Spartan, Vikings Look to Battle it Out After Losses

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Both the Alexander Spartans and the Vinton County Vikings enter Friday night’s contest with identical 1-4 records. For the defending TVC-Ohio champion Spartans, their issue has been the inability to finish tough games, as well as their own challenging schedule. For the Vinton County Vikings, their issue has often been early mistakes that leads to falling behind early. Both teams will be looking to fix these issues on Friday night in Albany.

Alexander head coach Alex Penrod is looking to avoid his first losing season since he took over the team three years ago. He has a small room for error and if he is to get the season back on track, a big performance will be needed against Vinton County.

“Their biggest threat is Naylan Yates and how (Vinton County) coach (Jeff) Downs runs the offense,” Penrod said.  “They are balanced and unpredictable.”

Big defensive performances will be needed out of the Alexander secondary to slow down Yates, but the defensive line also has to step up to keep the dual threat quarterback honest. A.J. Marks and Chace Harris will need to do what they always do and makes plays to stop Vinton County.

On offense, the Spartans need other players to make plays aside from Marks and Harris. Penrod believes the Kaleb Easley and Ryan Marks have been playing well all season, will step up and make the plays needed to get a win against Vinton County. Alexander is only averaging 19 points a game this season, so if the Spartans are to turn this season around, they will need to begin to assault the scoreboard like they did last year.

Vinton County head coach Jeff Downs described last week’s 63-14 loss to Athens as embarrassing, but it makes them more eager to take the field against Alexander. For the Vikings, the key for them is also defense. The Vikings are giving up an average of over 38 points a game, and it is hard to win games in the TVC-Ohio giving up those type of numbers.

The biggest improvement that must be made for Vinton County has to be in the passing game. Naylan Yates went 4-19 with only 2 yards passing last week and the Vikings cannot win if they put up numbers like that again. Many times they had the Athens secondary beat but overthrows and drops doomed the Vikings. Both Yates brothers must have a big game on both sides of the ball for the Vikings to come out of Albany with their second win of the season.