After two straight games against undefeated District 13 opponents, the Vipers were at risk of a letdown against the 1-4 (0-3) McNeil Mavericks. The Vipers received the ball to start the game. After moving the ball to the Maverick 40, the Vipers fumbled and McNeil recovered on their 40. Was a letdown on the horizon? On the Mustangs first play, DB Logan Arnold eased those concerns by intercepting McNeil QB Luke Hutchison at midfield and returning it 14 yards to the Maverick 31. Two plays later, RB Bowen Lewis broke three Maverick tackles on his way to a 26 yards touchdown run. After a K Charlie Fournier PAT, the Vipers now led 7-0 with 8:54 remaining in the 1st quarter. The Mavericks weren’t going to mail it in. Their next drive started on the 27 yard line. 13 plays and 73 yards later, the Mavericks knotted the game at 7-7 after a QB Luke Hutchison 1 yard TD run.
On their next possession, the Vipers would strike back quickly with a 6 play 72 yards drive. The Vipers scored on a beautifully designed play. RB Bowen Lewis started in his usual position 7 yards deep in the backfield and to the left of QB Dru Dawson. Just before the snap, Lewis went in motion and positioned himself a yard behind and off the left hip of LT James Collyer. With the snap of the ball, Lewis ran straight down the middle of the field unguarded. QB Dru Dawson lofted a perfect pass to the wide open Lewis for a 23 yard TD pass. 14-7 Vipers with :32 left in the first quarter. On the Mavericks next drive, the Vipers D returned to form. The Viper D forced a 3 and out after a 3rd and 5 jet sweep by the Mavericks was stopped a yard short by DB’s Kaleb Lewis and Logan Arnold.
The Vipers started their 1st drive of the 2nd Quarter hoping to end any concerns of a Maverick upset. They did just that by piecing together a 13 play, 71 yard drive capped by Dru Dawson’s 2nd TD pass of the game to big play WR Taylor “TD” Dummar from 14 yards out. With 5:28 to go before halftime, the Vipers now led 21-7. The 1st half would see two more three and outs forced by the Viper D. The Viper offense moved the ball well in two more first half drives but after both drives stalled out, each drive resulted in failed FG attempts. The score at the half Vandegrift 21 and McNeil 7.
The Mavericks started the 3rd quarter with the ball. The Viper D once again forced a 3 and out. The 3rd quarter ended up being a defensive battle. Neither team could muster much offense and after three quarters the score remained 21-7. The drought wouldn’t last long. Fifteen seconds into the 4th quarter, the Vipers built their lead to 28-7 on a 5 yard TD run by Bowen Lewis. The Mavericks had one more run in them and weren’t going to go down quietly. McNeil put together an 11 play 68 yard TD drive capped by 13 yard TD pass from Luke Hutchison to WR Saki Tikoikosovou bringing the score to 28-14 with 6:34 remaining in the game. On the kickoff, the Mavericks attempted an onside kick but that threat was extinguished by a leaping recovery by DB Ty Jordan giving the Vipers possession on their 49 yard line. Six plays later the Vipers hit pay dirt again with a Bowen Lewis 5 yard TD run making the final score Vandegrift 35 and McNeil 14. The Vipers extended their District 13 unbeaten winning streak to 13 games. Your Vipers have now won 17 straight regular season games. #TWO19
Game Notes – Bowen Lewis had a game to remember. Lewis scored 4 TD’s, rushed for 116 yards in 18 carries and had 5 catches for 90 yards. Dru Dawson played a near flawless game completing 26 of 30 passes for 254 yards and 2 TD passes. Trey Mongauzy lead the WR’s with 10 catches for 100 yards. The defense was once again led by Jax McCauley who registered 18 tackles and 3 tackles for loss. Also making major contributions on defense were Zach Gillcrist with 17 tackles and a TFL, Ty Jordan with 10 tackles, Matthew Graham with 9 tackles and a TFL, Kaleb Lewis with 9 tackles and a TFL, Jordan Cochran with 7 tackles and a TFL and Joseph Clark with 7 tackles and a TFL.
Welcome to Varsity – RB Connor Bourque saw his first Varsity action and made the most of it. Connor had 2 carries for 14 yards. His last carry secured a first down and ran the clock out. Also getting their first on field game action on Varsity were OL Brandon Haley, OL Alex Palomino and OL Ethan Barnard who paved the way for Bourque’s first down.
By Morgan Radocha