MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. — Too much Valparaiso defense summed up Michigan City’s 14-7 loss in their pivotal Duneland Conference matchup Friday at Ames Field.
With the exception of Michael Bradford’s 79 yard touchdown run on the first play of the game, the Wolves struggled mightily against the Viking defensive front and was limited to 158 yards of total offense.
Michigan City coach Phil Mason was visibly upset following his post game speech with his players and only offered a short reaction afterwards.
“We couldn’t block em, we couldn’t block em period,” Mason said. “We got our butts kicked up front all night. That’s the end of story, that’s all there is to say.”
It was the second straight home loss for the Class 5A No. 5 ranked Wolves to even its record 2-2 and 1-1 in the DAC while Valpo improved to 2-2 overall and share the lead in the DAC standings at 2-0.
Eighteen seconds was all it took to convert on the first possession of the game as City grabbed the quick 7-0 lead.
Both teams exchanged defensive stops before as the Vikings eventually gained favorable starting field position at the Wolves 48 on its second possession. A pass interference penalty on third down extended the drive to the City 33. Reece Crossin finished the nine play drive for the Vikings with a 2-yard touchdown run on fourth down to tie the game at 7-7 that carried into halftime.
Valparaiso received the second half kickoff and marched from its own 35 to inside the City 10 yard line before Lyric McFarrin came up with a huge fumble recovery.
The Viking defense answered with a turnover just two plays later as Wolves quarterback Bryce Hayman’s attempted pass was intercepted by Valpo’s Jackson Hofferth.
However, the City defense responded by forcing a three and out as Chase Triplett and Justin Wozniak each recorded 10 yard sacks on Viking quarterback CJ Opperman in the series.
The Wolves finally showed some offensive movement early in the fourth quarter moving the ball from its own 17 to the 43 in three plays. But a momentum killing holding penalty wiped out a fine effort by Hayman on a 13 yard quarterback draw.
Valpo regained possession after a short punt to their 39. A 13-yard pass from Opperman to Jake Evans gave the Vikings a first down at the City 45. Following a Valpo time out, Jesse Harper took the direct snap from the wildcat on a run to the left, using a spin move to allude would be tacklers to break the 45 yard TD run for the go ahead 14-7 lead with 7:00 remaining.
City’s final chance to tie the game ended with an interception by Crossin with 2:56 remaining and Valpo then managed to run out the clock to secure the victory.
Michigan City travels to Merrillville next Friday to take on the DAC co-leading Pirates who shut out Portage 39-0.