Valley City Times-Record

VCSU Football grinds out 21-10 win over Presentati­on College


VALLEY CITY – Valley City State’s defense forced five turnovers and held Presentati­on College to just 30 yards rushing on Saturday as the Viking football team earned a 21-10 victory on its Senior Day.

Senior Blake King had two intercepti­ons, and Jahidi West added another pick for the Vikings. Senior Martin Jones and Georgia Mageo both recovered fumbles as part of VCSU’s bigplay defensive effort.

Valley City State scored a pair of first-half touchdowns on one-yard runs by Justice Bice and senior Shayden Luna to take a 14-3 lead into halftime. It was the first career touchdown for Luna, who has been a special teams player and backup running back for the Vikings during his career.

Presentati­on College mounted a quick 8-play, 65-yard drive to score early in third quarter, cutting the Viking lead to 14-10 after quarterbac­k Tim Evitt hit Kevin Wright for an 18yard touchdown. The Saints were one yard away from taking the lead later in the third quarter, but a fumble on the one-yard line doomed their potential go-ahead drive. VCSU senior Martin Jones picked up the fumble and returned it 95 yards to the end zone, but the defensive touchdown was called back by an illegal block.

The damage had been done though as the Saints were unable to threaten the end zone again. Avery Thorsgard scored on a 1-yard keeper midway through the fourth quarter to put the Vikings ahead 21-10. Blake King ended Presentati­on’s final drive with his second intercepti­on of the game, and the Vikings ran out the clock to clinch the victory.

“What a great way for Blake King to finish his last game at Lokken Stadium,” VCSU head coach Dennis McCulloch said about King’s two intercepti­ons, which included the gameclinch­ing pick.

Valley City State improves its record to 4-5 overall and 3-2 in the North Star Athletic Associatio­n. Presentati­on College drops to 3-7 overall and 2-3 in conference play.

The teams combined for eight turnovers and 18 penalties in the game, with both sides feeling like they missed opportunit­ies. For the Vikings however, they managed to come up with big defense plays at the right time.

“I told the guys after the game that it was maybe an ugly win, but we’re still going to take it,” said McCulloch. “We ground it out to find a way to win. Our defense, in key spots, found ways to make some plays. It was a little bit of bend but don’t break, and then we found a way to make a play.”

Presentati­on College out-gained the Vikings in total offense, 293-270, thanks to its passing offense. The Saints threw for 263 yards, but were hampered by the three Viking intercepti­ons. VCSU’s defense held the Saints to just 30 rushing yards on 15 carries.

Ashton Raquino racked up a teamhigh eight tackles and one sack for VCSU’s defense. Dustin Kasowski and Micah Olson each had seven tackles and Olson forced a fumble. Georgia Mageo added six tackles, one sack, 1.5 TFL and a fumble recovery.

Quarterbac­k Noah Chambers led the Viking rushing attack with 74 yards on 19 carries. Taylor Simmons gained 42 yards and Justice Bice had 35 yards and a touchdown. Luna and Thorsgard both rushed for touchdowns as well. Thorsgard entered the game at quarterbac­k in the fourth quarter after Chambers left with an injury. Chambers was 11-for-25 passing for 113 yards.

Faaris Amegankpoe had three catches for 21 yards, and Dominic Sotomayor caught two passes for 41 yards as part of VCSU’s passing attack.

Presentati­on College’s offense was led by quarterbac­k Tim Evitt, who went 31-for-49 for 263 yards. Kevin Wright had eight catches for 97 yards and a touchdown. The Saints defense limited VCSU to 270 yards of offense and forced three turnovers. Benjamin Fosi had 13 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble, and Treden Davis-Reed totaled 14 tackles for the Saints.

Up next: Valley City State closes out the season on Saturday, Nov. 12 with a game at the Fargodome against Mayville State. The game kicks off at 1 p.m. from the Fargodome. Presentati­on College will face Dickinson State for its season finale on Nov. 12.

 ?? Photo by Clara Wieland ?? Martin Jones picks up a fumble and returns it Saturday. Below: Teammates celebrate an INT by Blake King (32).
Photo by Clara Wieland Martin Jones picks up a fumble and returns it Saturday. Below: Teammates celebrate an INT by Blake King (32).

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