The Tri-County Vikings hosted Big Rapids on Friday night, an annual contest that has been decided by a single score in each of the past five years. This year, that streak extended to six games, but it would require an extra period to determine a winner. In overtime, Big Rapids scored a touchdown and recorded a stop in a 29-22 victory.
Tyler Tompkins got the Tri-County offense started with an eighteen yard touchdown pass to Matt Greenfield, though the unsuccessful extra point left it 6-0. Big Rapids had trouble with the snap on a punt, and that gave Tri-County great field position. They capitalized as Cam Friend rushed for a six-yard touchdown. Tompkins and John Nelson paired up for a two-yard conversion, extending the lead to 14-0.
Big Rapids would get one touchdown before halftime, as Wil Strickler and Jamal Strickland paired up for a touchdown pass of nine yards. Sam Alley booted the PAT to bring the score to 14-7 as they went to halftime.
The Cardinals would keep the momentum rolling as they scored first in the third quarter. Strickler took to the air again for the touchdown, but this time he found Sam Alley on a thirty yard pass. Perhaps it was a break for the kicker who just hauled in a touchdown, or perhaps it was just their game plan, but Big Rapids opted to go for two. They converted that try, taking a 15-14 lead in the process.
Tri-County’s defense would give the team the lead back, as Matt Greenfield sacked Strickler in the end zone for a two-point safety. Greenfield finished this game with three sacks, spearheading the defensive front in this contest. This safety put the Vikings ahead 16-15.
Not to be outdone, Big Rapids defense stepped up and helped their team get the lead back. They recorded a key interception that led to a Jack Cooley touchdown run of twenty-three yards, giving the Cardinals a 22-16 edge.
Tri-County was able to force overtime after Tompkins and John Nelson connected for a thirty-five yard touchdown pass. With the opportunity to take the lead with a PAT kick, they failed to convert, sending this game into the extra period.
In overtime, Big Rapids gained the required ten yards for a touchdown in one successful pass, as Wil Strickler and Jamal Strickland teamed up for that aerial strike. After stopping Tri-County from finding the end zone, the Cardinals won 29-22.
Next week, Tri-County will take on Chippewa Hills. Big Rapids will square off against Fremont in their season finale. The Tri-County and Chippewa Hills game will be broadcast LIVE on MSR next Friday night.