CASSTOWN — The Ansonia Tigers had to contend with two powerful elements — a steady drizzle and a fired-up opponent — in the team’s Friday night’s 42-16 loss to the Vikings at Miami East.
Persistent rain throughout the afternoon and evening led to extremely wet field conditions.
It was of no matter to Miami East. In the air and on the ground, the Viking offense moved the ball with ease against the Tigers’ defense through much of the contest. And the Tiger offense showed little sign of life until partway through the third quarter.
“I’ve got to hand it to the Miami East coaching staff and players — they came prepared to play,” Ansonia coach Eugene Hoening said.
Most of the first quarter was a plodding affair with neither team making much progress beyond midfield. With three minutes left in the first quarter, the Vikings found themselves pinned down near their own goal line following a Tiger punt. Vikings running back Jacob Brown, however, broke past the edge of the Tiger coverage and raced 85 yards for the first score of the game.
From that point on, the Vikings began scoring virtually at will. A fumble by the Tigers at their own 43-yard-line set up the Vikings’ next score, and by halftime, Ansonia went to the locker room down 35-0.
The beginning of the third quarter brought much of the same. A third-quarter, 56-yard touchdown run by Viking running back Logan May put the Vikings up 42-0.
Seeking to avoid a shutout loss, the Tiger offense finally found its rhythm. A run by Ansonia running back Aydan Sanders with 9:25 left in the game, along with a successful 2-point conversion, gave Ansonia its first points of the game.
The Tigers then benefited from a fumble recovery at the Vikings’ own 25-yard-line to score their second touchdown of the night, a rush by Cody Burnfield with just over three minutes left in the contest. The 2-point conversion made the final score 42-16.
Hoening said that while the team had to contend with both the weather and a strong Viking squad, he was proud of the way his team responded.
“I told them at halftime that we’ve got to keep executing,” he said. “In the second half, we fought back and getting a couple of scores towards the end really helped build our confidence.”
The Tigers (1-2 overall, 0-2 in Cross County Conference) play their next game at home against Twin Valley South (2-1, 1-0) on Friday.