Vikings Run by Barons 37-8
Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 2, 2006
GATESVILLE – The Plymouth Vikings ruined a delayed homecoming game for the Gates County Barons with a decisive 37-8 victory Monday night.
Gates County was to have observed homecoming on October 8, but the festivities were delayed due to the pending northeaster.
Then with another dismal forecast for October 27, the game with Plymouth put off to Monday.
Though the night was clear and beautiful, the Vikings took the lead on their first possession. After several strong runs up the middle, Plymouth scored on a 14 yard run and added the two-point conversion for a quick 8-0 lead.
The Barons’ first possession was hopeful as they began on the Viking 32-yardline.
After three solid runs by Eric Johnson, Gates seemed close to a first down until an illegal procedure penalty moved the ball back for a fourth-and-six.
After a Cody Herman punt, John Ashley made a tackle and fumble recovery as the Barons took possession back on the Plymouth 49.
The home team was not able to move the ball and Herman’s good punt placed the Vikings back at their own 18-yardline.
The good field position didn’t last as the Vikings made a run from their own 18 to the Gates County 35.
A few plays later, Plymouth added their second touchdown on a 30-yard pass just before the first period ended.
Having scored more than 50 points in five earlier games, Plymouth seemed well on its way when they added another touchdown early in the second quarter.
However, a combination of tough defensive plays by the Barons and four penalties on the Vikings, kept Plymouth moving back and forth across midfield for several minutes.
After a long, tough stretch on the field, the Baron defense finally held and Plymouth turned the ball over on downs at their 33.
After good runs by Travis Badgett, Damian Eason, and Johnson, Gates County found its way to the Plymouth 30, but unfortunately the first half clock ran out before the Barons could get any further.
Plymouth led 22-0.
Things didn’t start well in the second half for Gates County as they fumbled on the kickoff return and Plymouth recovered the ball on the Baron 29.
A few plays later and the Vikings were in the end zone and stretched the score to 30-0.
Eric Johnson, who had several good kickoff returns, gave Gates County good field position at their own 40.
Eason began to add up some yardage with several nice gains that took the Barons into Viking territory.
Gates fumbled, but Kadeem Person recovered the ball for a first down on the 35.
However, a few plays later the Barons turned the ball over on downs at the 25.
Late in the game, Gates County finally caught a few breaks.
Though Plymouth had twice the number of players that the Barons had and showed tremendous quickness, Gates continued to fight.
Cody Herman punted the ball well under great pressure, putting the Vikings on their own eight-yardline in the fourth quarter.
Eric Walker seemed to add to Plymouth’s score, but his long touchdown run was negated by a chop block penalty.
Cody Herman made a great tackle in the backfield forcing Plymouth to turn the ball over on downs and putting the Barons in position for a scoring drive.
Workhorse Eric Johnson took the ball down to the three-yard line breaking several tackles in his effort.
He later broke into the end zone to put the home team on to the scoreboard.
Badgett made a long run to the right to get into the end zone for a two-point conversion.
Eric Walker added a 55-yard touchdown run which was followed by a kicked extra point that settled the final score of 37-8.
Gates County moved the ball well again in the final minute, but time ran out before the Barons could add to their total.
Baron Coach Clark Harrell was please with the effort of his squad.
He noted that his team kept their intensity throughout the game and fought hard against a 9-2 squad with superior quickness.
He felt that the team gained confidence after playing well in the second quarter.
However, the fumbled kickoff return to open the second half crushed their chances to get back into the game.
“We played hard against a good team,” he said.
“We’re young, and hope to be bigger and stronger next year.
We’ll be returning 10 starters on offense and 9 on defense.”
The coaching staff cited RT Jamaal Dixon, TE Paul Jones and linebackers Sterling Frazier and John Ashley for outstanding play during the game.
Harrell also commented on the job punter Cody Herman did under pressure and appreciated the effort of Damian Eason and Eric Johnson to consistently move the ball.
1-9 Gates County wraps the regular season up at winless Perquimans Friday night.