Vikings rally three times, advance in 3-OT thriller
AVOCA (Oct. 26) -- In the same round of the playoffs two years ago, AHSTW lost a 21-14 overtime heartbreaker at Van Meter - stopped on fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line to end the game.
For several of those same Viking players, redemption was earned last Friday night in Avoca.
Trailing 14-0 at halftime and rallying twice more in three overtime periods, the 2nd-ranked Vikings found a way to keep their season alive with a thrilling 30-28 win over Alta-Aurelia in the first round of the Class A football playoffs.
The visiting Warriors got the ball first in the third O.T. and scored on a one-yard run by fullback Nick Gaes. The ensuing two-point conversion try was stuffed at the point of attack, however, keeping the score at 28-22.
The Vikings needed just two plays to tie things up on their possession as Gabe Pauley scored from six yards out for his fourth TD of the night. Required to go for two starting in the third overtime, AHSTW called a pass play and Blake Osbahr found Brayton Tuma for the game-winning PAT.
The Vikings improved to 10-0 overall and will now host Newman Catholic of Mason City (8-2) in a Class A quarterfinal Friday at 7:00 p.m. Alta-Aurelia finished its season at 7-3.
Asked if he had thought about the Van Meter game at any point during Friday’s grueling contest - both were tied 14-14 after regulation - AHSTW head coach Davis Pattee said that the staff reflected back on it afterward.
“That was certainly a very memorable game - although being on the other side of the emotions at the end - to be able to play in and coach in,” he said. “For some of these kids to be on the sidelines for two of these remarkable playoff games is really rare, and I think they’re proud to be a part of it and certainly happy to get out on the winning side of one of them.”
Friday marked the second straight week that Pattee’s squad erased a 14-0 halftime deficit to win. The Vikings clinched a district title on October 19 by rallying past St. Albert 19-14.
Pauley finished the night with 24 carries for 165 yards and four touchdowns, raising his season totals to 1,417 rushing yards and 24 total TDs. Osbahr completed 9-of-15 passes for 121 yards with one interception. Tuma was the top Viking receiver with three catches for 67 yards.
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