Teammates celebrate with Travon Smith (3) after he returned an interception for a TD Saturday. (Morgan Nalley)
Valley City State's senior-heavy defense scored two touchdowns and held Presentation College to just seven points Saturday as the Vikings closed their home schedule with a 28-7 win over the Saints on VCSU Senior Day.
Kurtis Walls hooked up with Colby Lum for a 63-yard touchdown pass on the second play of the game as the Vikings struck first and never trailed. VCSU led 14-0 after the first quarter, 21-0 at halftime, and 28-0 after three quarters. Presentation College scored its lone touchdown midway through the fourth quarter when quarter Austin Eggl found Joe Davis open in the end zone.
VCSU moves to 5-3 overall and 4-1 in the North Star Athletic Association. Presentation College drops to 5-2 overall and 1-2 in conference play.
After honoring its 17 seniors prior to the game, it was many of those seniors who came up with countless big plays during the victory.
Seniors Walls and Lum hooked up for the first touchdown of the game, and senior Ben Bruenjes returned a fumble 62-yards for a touchdown and a 28-0 lead in the third quarter. Lum finished with 125 yards receiving and a touchdown, and Walls pass for 173 yards and a score before leaving with an injury.
The Vikings also got a 2-yard touchdown run from junior Tayler Lentz, and a 22-yard interception return for a touchdown by freshman Travon Smith – his second pick-six in the last three games.
It was VCSU's senior-laden defense that stood out most Saturday. The Vikings held Presentation College 33 points below their season average, forced three turnovers and limited the Saints to 290 yards of offense.
One week after becoming the all-time tackling leader at VCSU, senior linebacker Nicholas McBeain posted 24 tackles and a sack in the win over Presentation College. That gives him 401 career tackles and makes him the first Viking ever to top 400 career tackles.
Senior defensive back Jawuan Pugh had 11 tackles and a pass breakup in the victory. Senior defensive end Harvey McMahon posted nine tackles, a sack and two tackles for loss. Senior lineman Sam Cooke posted nine tackles.
Smith had a big game in the defensive backfield. His 22-yard interception return for touchdown was one of two interceptions on the day. His other came in the end zone as he prevented a Saint touchdown in the third quarter.
VCSU's offense gained 281 yards, including 197 through the air and 84 on the ground. Presentation had 132 yards rushing and 158 passing.
Edmond Jacobs gained 11 yards on the ground to lead the Saint offense. Eggl finished 22-for-39 for 158 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
Up next: Valley City State (5-3, 4-1 NSAA) closes conference play Saturday, Oct. 29, with a 1 p.m. game at the University of Jamestown. Presentation College (5-2, 1-2 NSAA) hosts Waldorf University at 1 p.m. on Saturday.