A long road trip for the Vikings resulted in a 21-7 victory over Class 2-A No. 6 Bremen in the Horseshoe Hall of Fame Classic played at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Vikings used a strong team effort to bounce back from a tough and disappointing season-opening 27-22 loss at home to Culver Military to even their record at 1-1.
Valley scored the final 21 points of the contest. The Lions, after a scoreless opening period, took a 7-0 lead in the second stanza on a nine-yard pass from Kai Slough to Ryan Zellmer.
The Vikings proved to be up for the challenge. Valley cut the lead to 7-6 before halftime as sophomore Jared Littlejohn pilfered a Bremen pass attempt and returned the interception 38 yards for a touchdown.
Valley took control of the game in the third period with a pair of scores. The Vikings took the lead when junior Nolan Sponseller hauled in a 73-yard touchdown pass from junior Tanner Andrews on a trick play. Quarterback Ben Shriver hit Andrews with a lateral pass, who then connected with Sponseller to give the Vikings the lead for good. A two-point conversion following the play make it 14-7 Vikings. Junior quarterback Shriver completed the scoring in the third quarter with a five-yard touchdown run.
Valley’s talented trio of offensive playmakers in Shriver, Sponseller and Andrews all came up with big plays in the win. Shriver was 13-22 passing for 109 yards, while Sponseller had two receptions for 87 yards and Andrews was 1-1 passing for the 73-yard touchdown and also had three receptions for 35 yards. Shriver did throw four interceptions in the win, but was playing with injured ribs sustained in the season-opening loss to Culver Military Academy.
The Viking defense came up huge in the victory. Valley held the Lions to just 46 yards rushing and came up with five turnovers, three interceptions and a pair of fumble recoveries.
Valley coach Jeff Shriver, who called the game a “business” trip, was pleased.
“A great win for the Vikings,” said Shriver, now is his seventh season as the head coach in Akron. “It was a very great effort across the board by our kids. A team victory.”
Justin Gunter rushed for 42 yards on 11 carries for Valley and also had three receptions for 15 yards. Chris Torpy had six carries for 34 yards and Dayton Cohagen had two catches for 27 yards.
Bremen, which drops to 1-1, defeated a short-handed Plymouth team 42-26 in its opener. The Lions were 13-1 a year ago and won the Northern State Conference title (for the first time since 1995), along with Class 2-A sectional and regional championships (the regional being the first since 1997). Coach Bob Holmes did graduate 18 players from last year’s team that lost 35-21 to Fort Wayne Luers in the semi state.
In other games Saturday at the home of the Colts, Scecina edged Speedway 27-26, Tri-West topped South Putnam 14-13 and Danville blasted Crawfordsville 51-27.
Valley (1-1) opens Three Rivers Conference play on Friday night by hosting Manchester at 7 p.m. Bremen (1-1) starts NSC play Friday night with a game at New Prairie at 7:30 p.m.