Hearts Capture First Win of Season in Overtime


Published on September 22 2012 12:14 am
Last Updated on September 22 2012 10:34 am
Written by Greg Sapp


You wouldn't figure a game that was scoreless after three quarters would feature such an exciting finish, but Friday night's overtime win by the Effingham Hearts over the Salem Wildcats did just that.  The Hearts' first win of the season, 14-13, over the Wildcats was heard on 979XFM and www.979xfm.com.  

Neither team scored until Salem registered a touchdown on a one-yard run by Matt Hahn with 6:36 left in regulation.  Jacob Maxey's extra-point kick gave the Wildcats a 7-0 lead.  Effingham, though, ended up with the ball with 2:22 remaining and went to work.  The Hearts executed an eight-play, 66-yard drive that took just 1:10 to complete.

At the end of the drive, Hearts quarterback Nathan Vail found receiver Drew Levitt down the far sideline just outside the end zone.  Vail lofted a high arcing pass from 25 yards out.  Levitt grabbed the ball and stepped across the goal line.  Zach Miller kicked the extra point and the teams were tied with 1:12 remaining.

Neither team could punch the ball in and regulation time ended in a 7-7 tie.  That led the two teams to play an overtime, where each team gets four plays to score from 10 yards out.

Storm clouds break, figuratively and literally, for the Hearts against Salem

Salem scored on the second play of their possession.  After their quarterback Coleton Harness gained five yards on the first play, running back Paul Moskal scored from five yards out to give Salem a 13-7 lead.  However, Maxey missed the extra point kick and that gave the Hearts the opening to secure the victory.

On the first play, Vail found running back Caydin Vaughn for a pass caught by Vaughn, who then trotted into the end zone.  That left the game in the hands of sophomore kicker Miller, who waited through a Salem timeout before splitting the uprights with a boot that gave the Hearts a victory.

The Hearts' first win of the season came after four losses and evens Effingham's Apollo Conference record at 1-1.  Salem fell to 0-5 for all games and 0-2 in the conference.

The stats on the game aren't pretty.  Effingham rushed the football 33 times for just 67 yards, including only nine yards in the second half.  The Hearts had six pass completions on 16 attempts for 77 yards and both touchdowns.  That's 144 yards rushing and receiving for the game.  Salem picked up 103 yards rushing on 40 carries and gained 30 aerial yards on three of eight passes completed, or 133 yards rushing and receiving for the game.  In addition, the Hearts were whistled for 11 penalties for 80 yards in penalty yardage.

Vail accounted for all of the 16 pass attempts and the six completions for 77 yards and the two touchdowns.  Vaughn caught four passes for 39 yards including the game-winning touchdown, Levitt caught the 25-yard score, and Zach Bloemker caught a 13-yard pass.

Logan Howell led the Hearts in rushing with 55 yards on 11 carries; Vaughn 12 yards on six carries; Vail 10 carries for -6 yards, Miller five rushes for four yards; and Levi Michael one rush for two yards. 

Salem's Coleton Harness tried eight passes and completed his final three for 30 yards, with Evan Maxey catching two for seven yards and Hahn catching one for 23 yards.

Hahn led Salem with 47 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown; Moskal carried 10 times for 26 yards and a score; Aaron Ingles 26 yards on five totes, Harness zero yards on three carries; and Chris Woods four yards on three carries.

As far as special teams play, Miller punted six times for 198 yards; Dirk Levitt returned a punt 11 yards; Marcus Robinson grabbed an interception for the Hearts; Dustin Levitt had a 48-yard kickoff; and Zack Bloemker had a 10-yard return and Zach Miller had a 12-yard return.

For Salem, Hahn punted six times for 163 yards; Donte Rush returned a punt 16 yards; Seth Crain grabbed an interception for Salem; Jacob Maxey had a 40-yard kickoff; and Rush and Aaron Ingles each had a kickoff return (Donte Rush for 15 yards and Aaron Ingles for eight yards.

Sophomore Bill Arndt led the Hearts in tackles with 11, while Andy Salcedo and Tyler Johnson each had eight.  Carter Hayes had seven stops and Levi Michael registered six; Dustin Levitt, Travis Durbin and Cody Sennett rang up five each;  Dirk Levitt had four tackles and Scott Deunk three; and Caydin Vaughn, Trent Barnhart, Peyton Bushue and Zach Wilson had one stop each.

With the win, the Hearts have some momentum heading into Homecoming Week.  The Homecoming game against Paris is set for next Friday night.


VIDEO: EHS vs. Salem (Note: During several minutes of the 1st quarter, the video goes dark as we covered the camera during a heavy rain shower. The audio feed continued during this stretch.)