Vikings keep Bucket: Missed opportunities doom JimmiesThe Jimmies wasted too many good opportunities. The Vikings bent, but didn’t break and as a result, the Paint Bucket stays in Valley City.
By: By Dave Selvig, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
The Jimmies wasted too many good opportunities.
The Vikings bent, but didn’t break and as a result, the Paint Bucket stays in Valley City.
Derek Elliott’s game-opening 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown was a perfect start for the 20th-ranked Vikings as they nipped Jamestown College for the third time in two years 13-10 Saturday at Rollie Greeno Field.
“We tell our guys, tough times never endure, but tough people do. … It’s extremely disappointing, extremely frustrating, but we just have to keep moving forward,” JC head coach Shawn Frank said. “When we look at the tape, we’ll see a lot of good things. But this is a results-orientated business, that’s the bottom line, and we didn’t get the right result (today).”
The win for the 3-1 Vikings gave VCSU a 32-28 edge in the Paint Bucket Series, which dates back to 1961, and pulled them within one game of Jamestown College in the all-time head-to-head series (49-48-4).
This one felt good for the Vikings, who came in struggling despite a 2-1 record.
“This game is what small-college football is all about,” said Valley City State coach Dennis McCulloch. “It may not have been the prettiest thing, but it was a very competitive game in a great atmosphere.
“I’ve been involved in these games for 19 years and win or lose, there’s nothing better.”
It was a case of the one that got away for the Jimmies.
They missed two makeable field goals, squandered great first-half field position and left points on the field.
“When you get an opportunity to score, you have to do it. That’s about as elementary a part of this game as there is. … We’re simply wasting too many chances to score points and we absolutely have to get that fixed.”
Ryan Benke missed a 27-yard field goal on the Jimmies’ first drive when they opted to kick instead of go for it on 4th-and-1 at the VCSU 9-yard line. The drive was crisp, and needed, for the Jimmies after Elliott’s electrifying start to the game.
“We knew they like to kick right, so I lined up on that side. The guys did a great job blocking. I made one cut and then just had to outrun the kicker,” said Elliott, a Valley City native. “It was a great way to start the game.”
The Jimmies (1-4) dominated the rest of the first half, but could not score. They finally got on the board with another nice drive to start the second half when Craig Anderson boomed one in from 26 yards out to make it 7-3.
But that was all they got until the second-to-last-play of the game when Gus Ramasco hit Michael Sena for a 6-yard score, but it came with just three seconds remaining. The Vikings recovered the ensuing onside kick to ice it, despite being outgained by more than 100 yards (335-233). Reid Haagenson (14 tackles) and Andrew Hammond (10 stops, 1 sack) led another strong outing from the JC defense.
Aaron Freije, a senior out of West Fargo, was all over the field for the Vikings, finishing with three sacks and 15 tackles.
“We knew this would be a dogfight. It always is and probably always will be,” McCulloch said.
It was another solid performance running the football for the Jimmies, led by another big game from Lance Johansen, who followed his 160-yard performance against South Dakota Mines with 169 more yards on 24 carries against the Vikings. Matt Mithaugen averaged 5 yards per carry on 11 rushes as well.
“I can’t fault the effort of our guys on either side of the ball. That’s not the problem,” Frank said. “But these other things: pre-snap penalties, leaving points on the field. … We have to get it fixed and we won’t stop until we do.”
The two teams meet again Oct. 20 in Valley City. The Jimmies are the road Saturday at Mayville State.
Valley City State 13, Jamestown College 10
Vikings 7 0 6 0 — 13
Jimmies 0 0 3 7 — 10
VCSU—Derek Elliott 90 yard kickoff return (Thomas Cortez), 14:46.
JC—Craig Anderson 26 field goal, 10:26.
VCSU—Taylor Cino 2 run (kick failed), 6:10.
JC—Michael Sena 6 pass from Gus Ramasco (Benke kick), :03.
First downs 12 20
Rushes-yards 37-129 43-215
Comp-Att-Int 8-18-0 13-34-1
Passing yards 104 120
Total offense 233 335
Fumbles-lost 0-0 0-0
Punts-avg. 6-32 5-46
Penalties-yards 9-58 7-61
Valley City State
Rushing: Taylor Cino 17-79, Trevor Goerts 6-23, Derek Elliott 8-22, Tommy Zinke 3-3, Colton Growden 1-2.
Passing: Zinke 8-18 104 yards
Receiving: Elliott 2-38, Ken Eliacin 3-32, Colby Lum 2-26, Jacob Miller 1-8.
Interceptions: Garrett Jackson
Rushing: Lance Johansen 24-169, Matt Mithaugen 11-55, Gus Ramasco 8-(-9).
Passing: Ramasco 13-33 120 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Receiving: Tyler Spanton 2-37, Michael Sena 4-25, Matt Wilson 1-13, Derrick Dohmann 2-18, Jay Bachman 1-10, Trent Roemmich 1-10, Jacob Erbes 1-7, Michael Sena 1-6.
Records: Valley City State 3-1; Jamestown College 1-4.
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at email@example.com