ROCKSPRINGS, Ohio — Cory Cox hit Bailey Carauthers from seven yards out with 28 seconds left to give the Meigs Marauders a thrilling 28-21 win over the Vinton County Vikings Friday night at Farmers Bank Stadium.
The Marauders drove 54 yards in less than two minutes for the winning score. That was after the Vikings outstanding senior quarterback Naylan Yates hit Hunter Nichols with a 52-yard scoring toss at the 2:08 mark to give the Vikings the lead.
Three plays into the second period, the Marauders took the early lead when Cox hit Cole Adams from seven yards out. The kick was blocked, but the Marauders held a 6-0 lead with 10:59 in the half.
The Vikings took a 7-6 lead into the locker room at the half when Yates scrambled out of pressure and hit Lincoln Hayes wide open over the middle for 58 yards and the score. Eli Downs added the extra points and the Vikings went on top 7-6 with 1:12 left in the half.
The Vikings took a short-lived lead in the third period when Yates hit Donnie Stevens with a 10-yard touchdown pass. Downs added the extra points and the Vikings were on top 14-7 with 5:42 left.
But on the ensuing kickoff, sophomore Weston Baer field the ball at the 25 on the far sideline, cut across the field and turned it up the near sideline going untouched 75 yards for the score.
Cox hit Adams for the extra points and Meigs had pulled even with the Vikings 14-all with 5:27 in the third period. Lane Cullums capped off an 11-play, 69-yard drive with a three-yard burst, giving the Marauders a 20-14 advantage with 3:15 left in regulation.
But just 1:14 and five plays later, the Vikings struck again.
Despite good coverage, Yates hit Hunter Nichols from 52 yards out for the score. Downs added the extra points and Vinton County held a 21-20 lead with 2:08 left.
After returning the ensuing kickoff 24 yards to the Marauder 46, the Marauders ran six straight running plays to set up a first and goal at the 11-yard line with 41 second left.
On first down, Cox rifled a pass into the numbers of Bailey Carauthers as he cut across the middle of the end zone. Zach Bartrum added the extra points and a 28-21 Marauder advantage.
After a squib kick by the Marauders, the Vikings drove to the Meigs 42. But with one second left, Yates has his final pass knocked to the turf in the end zone to set off a Marauder celebration.
Bartrum led the Marauders with 146 yards in 19 tries, Lane Cullums added a hard fought 115 in 18 attempts. Cox was 9 of 19 in the air 92 yards. Weston Baer caught four for 43, Adams had four for 30 and Carauthers grabbed two for 13.
Yates led the Vikings with 62 yards in 14 tries, Jayden Spires added 56 in 16. Yates was 12 of 25 in the air 229 yards. Lincoln Hayes caught four for 99, while Hunter Nichols had three grabs for 85.
“Hats off to Vinton County,” a drained Marauder coach Mike Bartrum said after the contest. “Coach Yates (Viking assistant coach Nolan) and I have been friends a long time, we go way back. Their kids on the team are friends with our kids and they fought hard. We had kids banged up, cramping late in the game and someone else stepped up to make the play. Tomorrow we will break down the films early in the morning and get ready for River Valley.”
Meigs is now 2-2 overall and 1-0 in the TVC Ohio. MHS will travel to River Valley next Friday for a TVC Ohio contest at 7:30 p.m.
Dave Harris is a Sports Correspondent for Ohio Valley Publishing.
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