The Swan Valley Vikings were back in the playoffs for the eighth straight season. They would open play against Essexville Garber, a rematch of a low-scoring Week 8 battle. This time, the offenses came to play and eighty four total points were scored. A thirty four point first half by Swan Valley carried them to an eighteen point victory in this game, the third straight year with a playoff win.
Swan Valley took a twelve point lead after the first quarter of play as a result of two long touchdown runs. Just one minute into this game, Gavin Duel broke off a fifty three yard touchdown run to get things going for the Vikings. Andrew Rousseau added a fifty seven yard run in the quarter’s final minute to make it 12-0.
The Vikings’ big play run continued when Avery Goldensoph went up top and found Ara Nab for a seventy four yard touchdown. Goldensoph would strike on their next drive as well, finding Ethan Champney for a twenty four yard score. Essexville Garber was able to halt the twenty six point run with a touchdown of their own. They scored on a thirty nine yard pass from Greg Christe to Camden Fisher. Before the half ended, Swan Valley struck again. Rousseau’s five yard run, paired with a two-point conversion by Duel, made it 34-8 in favor of the Vikings as the teams entered the locker room.
Essexville Garber started the scoring in the second half. Adam Shimel paired up with Logan Athony for a forty seven yard touchdown to trim the deficit to twenty points. Swan Valley immediately responded with a scoring drive of their own. Khyree Harris capped it off with a twenty eight yard run to extend the lead back out to 40-14 as the fourth quarter began.
The Dukes outscored Swan Valley in the final frame, but the deficit they had to overcome was too large. Shimel ran for a touchdown and a two point conversion just two minutes into the fourth quarter. After the Vikings responded with a touchdown from Goldensoph to Easton Goldensoph, Essexville Garber got their final touchdown on a four yard run by Greg Christe. This left the game at its final score of 46-28.
Not to be lost amongst all of this offense was the stellar defensive play of Ian Williams. The senior for Swan Valley was able to record a pair of interceptions in the first half, stopping two Dukes drives and sparking momentum for the Vikings.
With the victory, Swan Valley is onto the district finals next Friday. They will hit the road and take on Frankenmuth. The Eagles bullied Carrollton tonight 57-26 in a very impressive offensive display. At 33.8 points per game, Frankenmuth will be a tall task for Swan Valley. This is a rematch of a Week 5 classic in which Frankenmuth eked out a 23-20 win.