The Vikings and the Dukes each needed one win to reach the six win plateau that comes with an automatic playoff spot. You could tell that these heightened stakes were present on Friday night and they fought tooth and nail to the final minute. The defenses on both sides played remarkable before a touchdown was scored in the final minute.
Forty seven minutes of scoreless football sounds like it could be boring, but there were plenty of stellar defense plays on both sides. Swan Valley got three turnovers in this victory. Junior linebacker Joe Bula recorded an interception in this one, as did Easton Goldensoph. Senior defensive end Chase Smith also made a key play when he recovered a fumble. On the other side of things, Camden Fisher was able to haul in the interception for Essexville Garber.
The lone touchdown of the game came with fifty eight seconds to play. Avery Goldensoph ran it in from one yard out to put the Vikings on the board. He would throw the two-point conversion to Ethan Champney to give Swan Valley the 8-0 lead that they would not relinquish.
This game was a remarkable testament to the season long defensive efforts that both of these teams have played. Swan Valley came in allowing an average of 15 points per game, while Essexville Garber allowed 16 per contest. These stout defenses could go a long way in winning in the playoffs, where the games tend to be low scoring and possession based football as the weather turns to a colder season.
Swan Valley is into the postseason for the eighth straight year with their 6-2 record. Their regular season wraps up next week against Flushing. For Essexville Garber, their record slides to 5-3 on the season. They will try and lock up victory number six next week against Bay City John Glenn.