9/2/2013 3:40:00 PM Viking football off to a great start
The Hayfield Viking Football team is off to their best start in recent history, starting the season 2-0. The Vikings, a part of the Southern Football Alliance Blue Division, are taking part in a schedule that is different than the past including a "zero week" game and opponents they have not playing in football before. So far there has been a lot of excitement and support around the program!
Vikings 21- Goodhue 20
The Vikings were in Goodhue last week to open up their season. The Wildcats returned the opening kick but turned the ball over with a fumble on the first play from scrimmage. Junior running back Tanner Johnston plunged through the line for the first score of the season, capping off a great first drive of the year by the Viking Offense. Cole Kruger's kick after was good to jump to a 7-0 lead. Goodhue would answer right back with a touchdown, but the extra point attempt was blocked by Senior Merrick Ducharme to keep the Vikings lead at 7-6. The Wildcats would be next to score and completed a 2 point conversion attempt to take a 14-7 lead. With time running down in the first half the Vikings put a drive together getting them to the Goodhue 30 yard line. With time for one last play Junior Quarterback Cam Rutledge found Senior Cole Kruger down the right sideline for a touchdown as time expired in the first half. Kruger added the extra point to knot the game at 14 apiece.
The first two Viking drives of the second half were ended by turnovers, one of which Goodhue was able to take advantage of and return for a touchdown to jump out to another lead. With the point after attempt going wide left the Wildcats score would stay at 20 for the rest of the game. The Viking Offense took control of the ball for most of the 3rd and 4th quarters, going on a long drive and chewing up a lot of the clock. A couple of crucial 3rd and 4th down conversions kept the drive going including a 3rd and 13 scramble by Rutledge, and a 4th and 2 run by Johnston behind Ducharme, Noah Timmons, and Garrison Mindrup. The drive would stall out deep in Goodhue territory with 2:30 left on the clock. This is where the Vikings showed what they were really made of and did not quit. Three great stops in a row by the Viking Defense forced a punt to give the Vikings the ball back in Goodhue territory with a over a minute left.
The offense would waste little time as Rutledge completed back to back passes behind great protection from the line to Senior Mat Walters, then Kruger for the game tying touchdown. The snap by Connor Nelson, hold by Rutledge, and kick by Kruger put the Vikings ahead with the final lead change of the game. A huge tackle by Senior Carter Pesch on 4th down on a hook and ladder play by the Wildcats would seal the deal as Hayfield jumped out to a 1-0 start to the season.
The Vikings were led by many seniors that kept everyone's heads up throughout the game. Never once did they think they were out of the game, even when Goodhue got the ball back with little time left. Offensively Rutledge led the way with 145 yards and 2 TD's through the air and another 20 yards on the ground. Also running the ball well for the Vikings were Kruger 12 for 55 yards; Johnston 14 for 46yards, TD; and Ducharme 3 for 15 yards. Rutledge found Walters 3 times for 60 yards, Kruger 4 for 51 yards, 2 TD's; as well as Pesch, Johnston, and Senior Drew Streightiff. Leading the defense was Ducharme with 11 tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble, Junior Cody Carpentier 7 tackles, and Mindrup, Junior Jesus Fernandez, and Pesch with 5 tackles a piece.
Vikings 13-Southland 0
The Viking defense stepped up big to keep the Rebels out of the end zone all night long. Before the game we talked about only having one chance to return a kick off in the game; the defense believed in it and got the job done while forcing 6 turnovers.
The two teams went back and forth to start the game, with turnovers plaguing drives for both teams. The defense was able to stay tough and not allow the Rebels to capitalize on a few turnovers by the offense. The Vikings were finally able to break the ice in the second as Jacob Steiner, Garrison Mindrup, Connor Nelson, Corey Thompson, and Cody Carpentier had a big push on the line with Cole Kruger making a nice cut to find the seam in to the endzone. The touchdown was set up by a long pass from Kruger to Johnston. Extra point was good to take a 7-0 lead. Again both Viking and Rebel drives would come up unsuccessful, leaving the half time score 7-0.
Turnovers were again the name of the game in the second half as the game continued to be a defensive battle. The Vikings were finally able to cap off a 65 yard drive with a Johnston TD run to take it to the final score of 13-0.
Although the Viking Offense was only able to put 13 points on the board, they controlled the ball much of the game totaling 283 yards. 207 of the yards came on the ground with Kruger rushing 25 times for 111 yards, TD; Johnston 9 for 33 yards, TD; Cam Rutledge 6 for 32 yards; and Seniors Pesch, Ducharme, and Mason Moreno also carrying for the Vikings.
The story of the night was the defense, holding the Rebels to 158 yards of total offense. Leading the way were Ducharme 8 tackles, fumble recovery; Pesch 7 tackles, forced fumble, 2 fumble recoveries, interception; Jesus Fernandez with 4 tackles and 1 ½ sacks; and Cody Carpentier 4 tackles, sack. The senior Kruger cousins (Chad and Cole) combined for 8 pass break ups and interception, as Moreno also added 2 break ups to shut down the Rebel passing game that attempted 29 pass. The front 8 played very well stuffing the line and getting after the quarterback with many bodies contributing including; Seniors Corey Thompson, Garrison Mindrup, Sam Olive, and Connor Nelson; Juniors Jesus Fernandez, Noah Timmons, and Dylan Arndt(also adding ½ a sack); and Underclassman Nick Matti and Trey Chatman.
The term "Total Team Win" is thrown around a lot, but this game definitely fit the definition to a T as it took many players stepping up to get the job done. The Vikings now travel to Fillmore Central next week before returning home to host Rushford the following week.
SPECIAL THANKS goes out to the parents and community members that teamed up to fund and paint the end zones and "H" in the middle of the field. We really appreciate the support and what it does to the environment at Dean Frtize Field. Thank you for all the hard work and support of the Viking Football Program!