What is the best medicine for a football team to get back on track? Getting healthy players on the field and lighting up a scoreboard can certainly help a team forget about a tough rivalry loss the previous week. Orrville (1-1) welcomed the visiting North Vikings (0-2) from Akron on Friday, Aug. 31, and the Red Riders benefited from the arrival of a few players who missed the season-opener against Wooster as the red and white rolled to a 74-7 victory.
Orrville sophomore Marquael Parks returned the opening kick-off 92 yards for a touchdown, his first of four scores on the night, and everything fell apart for the Vikings after that as the Red Riders rolled to a 44-0 lead after the opening quarter.
Red Rider senior Logan Domer returned as the signal caller for Orrville’s offense after missing last week’s loss to Wooster with an injury. Domer only needed three series to get Orrville’s offense back into a groove. He threw TD throws of 12 yards (to senior tight end Ben Summers) and 32 yards (to junior Elijah Hall) in the first quarter before calling it a night after the first quarter. Sophomore QB Cooper Haley threaded the needle on a slick 23-yard scoring strike to senior Jason Suppan to close out the first half, which ended with Orrville leading 68-0.
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Orrville’s running game and defense dominated the Vikings the rest of the contest. The Riders totaled 216 yards on the ground with touchdown runs by Parks (70 total rushing yards; TD runs of 4, 35, and 26 yds), senior Donoven Hall (12 yds) and freshman Chris Smith (69 total rushing yards; TD run of 8 yds).
The Red Rider defense forced three fumbles and snagged an interception while getting into the scoring act by tacking on a fumble return for a touchdown by junior defensive end Ben Amstutz and a forced safety by senior linebacker Ben Summers. Senior defensive lineman Christian Ross seemed to live in the Vikings’ backfield the entire first half, making several big plays and forcing a fumble.
Senior kicker Cain Duskey tacked on nine extra points on the evening in addition to a 28-yard field goal.
Orrville hopes to start a winning streak when they host the Lexington Minutemen (0-2) on Friday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. Lexington will look to stop a streak of their own after dropping a tough game to Shelby (2-0), 27-24.