Parkview High School coach Anthony Hays brought up some history at halftime Friday night to help his team believe that it could make some history of its own.
It worked, as the Vikings rallied to beat the Camdenton Lakers 35-28 in an Ozark Conference matchup at Bob Shore Stadium, moving to 5-0 for the first time since 1959. It also marked their first win against the Lakers since 1994.
“At halftime, we said, ‘We were down at halftime in Week 1, and what happened? We won’ ” Hays said. “‘We were down at halftime in Week 2, and what happened? We won. We were losing in the fourth quarter against Rolla, and what happened? We won.’
“We were just trying to reiterate that we’ve been here before, let’s just go respond. And they did.”
Parkview trailed 21-14 at halftime but took control defensively, allowing Camdenton only 55 yards of total offense in the second half until the Lakers’ last possession, a late desperation drive.
Senior running back Murphy Ward had 134 yards rushing and four touchdowns for Camdenton, which plays at Rolla next week.
“In the second half, the guys were stagnant,” Camdenton coach Jeff Shore said. “I think they sent a lot of linebackers (in the second half). They got us into some third-and-longs where they could sit back and play the pass. That’s how it goes sometimes.
“I mean, they’re legitimate; they’re a good team.”
The Vikings scored 21 consecutive points after halftime until the Lakers (2-3, 2-3) scored a late touchdown.
The Vikings were balanced. Senior running back Cole Jenkins rushed for 157 yards on 22 carries, and senior Landan Ruff threw for 169 yards and rushed for two scores. Ruff’s 5-yard run in the third quarter helped forge a 21-all tie and he added a 16-yard TD in the fourth quarter.
“There’s more people dropping back in coverage now,” Ruff said. “And there’s a lot more cutback lanes, bigger and more holes, too.”
Part of the reason has been the emergence of sophomore wide receiver Connor Ratcliff.
Ratcliff tip-toed in the back of the end zone for a second-quarter TD, and hauled in a 40-yard TD pass from Ruff to put the game away with 2:13 remaining.
“I was thinking late that we would just run the clock out, so I was surprised that we threw it long,” said Ratcliff, who caught eight passes for 135 yards. “But all summer, we’ve been preaching ‘Believe’ and we definitely can overcome the deficits.”
Added Ruff: “He runs great routes, has great hands and he’s smart. … He’s kind of like my security blanket now.”
Parkview will host Glendale on Friday.
Hays has been thumbing through the Parkview football scrapbook to learn the Vikings’ past records.
When was the last time the program was 6-0?
“I don’t know,” he said. “I’m just taking it one at a time.”