The Emerald Vikings converted three interceptions into three touchdowns, and Dan Wideman threw three touchdown
passes and ran for two more as the Vikings defeated Ninety Six 41-34 to win the Region III-AA championship for the first time
in school history.
The Vikings never trailed in the contest, and seemed to be in control for the entire game. The scoring
started in the first quarter. After a three and out on their first possession, the Vikings seemed to be in trouble as
Ninety Six drove inside the Viking 20 yard line. The defense would stiffen as Terrence Rapley stepped in front of Stan
Doolittle pass for the first of three interceptions on the night.
The offense did not let this opportunity slip by as they drove the length of the field culminating in a
53 yard pass from Wideman to Demarco Anderson for the score. Joseph Taylor added the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
Emmanuel Smith would get the second interception of the game on the next Wildcat drive. The Vikings
would again get into the endzone, this time on a Wideman to Peferio Strong pass of 20 yards. Taylor's PAT made the score
Ninety Six would cut the lead to 14-7 before the end of the first quarter.
Wideman would strike again in the second quarter. After being flushed out of the pocket, Wideman went
right before finally changing directions and scrambling left. Just before reaching the line of scrimmage, Widman spotted
Tony Rapley wide open down the field and threw a strike. Rapley did the rest carrying the ball into the endzone for
a school record 82 yard touchdown reception. Taylors kick made the score 21-7.
The Wildcats were not done as they closed the gap with a score before half and another score to start the
third quarter, but a missed extra point left the Vikings in front 21-20.
The Vikings would resond with another scoring drive, this one ending on a Dan Wideman run to increase the
lead to 28-20. The Wildcats second score of the third quarter again inched them closer to the Vikings, but their two
point conversion was no good leaving the score 28-26 heading into the last quarter.
The Vikings would own the last quarter scoring two straight touchdowns. Josh Bovill and Wideman each
got rushing touchdowns to push the Viking lead to 41-26 with 3:00 remaining in the contest. The Wildcats would add a
touchdown and two point conversion with 9 second remaining, but it was too little too late.
Wideman finished 34-36 for 378 yards. He was not intercepted. Anderson finished with 8 catches
for 131 yards to lead the Viking receivers.
Terrence Rapley led the Viking defense with 13 tackles and an interception. Smith and Kadarron Anderson
had the other interceptions.
The Vikings earned the top seed out of the region and will host Gilbert in the first round of the playoffs