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Special teams lead Sno-Valley JV Vikings over Skyline
A complete football game consists of three key elements. Offense
and defense get the press, but the subtleties of special-team play can
often make the difference in a contest.
That difference loomed large in the Sno-Valley JV Viking 24-0
drubbing of the Skyline Spartans last Saturday. The Vikings were able to
dominate field position, benefiting from booming kickoffs by Dusty Hensley,
stellar punting by Chet Schroeter, and excellent pursuit of the kicking and
punting coverage teams. With a half field cushion, the defense was able to
pin their ears back and play aggressively. The offense also enjoyed playing on
a short field, which allowed the showcasing of its explosive running game.
The Vikings took the initial kickoff near their 30-yard line. Unable
to move the ball, they turned to Schroeter, who booted the ball
into Spartan territory.
The Vikings took back the ball on downs near midfield and again
sputtered. Another excellent punt drove the Spartans inside their own 30.
Again the Spartans were stopped cold, thanks to tough interior defense of
tackles Tyler England and Jason Sprinkle and ends Michael Killian and
Although the Vikings could not get a first down, the ball was
inching steadily towards the Skyline end zone. Another exchange of downs gave
the Vikings the ball at the Spartan 23. The Vikings were finally able to get a
first down, behind the running of backs Joe Cruz and Adam Rothgeb. With a
little over a minute to play in the half, quarterback Schroeter busted up the
middle for the score and a 6-0 lead.
The Vikings were then able to use another of their secret weapons,
the mighty leg of Hensley, to pin the Spartans at their 25. A miscue on the
ensuing handoff rewarded a hard-charging Killian with a fumble recovery and
the Vikings were back in business at 15. A burst by Rothgeb for 13 yards
was followed by a well-conceived "up-the-gut" by back Anthony Vasquez
for another score and halftime lead of 12-0.
Hensley opened the second half with another 45-yard kickoff.
The Spartans then tested the mettle of the Vikings' outside defense and found
the going just as tough, with linebackers Tylor Littlejohn and Zach
Sumner and cornerback Aaron Gasciogne who stuffed each attempt.
The Vikings took over after a punt at the Spartan 44. Cruz took the
ball 22 yards up the middle and two plays later Rothgeb broke loose for a
20-yard touchdown, and the Vikings had their largest lead of the season at
Another terrific kickoff by Hensley, gave the Spartans the ball
at their 30. The defense again mauled the Spartans and the Vikings took the
ball at the 31. Wasting no time, Rothgeb snaked his way to the end zone to
complete the scoring at 24-0 as the third quarter wound to a close.
The Spartans finally got a first down on the next series of downs,
but could not sustain the drive, handing the ball to the Vikings near
midfield. Coach Ken Hudson was able to try some new faces at the skill
position, putting Kyle Green into the backfield. Green ran the ball with authority,
perhaps giving a harbinger of things to come next season.
The Vikings complete their "second season" next Saturday with
the location and opponent to be announced. With their best game of
the season under their belts, look for another fine performance next week
to send this great group of athletes into the winter looking for better things
to come next season.