JV Vikings end regular season with tough loss

The Sno-Valley JV Vikings (2-5) finished a tough regular season

against two playoff-bound Kirkland squads. With a combined 13-1 record,

the Steeler twins proved to be formidable, leading to

a pair of losses. However, although the Vikings were clear

underdogs in these games, they battled until the end in each contest,

keeping their heads high and their eyes clear.

On Saturday, Oct. 16, the Vikes went to Juanita High School to

play the 7-0 Steeler Gold team. The opponents fought a scoreless first

quarter, aided by a fumble recovery by defensive Jason Sprinkle. However,

the Steelers initiated the scoring midway through the second quarter, using

a critical fake punt to keep the drive alive and giving them an 8-0 lead.

The subsequent Viking drive crossed mid-field, but a misfiring

passing game forced a punt situation. Poor downfield coverage allowed

the Steeler return man to reach the sideline and well executed blocking

resulted in a waltz into the end zone, giving them a 16-0 lead.

The Vikings mounted another drive, but they stalled deep in

Steeler territory. On the plus side, the Vikes stopped the Steelers on an

interception by rover Cody Hudson, thanks to pressure applied to the Steeler

quarterback by defensive end Brandon Reaves.

The third quarter was devoured by a long Steeler drive that ended in

a failed field goal attempt. The Viking defense played strong, but the

offense had trouble moving the ball. Following several offsides penalties and

the excellent play of their wide receiver, the Gold team was able to drive

for another score. A blocked PAT attempt by a determined James

McKiernan resulted in a 22-0 final score.

Last Saturday, the Vikings regrouped and faced a 6-1 Steeler

Black squad which was still smarting from their first defeat in three years the

previous weekend.

The Steelers opened the game with an onside kick, which was returned

by the bullish running of Michael Killian to the Steeler 7. Two promising

running plays were snuffed by an aroused Steeler defense, and disaster struck

on third down, as a fumble bounded into the end zone to be recovered by

the other side. The Steelers then marched down the field to open the scoring

at 7-0.

On their next series the Vikings again were victimized by

misfortune, as a muffed handoff was returned for a defensive touchdown. Again,

the Vikings could not move the ball, but the defense held its ground, aided

by a tackle for loss by Hudson.

Finally the Vikes started moving the ball behind the running of

fullback Joe Cruz, but a missed pass interference call stalled the drive. Before

the defense could settle back in, the Steeler QB threw a long pass to

an open receiver, who sprinted 52 yards for the score and a 21-0 halftime lead.

The Vikings came back at halftime with fire in their eyes. A fired up

defense stuffed the Steelers, with defensive ends Killian and Tylor

Littlejohn both tackling the Steeler runners for losses. On fourth down, Reaves

again was able to pressure their quarterback and middle linebacker McKiernan

was more than willing to ring up his first interception of the year.

Lightning struck on the first play from scrimmage. Quarterback

Chet Schroeter found a streaking wide receiver, Anthony Vasquez, and

delivered a perfectly placed ball, putting the Vikings on the board with a

44-yard touchdown pass. Although the PAT failed, the score was now 21-6.

After a trade of possessions, the Steelers again went to the air and

victimized the Vikings for a pair of scores, sandwiched around series of

turnovers, including a fumble recovery by CB Aaron Gasciogne. By the time

the dust had cleared, the Steelers had a 35-6 lead with time running out.

The Vikings refused to give up. Schroeter again went to the air,

hitting tight end Mitchell Dietz for 24 yards and Vasquez for 26 yards and

a touchdown. The Vikings again got the ball and - through a series of

baffling events - found themselves at their two yard line with 44 seconds on the clock.

The coaches called a daring tailback pitch, which was

handled flawlessly by tailback Adam Rothgeb. Before he stopped running,

Rothgeb had covered 104 yards for a score, and the Vikings were wishing that

football had five quarters. However, there were no more miracles in the bag, and

the game ended 35-19 in favor of the Steelers.

Although the Vikings' regular season has ended, they will be

participating in a "match-up" playoffs over the

next three weeks. Their challenging schedule has hopefully prepared

them nicely for a stellar closing run; look for this team to improve its record

in coming weeks.

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