GUERNSEY—The weather wasn’t great but by the time the game was over Saturday in Viking Stadium, the only thing that really mattered was that the Guernsey-Sunrise football team had a secured their first win of the season by a score of 56-46 over the winless Normative Services, Inc. team from Sheridan.
At times the game appeared to be a wrestling match with the intermittent rain and low temperatures creating issues for both ball handling and footing in the wet, slick grass.
The Vikings drew first blood at the 8:20 mark and added another touchdown with 5:21 to go in the first quarter when senior back Jeremy Hartt scored on carries of 15 and nine yards. The conversion attempt failed on both attempts but the Vikes were up 12-0.
NSI got their first points with just 30 seconds to go in the first quarter on a six-yard scoring run and completed the extra point conversion to cut the Vikes’ lead to 12-7.
After exchanging possessions throughout most of the second quarter, NSI took the lead just before the half when they scored on a one-yard dive play. The conversion was good and the Wolves took their first lead, 20-12.
The lead change seemed to inspire the Vikes and they came back to score at the 8:22 mark in the third quarter when Justin Malcom ran 20 yards for six points. The conversion failed and the Vikes had cut the lead to 20-18.
NSI answered shortly after though when they scored from 20 yards out at the 6:48 mark. The conversion failed but the lead went to 26-18.
Less than a minute later, Malcom would score again, this time on a 24-yard run. Freshman quarterback Brian McCoid’s conversion pass attempt fell incomplete but the Vikings were back to within two at 26-24.
The Vikings regained the lead on their next series when McCoid carried the ball in from eight yards out. The conversion run by Malcom was good for the extra point and Guernsey-Sunrise was now up 31-26.
With under two minutes to go in the third quarter, the Vikes increased that lead to 37-26 when Malcom reeled off a 61-yard scramble to the end zone.
Just when it appeared that NSI might be done, the Wolves caught fire and scored consecutive touchdowns and with one successful conversion, NSI was back on top 39-37 as time expired in the third quarter.
Now anybody’s game, the Vikings dug deep and came up with three consecutive scores. The first came on the ensuing kick-off at 9:47 to go when junior back Brock Hohnholt ran it back for a 70-yard touchdown. The conversion was no good but the Vikes had regained the lead at 43-39.
With 4:54 to go, the Vikings scored again when McCoid hit Malcom for a 15-yard touchdown. That conversion failed but the lead stretched to 49-39.
The Vikes then gained some breathing room when Malcom scored again at the 1:45 mark on a 42-yard run and this time, he also ran the conversion in to push the margin to 56-39.
NSI managed one more score and conversion in the final minute but time became the Vikings friend and they notched their first win, 56-46.
The Vikings rolled up 351 yards of total offense, 312 coming from the running game. The Vikes ran the ball 30 times and their time of possession was 17:13. They were penalized three times for 15 yards.They picked up 13 first downs, 11 from rushing. They converted two of eight third-down and one fourth-down attempt.
McCoid completed two of 14 attempts for 39 yards and one touchdown and threw no interceptions. Malcom finished as the game’s top rusher with 276 yards and four touchdowns in 15 carries. He added one catch for 15 yards and another score.
Hartt had seven carries for 48 yards and two touchdowns. McCoid had five carries for -4 yards but scored on one of those carries.Senior receiver Preston Elmore finished with one catch for 24 yards.
Hartt led the defensive work with five solo tackles, one for lost yardage. Malcom had four solo stops, one for lost yardage and an assist. He also had two kickoff returns for 32 yards. Sophomore Hunter Warner had three unassisted tackles, one for lost yardage as well as an assist and an interception. Elmore had two lone stops and two assists. McCoid finished with two solo tackles and an interception.Evan Davis had an assist.
Hohnholt had an assist and picked off two passes. He also had one punt return for 32 yards and four kickoff returns for 118 yards and a touchdown.
Freshman Kolten Weinkauf had one kickoff return for 19 yards.
NSI rolled up 281 yards of offense—227 of them from the ground game. They completed five of 21 passes for 54 yards and six interceptions. They ran 53 plays in the 29:01 time of possession. They were penalized six times for 40 yards. They picked up 13 first downs, one by penalty. They converted four of 10 third down attempts and none of the four fourth-down attempts.
This week, the Vikings take their 1-3 overall record on the road to the 2-2 Panthers at Saratoga.
The Cats have wins over Kaycee (53-52) and Lingle-Fort Laramie (65-54).
Their losses were at the hands of Little Snake River (68-0) and Hulett (69-64).