Quavion Mincey gladly accepted the challenge he received at halftime — “if they kick it to you, make them pay.”
Did he ever.
Despite turnovers and short fields for the opposition, Meadowview trailed by just a touchdown at the break. That is, until Mincey took the second-half kickoff at his 25 and broke free down the visitors sideline 75 yards for a touchdown.
It was the spark the Vikings needed as Meadowview rallied with two more unanswered touchdowns in an 18-6 victory over West View at Burke-Toney Stadium on Tuesday night.
Mincey, who caught 2 passes from Trevor Foulks for 8 yards, was also the Vikings’ second-leading rusher with 44 yards on 6 carries.
“That was the spark we needed. That got us right back in the game right then,” Meadowview coach Logan Callahan said. “Quavion, he’s been a blessing this year, not just with his football ability but the way he interacts with everybody and his personality, it’s infectious. He’s always smiling.”
Everyone on Meadowview’s sideline was smiling was after his kickoff return.
The Vikings (2-3 Middle Eight) lost 4 fumbles in the contest, 3 in the first half alone and often set up a short field for its defense to protect.
Aside from West View’s first touchdown, Meadowview answered the call each time.
Ulysses Cabrera and J.C. Hines were heavily involved in that effort, each recording 2 tackles behind the line of scrimmage and recovering 1 fumble apiece.
And when the Indians (1-4) tried to kick start their offense with a fake punt in the fourth quarter, Cabrera was waiting for it and tackled the punter for a 9-yard loss on fourth-and-3.
Foulks took over from there, keeping on a quarterback draw on the next snap for an 8-yard touchdown with 3:44 remaining.
Two plays later, Hines ended any hope of a miracle as he pounced on a West View fumble at the Vikings’ 42-yard line with 3:15 on the clock.
From there, Mincey and Foulks helped Meadowview drain the clock.
Clearly, moving Cabrera to outside linebacker paid dividends.
“Ulysses, he played like a man tonight. This is the first time he’s ever played (outside linebacker) for us, and that was about the best move we could’ve made because he shut down that side of the field for us,” Callahan said. “J.C., he’s played about every position — linebacker, offensive line, defensive line, everywhere you could ever play. He’s just been all over the field. I know it’s hard for him to settle because he answers the call everywhere.”
Jayden Smith, Kade Denton and Skyler Arwood each had 1 TFL.
Seth Southard tackled West View short on fourth down midway through the third quarter. As soon as Foulks kept for 15 yards and Mincey ran for 17, Southard got the payoff as he swept right 14 yards for the go-ahead touchdown and a 12-6 Vikings lead.
Southard finished with 30 yards on 3 carries while Foulks led the Vikings on the ground with 54 yards on 13 attempts.
“This team fights. Something about being down, they realize that’s adversity they have to fight against. I challenged them at halftime and told them I wanted to be the more physical team in the second half,” Callahan said. “I’m glad to work with these assistant coaches and players. They make it fun, the most fun I’ve had on the field. I’m not anything without my assistant coaches and my players. This win’s all on them.”
Landon Howard led the way for West View with a 5-yard pass reception and 44 yards on 7 carries, recovering Meadowview’s first fumble at the Vikings’ 17-yard line before dashing to the end zone on the next play for a 6-0 lead.
Lucas Eddington, Gage Jordan and Brodey Huskey each recovered 1 fumble for the Indians.
Eddington kept the ball 11 times for 35 yards with Kaleb Miller adding 24 on 5 carries including a 19-yarder to convert a third down in the first quarter. Malachi Monroe gained 22 yards on 3 attempts, and Andrew Cook added an 11-yard run.
Andrew Victory, Huskey and Miller were each involved in 1 sack defensively with Cook adding 1 TFL.
Both teams return to Burke-Toney Stadium next week as Meadowview will be on the home side against East Ridge at 5:30 p.m. and West View will be the visiting team against Lincoln Heights at 7 p.m.
Jefferson 36, Rutledge 0
RUTLEDGE — Jefferson Middle kept itself very much alive for a shot at the Middle Eight Conference title, taking down Rutledge 36-0 on the road Tuesday night.
Stats weren’t available for the Elks (4-1 Middle Eight) at press time.
Jefferson can assure itself a championship game berth by winning its remaining two games.
Dawson Fowler led the Pioneers (1-4) on the ground with 60 yards.
Brody Wells passed for 75 yards with Aaron Davis catching 2 passes for 28 and Shawn Johnson grabbed 4 receptions for 35, with Isaiah Kyle adding a 12-yard catch.
Rutledge hits to road to visit Maury next week, with Jefferson returning to its home field to entertain White Pine. Both games are set for 6 p.m.
Maury 24, White Pine 20
WHITE PINE — Maury is now in sole possession of first place in the Middle Eight Conference.
It wasn’t easy, but the Hornets fought past White Pine 24-20 on Tuesday night.
Stats for Maury (5-0 Middle Eight) weren’t available at press time.
Dallas Williamson had 80 yards rushing with 2 touchdowns for White Pine (4-1 Middle Eight), which can forge a rematch with the Hornets by winning out. Landon Weatherford added 45 yards on the ground.
Loten Potts passed for 95 yards and 1 touchdown to Taylan Smith, who had 60 yards receiving.
Williamson led the Cyclones on defense with 12 tackles with Potts adding 7 and Leland Wilson recording 6 stops.
White Pine visits Jefferson next week with Maury returning home to host Rutledge, with both games slated for 6 p.m. starts.