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Knock (12) runs for career-high 147 yards. Smith (20) gains 143 total yards from scrimmage. Photo Credit - Doug Wells
Football - Sat, Sep. 30, 2017

Olathe, Kansas – The Grand View University Viking football team traveled to south on a beautiful, but windy, fall day to face the MidAmerica Nazarene Pioneers. In a battle of one of the best offenses and defenses in not only the Heart of America Conference but also all of NAIA. The Vikings defeated the Pioneers by a score of 38-24. Grand View's record improves to 5-1, while MidAmerica falls to 3-3.

The game started off sloppy for both teams. The Vikings committed a turnover as a pass went through the hands of a receiver and was intercepted by the Pioneers. MidAmerica would fail to take advantage of the situation as they would fumble in Viking territory shortly after a failed option play. Safety Jevon Willis (SR/St. Peters, MO / Fort Zumwalt ) would fall on the ball and regain possession for the Vikings.

The first quarter was a war of attrition for both teams in a battle of field position. MidAmerica would constantly find itself with its back against their own goal line due to the Vikings' special teams and defense. Grand View finally took advantage of this opportunity as they received the ball at midfield. Behind a great catch and run by Travien Smith (SR/Mckinney, TX / North HS), Grand View pressed downfield. Still unable to reach the end zone, the Vikings turned to Eric Fridl (FR/New Berlin, WI/ Catholic Memor). He successfully converted on a 32-yard field goal attempt to make the score 3-0 early in the second quarter.

The Pioneers started the following possession with a big play of their own. They placed themselves inside the Grand View 5-yard line. The Viking defense held strong, however. A tackle for loss by Ramel Lane (SR/Urbandale, IA / Urbandale HS), a big stop at the line of scrimmage by Russell Jones (JR/Waterloo, IA / East High / IWC) and a pass deflection in the end zone by Kemaad Jones (JR/Wharton, TX / Wharton HS) in three straight plays kept the home team out of the end zone. The Pioneers would make a field goal of their own, evening the score at 3-3.

MidAmerica would continue to put points on the board. They would score two more touchdowns giving them a 3-17.

The Vikings would end their streak of empty possessions and score a touchdown of their own. The highlight of the drive was a 44-yard pass from Jordan Knock (SR/Gilbert, IA / Gilbert HS) to Alex Brammer (SR/Ames, IA / Ames HS) on a vertical route up the left sideline. The Vikings turned to their senior running back to finish the drive. Smith took a ball up the middle, lost the defense with a quick cut, and scampered into the end zone. The successful PAT made the score 10-17 in favor of the Pioneers.

MidAmerica would score one more time before the end of the 1st-half and Grand View would go into the locker room with a 10-24 deficit.

Grand View received the kickoff to begin the 2nd-half. The Vikings offense entered the field highly motivated. It took less than three minutes for Grand View to find the end zone. The offense faced some adversity as they faced a 4th and 9 deep in MidAmerica territory. Knock completed a pass to Josh Carrera (SR/South Grand Prairie, TX) in order to move the chains and continue the drive. The Vikings would turn to their senior signal caller to finish the possession. Knock would cover the remaining 19-yards to the goal line on three straight designed runs. The quarterback bulldozed Pioneer defenders and leaped over the line to make the score 17-24.

After a forced punt from the Viking defense, the offense returned to the field confident by their last successful drive. The Vikings continued the attack the Pioneers. Grand View covered 53 of its 80 yards on the drive on the ground. Smith and Knock both had big runs, but it was Carrera who found paydirt on a reverse with Knock landing to a big block. This evened the score at 24 apiece.

Fueled by and second straight score and a giant play by one of their team leader's the defense forced another 3-and-out. The offense focused on short passes with receivers fighting for yards after the catch and rushing the ball as they continued to not only fight the MidAmerica defense but also the wind. It was once again Knock that found the end zone on the ground. Behind a great push by the offensive line, the quarterback plunged across the goal line. The Vikings took a 31-24 lead, which was their first lead since early in the 2nd-quarter.

Similar to the offense, the Grand View defense came out of the halftime locker room with a spark. After imposing punts in their first two trips onto the field, they managed to force a turnover on downs on their third. It was defensive back Tray Brown (SR/Lawrenceville, GA / ICCC) who managed to tip away the Pioneer pass to give possession back to the Viking offense. They continued to cause fits for the Pioneer offense, as the defensive line forced an errant throw that was intercepted by Jeremy Johnson (JR/Iowa City, IA / City High HS).

It took the offense three plays to score after the MidAmerica miscue. This time it was Smith that took the ball into the promise land. Smith took a handoff from his fellow senior and pinballed off Pioneer defenders for a 20-yard touchdown run. Smith's score gave the Vikings a 38-24 lead.

This would be the final score of the game.

Keys of the Game…

Normally a pass-heavy offense, the Vikings did most of their damage rushing the football. 327 of their 549 total yards were gained on the ground. Every single touchdown was carried into the end zone.

It was a tale of two halves for the Vikings. Both sides of the ball started off the game slowly. It took the offense over a quarter to score. MidAmerica scored 17 unanswered points in the 2nd-quarter and scored on four straight possessions. Grand View went into the halftime locker room trailing 10-24 but outscored the Pioneers 28-0 in the 2nd-half.

The Viking defense forced five 3-and-outs on the day, 2 turnovers, and 2 turnover-on-downs.

Players of Note...

Jordan Knock was 16-36 for 222 yards passing. It was his running that was special today. The Gilbert product ran for career-high 147 yards on 14 carries. Knock rushed 2 in for touchdowns. Knock displayed his love of contact as he ran over Pioneer defenders and laid the edge block that allowed Vikings to score on a reverse.

Alex Brammer caught six passes for 102 yards. Even though he was unable to continue his streak of consecutive games with a receiving touchdown, the senior still came up with big catches to move the Vikings downfield and continue drives.

Travien Smith rushed for over 100 yards for the first time this year. The senior gathered 120 yards on the ground on 20 carries, while scoring twice on those rushes. Smith also accumulated 42 yards on receptions.

The defense was led by Ben Slavens (SO/Bettendorf, IA / Pleasant Vall) who recorded 8 total tackles on the day. Ramel Lane registered 5 total tackles and 3 of them were tackles for loss. Jeremy Johnson also intercepted another pass, which brings his season total to 3.

Up Next…

Grand View will have a bye next weekend. Their next game will take place on Saturday, October 14th against the Bobcats of Peru State College (23) in Des Moines at Duke Williams Stadium. Kickoff starts at 1:00 pm. This will be the first divisional game for the Vikings in the 2017 season. Check back with gvvikings.com for a complete recap and follow the Vikings on social media (@VikingAthletics) for in-game updates.

 
 
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