LINDSBORG — It was a victory 13 years in the making, and it was well worth the wait.
In front of a rambunctious home crowd on Homecoming, the Smoky Valley Vikings defeated Hesston, 49-20, for the first time in 13 years.
A year after making the state championship game in 3A, Hesston is now 2-3. Meanwhile, Smoky Valley is now 4-1 with all the momentum in the world to carry them through the season.
“I know it means a lot to these kids and it means a lot to this community,” Lambert said after Friday’s win. “I was happy we beat them the way that we did. I thought our kids played smart and hard all night. As big as this win was on paper, we have to look forward to next week.”
Early on, it looked like the Vikings and Swathers were in for a competitive shootout.
Hesston marched right down the field in 68 seconds for the game’s first touchdown. The Vikings had no answer for Hesston standout running back Parker Roth on the first drive, as he gave the Swathers a 6-0 lead on a 35-yard touchdown run.
However, the Vikings wasted no time in responding, as senior running back Kyle Anderson broke free on 4th and inches for 48 yards and a touchdown. Anderson tacked on the two-point conversion to give the Vikings an 8-6 lead with 8:22 left in the quarter.
From there the SVHS defense took over as they kept Hesston out of the end zone until late in the fourth quarter. The SVHS offense was only beginning to pick up steam as they scored 49 unanswered in what became a surprising blowout. Anderson had four rushing touchdowns in the first half as the Vikings led 28-6 at halftime.
Speedy kick returner Timmy Lambert kept the foot on the gas, taking the second-half kickoff 81 yards for a touchdown. After a three-yard touchdown run from Cort Elliott, a running clock was implemented to speed the blowout up. Sophomore running back Raleigh Wilson capped off the scoring with a one-yard touchdown run to put the Vikings up 49-6.
Hesston scored 13 points in the final five minutes to make the game a little closer, but Friday night was dominated by the Vikings from start to finish. Smoky Valley is now 8-0 at home dating back to last season.
“We have a great crowd and this is a great environment,” Lambert said. “I wish I could figure out why we don’t play as well on the road, but this is a fun place to play.”
With a veteran group, Lambert expects his team to be fully focused for a winless Lyons team next week.
“I think it helps that the game was over so quickly,” Lambert said. “We won’t be high or emotional after winning a close game, so I think that will help us for next week. We have a goal, and it’s not met yet, so we’ll go from there.”
After the Vikings travel to Lyons next week, they open up district play at home against Rock Creek.
Contact Gallagher Martin by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GMartinSentinel