PARSONS – The Mt. Lions got a big game from Austin Zirk last Friday and picked up the win against Petersburg 35-27 to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Both teams struggled to move the ball on offense in the first quarter as the Vikings and the Mt. Lions exchanged punts on 3 and outs throughout most of the quarter. Tucker County then got a big play on offense when Austin Zirk completed a 40 yard pass play to Logan Fridley to put the ball down to the Petersburg 6 yard line. Then 3 plays later Zirk scored on a 1 yard touchdown run with 2.2 seconds left in the first quarter and after the Michael Callaway extra point kick the Mt. Lions led 7-0.
The Vikings would then answer on offense with a 7 play 61 yard drive that was capped off with a 9 yard touchdown pass. The extra point kick was good to tie the score 7-7 with 8:49 left in the second quarter. The next Tucker County possession started at the Mt. Lions 49 yard line and the offense went to work. Zirk ran for 36 yards on the first play and a hit out of bounds by Petersburg put the ball down to the Vikings 7 yard line. Then the drive stalled after a sack and an incomplete pass. Callaway then missed a 32 yard field goal wide left and Petersburg got the ball back with 6:51 left in the first half. Petersburg then had to punt the ball away after 3 plays and Tucker County then also punted after failing to convert a 3rd and long. Chase Alkire then came up with an interception for the Mt. Lions on defense to stop the Vikings drive. Then with 1:11 left in the half Petersburg intercepted a Seth Underwood pass and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown. The extra point kick was no good and Petersburg took a 13-7 lead into the locker room at the half.
Tucker County started the second half on offense, but after the Mt. Lions took the ball to the Vikings 36 a failed 4th down play gave the ball back to Petersburg. The Vikings moved the ball, but were forced to punt after a penalty and a failed 3rd down play. The punt, however, never happened as the Tucker County rush got to the punter before he could get the kick off and he was tackled to give the Mt. Lions the ball at the Vikings 42. Tucker County then overcame two penalties that took away two different touchdown scores and the 9 play 42 yard drive was capped off by a 6 yard pass reception by Dusty Conrad from Zirk with 3:00 left in the third quarter. The extra point kick was good to push Tucker County into the lead 14-13.
On the next Petersburg possession the Mt. Lions defense flexed their muscle on a 4th and 1 attempt at the Vikings 43. The Mt. Lions defense held Petersburg on the 4th down which gave the ball back to Tucker County at the Vikings 41. Zirk then called his own number and raced 41 yards for a Mt. Lions touchdown. The extra point kick was good giving Tucker County a 21-13 lead with 46 seconds left in the third. Petersburg then answered right back on a 2 yard touchdown run at the end of the third quarter. The 2 point conversion was no good to make the score 21-19 Tucker County.
Zirk would then show his speed again on the Mt. Lions next drive as the 3rd play Zirk ran 41 yards for a touchdown with 10:10 left in the game and the successful extra point kick put Tucker County up 28-19. Petersburg then came right back on offense and went 58 yards on 9 plays and scored with a 25 yard pass play on 4th and 10. The 2 point conversion was good and the score was 28-27 Tucker County with 5:37 left in the game. Once again the Mt. Lions answered as Chris Freeman ran the kickoff back 42 yards to the Petersburg 37 and then the offense went to work. Then 8 plays later Zirk scored his 4th touchdown on the ground from 8 yards out with 1:19 left in the game to extend the Mt. Lions lead to 35-27 after the extra point kick was good. The Vikings hopes of a comeback were crushed when Zirk intercepted the Petersburg pass to seal the victory for the Mt. Lions 35-27.
Austin Zirk finished with 31 carries for 186 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns to lead Tucker County. Zirk also had 76 yards on 4 of 6 passing and 1 touchdown. The Mt. Lions(6-3) will host Notre Dame on Friday for the last game of the regular season. Friday’s game will be broadcast on 94.7FM WELK, pregame coverage will start at 7pm and kickoff will be at 7:30pm. For more info go to TuckerCountySports.Com.