BRISTOL — At the Stone Castle on Friday night, Lady Momentum was a fickle gal.
And just when Daniel Boone seemed to have her wooed away, she saved the last dance for Tennessee High.
The Vikings defeated the Trailblazers 29-22 in a crucial conference win despite losing the lead late in the third.
Tennessee stud running back Treyvond Delaney (26 carries, 119 yards) put his team ahead on a 10-yard speed option with 4:37 left after Boone’s Jacob Littleton drained a 29-yard field goal to finish a 16-0 ’Blazer run.
“We got after them really good and defended them really well,” said Boone (1-2, 2-4) coach Jeremy Jenkins, whose defense scored two touchdowns. “We just didn’t make enough plays offensively to do anything.”
The Vikings (2-1, 3-3) got the opening kickoff and Delaney spun out of a tackle and raced down the sideline for a 35-yard dash. Quarterback Austin Delph connected with Johnny Deel to get a first-and-goal at Boone’s four.
But the Trailblazers attacked the option on fourth down, hitting Delaney as the ball arrived with Chris Goodman jumping on the ball
But disaster struck on the ensuing punt when the Vikings’ Patrick Quinn came through the line unblocked. Quinn stuffed it and teammate Brady Harman jumped on the ball at the 1-yard-line with Delaney plowing in on the next snap.
The Vikings followed the score with what appeared to be a successful onsides kick, but a flag came out for illegal touching.
Boone got the ball to Tennessee’s 32-yard-line before the Vikings came up with a pick when Ryan Foggleman jumped the hitch.
“This game was won by our defense and quite honestly our defensive staff,” said Vikings coach Shane Boggs. “It was as good of a defensive plan as I’ve ever been around.”
But Delph bobbled the next snap to give Boone a 20-yard field when Joe Green jumped came up with the ball. But the Vikings stuffed Boone there and the 39-yard field goal attempt came up short.
At Boone’s 40-yard-line Delaney lost the ball in the pile with Hunter Skalecki coming up with the ball on the Vikings’ third fumble of the frame.
But the Trailblazers’ offense just couldn’t get on track. Boone had two consecutive three-and-outs with Harman getting a sack on the second possession to force the ’Blazers to punt from their own five-yard-line.
“We got to do a lot of things better on that side of the ball to keep our defense off the field,” said Jenkins.
The Vikings gained possession at Boone’s 34-yard-line and after Delph hit Deel for a 21-yard strike on third-and-seven, Delaney powered in again from a yard to give Tennessee a 14-0 lead.
With less than two minutes remaining, the Vikings look to tack on more but Littleton made a huge play to keep Boone in the game. Littleton picked the ball at Boone’s 20-yard-line and raced for the end zone to cut the lead to 14-7 at the half.
Boone got the ball out of the half, but on the second play the Vikings’ Jordan Bryant got a pick. Peyton Henley replaced Delph at signal-caller and on third down found Bunche on a screen to go up 21-6.
Austin McLemore returned the ensuing kick 50 yards to give Boone the ball at Tennessee’s 41-yard-line, but the Trailblazers turned over the ball on downs at the Vikings’ 37. But two plays later it was Boone defensive back Cliff Sander who came up with the theft and rumbled 43 yards for a touchdown and a 21-12 score.
With a steady drizzle, the Vikings coughed the ball up again on the ensuing possession on a bobbled snap. After only gaining 13 yards on nine carries to that point, Sanders (17 carries, 59 yards) covered the 15-yard field on two carries and the Trailblazers trailed only 21-19 with 4:47 still left in the third.
With momentum on its side, Boone’s defense stuffed the Vikings and a shanked punt gave the Trailblazers a 27-yard field. And on fourth down, Littleton gave his team the lead with a 29-yard field goal to go up 22-21.
But on Tennessee High’s next possession Delph (10-of-16, 105 yards) returned to the game to lead a ground assault. And despite Boone defensive lineman Ryan Iezzi causing a five-yard loss by taking down Delaney in the backfield, Delaney took the next toss around the edge for the go-ahead score with 4:37 left in the game.
Sanders led Boone on defense with eight tackles to go along with his pick and Goodman got five as well as the recovered fumble. The Vikings were led by stout middle linebacker Bryant with eight take-downs and Harmon had seven including two sacks.
“I’m proud of our kids,” said Jenkins. “It’s just one of those things where we put ourselves behind the eight-ball. We got to win three out of four to give ourselves an outside chance.”
“You can’t feel sorry for yourself in our league.”