After falling behind by three scores, homestanding Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca charged back hard but ended up falling short in a 25-21 second round playoff loss to Columbus Lakeview on Wednesday night.
Lakeview opened the scoring with a 59-yard touchdown run and added a 44-yard touchdown pass during first quarter action. Both of the Vikings’ point after kicks failed and the score stood at 12-0.
Another Lakeview touchdown pass, this one covering 14 yards, and a point after kick had the score at 19-0.
The Rockets battled back on the following kick off when Turner Moore returned the ball for 92 yards to the end zone. The point after kick made it 19-7.
Defensive pressure and a hit on the Lakeview quarterback led to the Rockets’ second touchdown, a 50-yard interception return by Will Neels. The point after made it 19-14.
And that’s the way the score stood at the half.
The Rockets had been struggling to get their offense going in the first half, but running back Zach Heitkamp got the team’s attack going in the second half by sprinting for a 76-yard third quarter touchdown that had S-D-A in the lead. The point after made the score 21-19 in favor of the home team.
A strategically placed short kick ended up going out of bounds on the ensuing kick off. The Rockets were then forced to re-kick after the penalty and again attempted a short kick.
The Vikings recovered and began their drive at their own 48-yard line. Lakeview converted 3rd-and-1 from the Rocket 43-yard line with a rush play, then had that gain enhanced by a personal foul against the defense. Another third down conversion, this time on 3rd-and-4, preceeded a 14-yard run by the Vikings to the Rocket one-yard line.
A short touchdown run made the score 25-21 in favor of the visitors. Lakeview attempted a two-point pass, but the play failed.
That’s the way the score stood after three quarters.
S-D-A had a chance to take the lead in the fourth quarter. Lakeview had the ball at its own 19-yard line with 11:44 left in the game, but was unable to move the ball.
The Rockets took over after a short punt and got a 27-yard run from quarterback Mitch Stilmock that took the ball from the Lakeview 40-yard line to the 13-yard line.
A Rocket rush inside the five-yard line ended with a fumble and Lakeview recovered.
S-D-A’s next two drives began at the Lakeview 43-yard line and the Rockets’ own 40-yard line, but neither produced points and Lakeview ran out the clock to win the game and advance in the playoffs.
With the loss, the Rockets ended their season at 9-1.