In this matchup of former Southeast Kansas League rivals, the Vikings rallied from 16 points down late in the fourth quarter to earn the come-from-behind win.
Coming off an 8-3 season that included a trip to the Class 3A state quarterfinals, the Vikings improved to 1-0 overall with their season-opening victory. They will remain at home on Sept. 13 when they entertain Anderson County. The Bulldogs stand at 0-1 following their 34-23 loss at Wellsville.
On the other side, it was a heartbreaking loss for Iola, which dropped to 0-1 overall. The Mustangs will make their first home appearance of the season on Sept. 13 against Wellsville.
Iola led throughout much of Friday’s contest, including a 7-0 lead early in the contest on a seven-yard touchdown run by Casen Barker and 13-0 midway through the second period followed a 15-yard scamper by Isaac Badders. The Vikings were able to get on the board before halftime, though, on a nine-yard run from Yusef Kindrick to narrow the gap to 13-6 at the intermission.
That’s where things stood until late in the third quarter when the Mustangs earned two points on a safety after a Viking snap went out of the back of the end zone.
Up 15-6 heading into the final quarter, Iola seemed ready to put things away with Zane Whitney dove into the end zone from a yard out to give the Mustangs a 22-6 edge with 7:38 to go.
Down the stretch, though, momentum shifted towards the Parsons sideline. Quarterback Ethan Houk tossed a pair of touchdown passes to Dariq Williams on throws of 28 and 45 yards. The conversions were good on both scores to even things up at 22-22 and eventually force overtime.
The teams went back and forth through four overtime periods and sent the game into a fifth extra frame tied at 48-48. The Vikings would eventually seal things as Houk once again found Williams for a touchdown, capping off the wild come-from-behind victory.
Houk finished the game 17-of-34 passing for 244 yards and the five touchdowns to Williams, who had 12 of those catches for 203 yards. As a team, the Vikings finished with 359 total yards of offense.
No individual or team statistics were available from Iola.