It was the only Section 9 game played Friday night.
And after two overtime periods in Minisink, it had the ending of what a game of the week would have to match such a billing.
The ball first reached the end zone when Valley Central’s Chandler Toth connected with Frank Torres with a 46-yard touchdown reception. And during their second overtime effort, the pair connected again for a touchdown before Kevin Roberts’ extra point sealed it with a 27-26 victory for the Vikings.
“Winning that game was probably the most important game of my life. Nobody wants to go to overtime. It’s very suspenseful,” said Toth. “Our defense played great and we stopped them. Our offense put together a touchdown, and we counted on our kicker to make the extra point to win the game.”
Minisink did not have a kicker, but the Vikings had Roberts, who kicked a 22-yard field goal at the end of the first half, and 46-yarder in the third quarter to give Valley Central a 20-12 lead.
Without a kicker, Minisink had to resort to a two-point conversion, which they could not accomplish with a touchdown in the second quarter or when Vincent Vetrano took a Toth pass back for a 65-yard interception to the end zone in the third quarter.
Austin Jedziniak pulled down a 10-yard touchdown catch with 10:35 left in the fourth quarter, and the Warriors finally made a two-point conversion to tie it 20-20.
Toth threw another pick before the Vikings fumbled on the Warrior 26-yard line with 2:06 left in the fourth.
After the rest of the period amounted to offensive futility for both teams, regulation ended at 20-20.
In the second overtime period, Ryan Johanson made a five-yard run into the end zone to give Minisink a 26-20 lead – following the failure of a needed two-point conversion. The Vikings had a second chance and capitalized for the season’s first league win to improve to 2-2.
“We made some mistakes in the fourth quarter,” said Ron Introini, Valley Central’s coach. “We stuck together, and the most important play was the next play. And that’s what we did. It came down to a kick at the end. We had a kicker, and they did not have a kicker.”
The Vikings return home Thursday to face Monticello at 7 p.m.
By Bond Brungard