DOVER — With a young team and injured players to boot — most notably quarterback Jimmy Maples — West Vigo needed something good to happen early in its Class 3A Sectional 29 high school football opener at Western Boone.
Unfortunately for the Vikings, the opposite transpired. West Vigo trailed before it ever touched the ball on Friday. The uphill battle proved too much as Western Boone defeated West Vigo 40-22.
West Vigo (1-9) was dealt a bum hand from the midway point of the season from an injury standpoint. It never abated and losing Maples to a concussion for the sectional was just salt in the wounds.
“It’s the way its been all year. Once we hit a certain point, about Week 5, we had been injury-free, then they started mounting. After that, it was an avalanche. It took its toll on a thin team to begin with. We had a small senior and junior class,” West Vigo coach Jeff Cobb said.
The die was cast on the first play of the game. Western Boone’s Riggs Baxter took the opening kick back 79 yards to put the Stars up 7-0. Baxter, who also proved problematic in the Stars’ passing game, found a seam up the middle and raced past the VIkings’ defenders.
The pain didn’t end after the opening kickoff for West Vigo. On the Vikings’ first play from scrimmage, Dakota Short couldn’t get a handle on the pitch from freshman quarterback Joe Creasey. Western Boone recovered it at the West Vigo 40.
Six plays later, Nathanial Bye scored on a pitch left for a 5-yard touchdown to put the Stars up 14-0 just barely four minutes into the contest.
It was the first of five West Vigo turnovers. Four of them led to Stars scores.
“It was when they occurred. In a game like this, where you’re obviously the underdog, you have to capitalize from the get-go,” Cobb said. “We had a freshman quarterback under the lights for the first time on a Friday. That’s going to happen and we understood that.”