 in maroon and white, Skutt’s Gordon, also No. 18, took the snap and scampered 54 yards for his second touchdown of the night.
The PAT would make it a 14-7 Skutt lead with 11:22 left in the half.
Waverly would start the ensuing drive at its own 35-yard line and drive methodically down the field.
A 29-yard run by senior receiver Noah Stoddard, followed by a 10-yard Nieman run and a 16-yard run by junior running back Zane Schawang set the Vikings up inside the Skyhawk five-yard line, first and goal.
A bad snap on second and goal forced the Vikings back to the 17-yard line and Waverly would be forced to try a 28-yard field goal which junior Evan Canoyer pulled wide left.
On Waverly’s next drive, mistakes would cost the Vikings again.
Waverly would start just inside Skutt territory at the 48-yard line and drive to the Skutt 28-yard line before a Waverly fumble ended the drive with three minutes to go in the half.
The Viking defense responded and closed the half strong to keep the Skutt lead at seven.
The Skyhawks looked poised to capitalize on the Viking turnover after a 22-yard run by Gordon put Skutt in Waverly territory but two sacks in a row by senior Treyton Kozal and junior Hunter Hanke ended the threat and the half.
To start the second half, the Viking defense would come up big again.
Skutt started the second half with the ball but they would not have it for long as they fumbled on the second play from scrimmage and Waverly scooped it up to put the Viking offense in good position.
Starting at the Skutt 31-yard line, Waverly pummeled the Skutt defense down to the goal line.
The eight-play drive featured the run exclusively. No play gained more than seven yards as the Vikings capped the drive with a six-yard Nieman run to tie the game, 14-14.
From there it would be a tale of defense and missed chances.
Skutt’s offense would not cross midfield the rest of the game.
Skyhawk offensive drives ended with a punt, a fumble and then two more punts as the defensive pressure shut down the Skutt passing game.
On offense, the Vikings had their chances.
A third quarter drive started 60 yards from the goal line and the Vikings were stopped on downs after 59.
Schawang was not able to get around the Skutt defense on fourth and goal from the one to give the ball back to the Skyhawks.
In the fourth quarter the Vikings would miss another golden chance.
A Skutt turnover set them up deep in Skyhawk territory but ended in another missed field goal.
With the score tied, the clock ran out and the two teams readied for overtime.
In the first overtime, both teams scored.
Waverly struck on a Nieman Pass to Canoyer.
Skutt responded with another Gordon touchdown to force another round.
Skutt started on offense in the second go-around and only needed one play.
Gordon rolled to his left looking for open receivers. Finding none he broke back to the right and found daylight for what would prove to be the game-deciding score.
Waverly struggled to move the ball in its chance to answer and a fourth down pass into the end zone fell incomplete to give the Skyhawks the win.
Head Coach Reed Manstedt said that when Waverly plays tough teams, it can’t afford to beat itself.
“Skutt is not a team you can shoot yourself in the foot and expect to win,” Manstedt said. “Unfortunately, Friday night, we did that several times.”
Obviously, the Vikings have a lot to play for and Manstedt said the worst thing the team can do is let this loss beat them again.
“You can’t let it be something that hangs around them for a while and affects the way they the way they play next week,” Manstedt said. “We got to use this as a way to motivate us.”