VAN HORNE — The fans arrived early last night to get a look at the upgraded facilities at Bobcat Stadium.
With a new field-turf surface and new bleachers filled to near capacity, the Benton Community faithful were treated to a great performance at the upgraded facility. Unfortunately, the great performance came from the visitors.
Vinton-Shellsburg made a successful debut under former Cedar Rapids Jefferson coach Jim Womochil, rolling past the Bobcats, 48-0. It was a homecoming of sorts for Womochil, who has roots in the Vinton-Shellsburg community.
“I’m very proud of the kids,” Womochil said. “They have been very coachable.”
The Vikings opened with a quick-hitting offense that had the Bobcats on their heels. They drove 68 yards in 12 plays after taking the opening kickoff.
Kelyn Rickels capped the drive with a 2-yard run.
“It was big for us to come out and take that first possession down the field,” Womochil said. “We got a rhythm going on offense.”
After taking over on downs, the Vikings upped the lead to 14-0 on a 12-yard run by Max Griffith.
The hosts had their chances in the second quarter, driving to the Viking 7 before losing the ball on a fourth-down fumble.
Benton got the ball back on the next play when Vinton-Shellsburg fumbled at its own 5. But the Viking defense stood tall, picking off a fourth-down pass in the end zone.
Vinton-Shellsburg came up with a big play just before halftime when reserve quarterback Grant Sagan hit Max Kearns on a crossing route for a 37-yard score to take a 21-0 lead at the break.
“Stopping them in the second quarter was big,” Womochil said.
“They were beating us up a little bit physically and then to score before the half may have broken their spirit.”
The Vikings took the game to a continuous clock situation in the fourth quarter.
“It is great to be home,” Womochil said. “There are a lot of great people in the community and I am happy to be a part of it with this team.”