STROM THURMOND 34, EMERALD 25
JOHNSTON — Jequan Harris’ 264 yards of offense and four touchdowns and Robert Whitt’s strip sack and fumble recovery late in the fourth quarter helped Strom Thurmond escape with 34-25 victory against Emerald.
The Vikings (0-4) regrouped from a 22-point deficit to pull within three points of the Rebels (3-1), but a big blunder of their own cost them a shot at taking the lead. The Vikings muffed a punt with more than five minutes left in the game. Strom Thurmond was able to run an extra three minutes off the clock. By the time Emerald got the ball back, it needed to go 76-yards in 1:44. Whitt made sure they didn’t forcing a fumble on the first play of the drive and grabbing the ball while laying on the ground.
Harris threw touchdown passes to Whitt (20 yards), Charquez Booker (34 yards) and Devontae Ellis (48 yards) in the first half to give the Rebels a 21-6 lead at halftime.
He stretched the lead to 28-6 with a rushing touchdown early in the second half.
Emerald running back Jamil Martin went down in the second quarter, which slightly altered the Vikings plans, but it also provided a boost in the pass game. Quarterback Kedarren Dean moved to running back and Luke Deal took over at quarterback. Deal connected on two long touchdown passes to Brayden Ridge. The second touchdown – a 50-yard strike – was followed by a blocked punt on Strom Thurmond’s next possession that led to a Dean 6 yard touchdown run, which cut the Rebels lead to 10.
Dean added a 39-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter to make it a one-score game. That was as close as the Vikings would get, however.