By: Alex Melillo
SOMERVILLE, NJ – The Somerville Pioneers defeated the Voorhees Vikings on Friday evening at Brooks Field by the score of 34-20. The Pioneers fought back after trailing early to get their third win in as many games.
The first drive of the game for the Pioneers started with promise as they were able to put together a couple first downs, but sputtered out just shy of midfield. Voorhees capitalized on the short Pioneer punt and produced points early. The first Viking possession ended with a touchdown and an early 7-0 lead for Voorhees.
With Somerville looking to again mount a drive, the Vikings defense continued their shutout ball with an interception of a pass from senior QB Ryan Kovacs. Voorhees exploited the turnover by cashing in with a long field goal by Junior QB/K George Eberle. At the end of the first quarter, Somerville found themselves in a 10-0 hole.
Coming into the game, Voorhees had not conceded a single point on the 2017 season. But their streak of nine straight quarters without a point by the opposition would come to an end early in the second quarter.
From the Wildcat offense on the Viking one-yard line, junior WR/DB Duke McDuffie ran the ball to the right and found paydirt. A failed two-point attempt made it 10-6, Vikings, with 10:49 left in the half.
Determined to keep their hold on the game, Voorhees countered with a touchdown of their own. A 58-yard pass from Eberle to senior wideout Will Rodenberger increased the Viking lead to 17-6, with 9:20 on the clock.
The see-saw battle continued for the rest of the quarter as Somerville went on to score two touchdowns, one from junior RB Robert Fiorentino and another from McDuffie. A last-minute field goal by Voorhees tied it up at 20 heading into halftime.
Action slowly built up to begin the second half, and it was Somerville who struck first, while the Pioneer defense shut down the Viking offense for the rest of the game. A pass, batted into the air by a teammate, was intercepted by McDuffie in his own territory to set up the next drive for the Pioneers.
With 4:17 remaining in the third, junior QB/LB Jahaln Dabney escaped a would-be sack and scrambled 66 yards into the end zone. A converted point after attempt by junior K Bobby Wortman made it a 27-20 ball game.
The fourth quarter was relatively quiet, with only one scoring play on the first snap of the final frame. McDuffie, again from the Wildcat, powered his way into the promised land, making the score 34-20, where it remained for the rest of the game.
Final Score: Somerville 34, Voorhees 20.
For the second straight game, Fiorentino finished above 140 total yards on the ground, as he racked up 141 yards and a touchdown against the Vikings.
Next weekend, the Somerville Pioneers travel to Warren Hills for a Saturday night matchup. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 pm. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram (@VilleFootball) and Facebook for stats and up to date information. Visit us at www.somervillefootball.com