(Photo courtesy of Cynthia Hills)

CEDAR VALE — Forcing a total of six turnovers in the game, Cedar Vale/Dexter held on for a 36-28 victory over Sedan in an Eight Man I-District 1 contest last Friday.

The Spartans improved to 4-1 overall with the victory. They are the only unbeaten team in District 1 at 2-0. CVD will next hit the road for another district matchup on Oct. 11 at West Elk. The Patriots are 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the district after suffering a heartbreaking 54-50 loss at Oswego last week.

Meanwhile, Sedan dropped to 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the district. The Blue Devils will entertain winless Flinthills on Friday. The Mustangs are 0-5 overall and 0-2 in the district following a 54-20 home loss to Central-Burden.

“Turnovers just killed us,” said SHS coach Mick Holt. “When you take the ball out of our hands six times against any team, that’s tough to overcome. When you do it against a team as good as Cedar Vale/Dexter, it’s a back breaker. Hats off to CVD. They took advantage of our mistakes and made us pay for them.”

The teams combined for eight turnovers and 15 penalties resulting in a net loss of 120 yards. Yet most of those miscues proved costly for the Blue Devils, with four lost fumbles and two interceptions.

That allowed CVD to take control early, leading by as many as 22 points in the first half.

The Spartans jumped on the scoreboard with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Clayton Henderson to Devin Caitlin for an 8-0 edge after one quarter. Cedar Vale/Dexter extended its lead early in the second period on two more touchdown passes from Henderson — both to Elijah Helphingstine for 13 and 26 yards. That pushed the CVD edge to 22-0.

Sedan was able to get something going before halftime as Tayte Halderman scrambled 25 yards for a touchdown to get the Blue Devils back within two scores at 22-8 heading into the break.

Henderson tossed his fourth touchdown pass of the game early in the third quarter — this time to Cole Criss from four yards out. Sedan hung tough, though, as Halderman’s one-yard dive into the end zone had the visitors within 12 at 28-16 after three quarters of play.

Cedar Vale/Dexter scored early in the fourth quarter on a five-yard run from Catlin. That proved to be the game-winning score as the Blue Devils rallied late. Dameion Hatten caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from Halderman, who also added a 52-yard scamper to the end zone to get back within eight. Yet with a little more than two minutes to go, CVD was able to pick up a first down and then ran out the remaining time to lock up the district victory.

This was a second straight year the Spartans got the upperhand against the Blue Devils. In fact, Sedan won the District 1 title a year ago, but its only loss in district play was a 64-32 home loss to CVD.

Cedar Vale/Dexter finished with 348 total yards of offense, with 308 of that coming through the air. Henderson completed 16 of his 29 passes with four touchdowns. Caitlin had a team-high 111 receiving yards on four catches.

Sedan recorded 258 total yards, including 211 rushing. Halderman carried the ball 30 time for a game-high 184 yards with three touchdowns.