By Harold Raker
The Daily Item
MANDATA -- The next time Line Mountain has a homecoming and a field dedication planned, it is a good bet Owen Daniel will not be invited.
After making one big play after another against the Eagles the past two seasons only to lose, the hard work finally paid off for the Williams Valley senior, this time in a new position.
Daniel, a 6-foot-1, 177-pound receiver (and former tailback), did all he could to take away from the Eagles' homecoming and their dedication of the field at Eagle Stadium for former NFL player and alum Glenn Ressler.
Daniel scored three touchdowns, including an 80-yard kickoff return that tied the game in the first quarter to lead the Vikings to a thrilling 35-28 Tri-Valley League victory Saturday night.
"The last two years, we got completely smoked by them," Daniel said. "It feels great just to beat them, plus (winning on) their home field, and it feels good to win on homecoming night."
Williams Valley coach Tim Savage said, "We're very balanced and if you want to pack the box and take away our run game, Owen's out there in single coverage and he'll beat anybody in our league."
Line Mountain coach Rodney Knock said, of Daniel, "Several times we were in position to make a play and we didn't make the play, and he did. That's what great athletes do, they make plays."
The game lived up to its billing and then some as, except for a 35-21 Vikings lead early in the fourth quarter, it was never more than a one-touchdown game.
"A couple miscues hurt us and that was the difference, and a miscue on that kick return," Knock said. "But I couldn't ask for any more from the kids."