The Vinton Terriers Junior football team, for 12-and-under players, are Sandlot Super Bowl champions.
Vinton, the second seed, took a 22-8 win over top-seeded and previously undefeated Salem to win the championship at Salem Stadium last Saturday.
Salem had beaten Vinton in a close game during the regular season and both had first round byes in the playoffs. Salem won a semifinal game over North Roanoke, 30-8, while Vinton eliminated Glenvar in the other semifinal, 22-0, to set up a rematch between Salem and Vinton at Salem Stadium Saturday.
Vinton threatened early, but fumbled at the Salem two and the Spartans recovered. Backed up to their own end zone, the Salem team couldn’t get a first down and had to punt, giving Vinton good field position. The Terriers then took it in to score with Con Serreno scoring on a three yard run. The extra point kick was no good but Vinton had a 6-0 lead with 3:54 until the half.
Vinton got the ball back one more time, but on the last play of the half Salem’s Nicholas Baxley intercepted a pass and had some running room in front of him. However, he was tackled at midfield as the clock ran out and Vinton led 6-0 at intermission.
Salem came out strong in the second half. The Spartans drove the ball to the red zone where Jaidyn Rudisell went around right end for an 11 yard TD run. Lowy Sylvestre kicked the extra point and the Spartans led 8-6 with 4:03 remaining in the third period.
The lead was short lived. On Vinton’s next series Zachary Taylor found a big hole up the middle and went 48 yards to regain the lead for the Terriers. Bradley Counts kicked the extra point and it was 14-8 Vinton with 1:29 remaining in the third period.
Salem had a hard time moving against the stout Vinton defense in the fourth quarter, and Serreno scored his second TD of the game with just 2:02 on the clock to put some icing on the cake. Counts kicked the point again and the Terriers had a 22-8 win while avenging their only loss of the season. Gary Wheeler is the head coach of the Vinton team.
In the first Super Bowl game of the day the North Roanoke Vikings beat the Botetourt Titans, 27-12, to win the PeeWee championship, for eight-and-under players. The second game had Cave Spring beating Franklin County in the Little Division, for 10-and-under players, 8-6.