KAYSVILLE — Don't try telling Viewmont coach Robbie Gunter that kickers aren't football players as much as the regular offensive or defensive guys.
Without their kicker, the Vikings would have lost their Region 1 opener.
With two minutes left in the game, Trevor Heiner booted his third field goal of the game to lift the Vikings to a thrilling 16-13 win over the Davis Darts, spoiling the Darts' homecoming festivities.
"We have a good kicker," said first-year Viewmont coach Robbie Gunter. "Dog gone it, he won the game for us. We could move the ball a little bit, but we just couldn't punch the ball in down there and Trevor came up big for us." Heiner kicked field goals of 26, 19 and 28 yards and connected on his only extra point in scoring 10 of the Vikings' 16 points.
Davis had more yards of total offense and held Viewmont to just 41 yards rushing in 27 attempts (33 yards were courtesy of punter Kyle Anderson, who had the big run on a fake punt), but four Davis turnovers proved to be costly, especially the first and last ones.
The Vikings got on the board early in the first quarter when Stephen Rodebush bulled his way into the end zone for a one-yard touchdown run. This was immediately following a Davis fumble that gave Viewmont the ball on the Darts' one-yard line.
Then after Heiner's final field goal in the fourth quarter, the Darts got the ball back and cruised toward the Viewmont end zone. They got as far as the Vikings' 30-yard line with under a minute to play. But with just 39 seconds remaining, Davis quarterback Ryan Flint heaved a pass toward the goal line, but the ball didn't quite reach its target and was picked off in the end zone by Viewmont's Jaden Evans.
"The one thing I have tons of confidence in on our team is our defense," said Gunter. "They're just tough kids and they play their guts out. I knew something was going to happen because they play hard." Lincoln Taylor completed 20-of-33 passes for 205 yards and one interception for Viewmont, which improved to 3-1 overall.
The Darts (1-3, 0-1) pounded out 182 yards on the ground, led by Bryan Kariya, who picked up 82 yards and one touchdown on 11 carries.
Kariya scored on a nine-yard run early in the second quarter to bring the Darts to within four points. In the third quarter, Davis finally pulled even with the Vikings when Zac Burk pounced on a free ball in the end zone after Flint sprinted to the goal line and fumbled the ball forward into the end zone. Luckily for the Darts, Burk was there to grab the ball and score the touchdown.
"This is a huge rivalry," said Gunter. "And (Davis) coach (Ryan) Bishop does a great job with his kids. He had them fired up tonight and they had a good crowd, so we're glad to get the win — especially here."