Van Horn rallies past Winnetonka

By Michael Smith The Examiner
Posted: September 28, 2018 - 11:16 PM

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After Friday’s game against Winnetonka, Van Horn head coach William Harris admitted that it’s sometimes better to be lucky than good.

Van Horn senior linebacker Isaiah Walton was a little bit of both on one critical play. The Falcons were ahead 27-20 and the Griffins had the ball on the Van Horn 1-yard line, and looked destined to tie it late in the third quarter.

A bad snap on a trick play caused a ball bounce off a Winnetonka player’s hands. The ball bounced up and right into the arms of Walton, who returned the ball 99 yards for a fumble recovery and a touchdown.

That crucial play caused a 14-point swing and gave the Falcons the momentum they needed. That and 277 total yards – including 190 rushing – from senior quarterback Shaun Ross helped the Falcons improve to 5-1 with a 47-20 win at Independence All-School Stadium.

“That was a run!” Walton said of his touchdown. “Once I got the ball into my hands, I knew I had to execute, and I had to run. Don’t stop, and I did that.”

Harris said those kind of plays can happen when an opponent tries a trick play.

“When you try to snap the ball to a different player besides the quarterback, anything can happen,” Harris said. “Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. It was a big play for us. Isaiah is a big inside backer who can run for us.”

That was one of four turnovers for Van Horn, which also got interceptions from David Krantz, Devyn Weeks and Sean Mitchell. After allowing 20 points in the first half, the Van Horn defense shut out the Griffins in the second half.

“I feel like our box guys are pretty good and I think our secondary is kind of where we slack off a little bit,” Harris said. “We challenged them and said, “Hey, you guys have to be good.′ (The Griffins) throw the ball and they like the deep ball. (The secondary) stepped up and played (well).”

After Walton’s fumble recovery for a TD, Winnetonka wasn’t the same after that. Van Horn took advantage as Ross later scored on a 38-yard scramble where he got the edge on the left side of the field and out ran the defense for a 41-20 lead with 44.8 seconds left in the third. It was his fourth score of the game as he gave the Winnetonka fits all night.

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