The Vikings fell short of the San Benito Haybalers 49-34


Skylar Burris

Tony Caballero-Santana celebrates Viking touchdown with his teammates.

Maddy Atwater, Features Editor

Taking the field after a hyped-up home opener, the Vikings battled against the San benito Haybalers, but were eventually defeated 49-34. After a depressing 33-0 loss in last years matchup, the team showed solid improvement and exceptional energy in tonight’s game.

Just under ten minutes into the game and no change of possession, quarterback Justin Hull (‘16) completed a pass to Riley Schoeben (‘16) for the first touchdown of the game as kicker Max Dorward (‘18) completed all but one extra point kicks. It didn’t take long for Paly to get the ball back on offense as Jamie Cullen (‘17) recovered a San Benito fumble on the Viking’s own four-yard line. Unfortunately, the Vikings were forced to punt on a fourth down.

“We came out better [than last year], just executed better on offense,” Hull said. “They’re a really good team, so it’s hard to stop their offense.”

The Haybalers capitalized on the lack of offensive movement and rebuttled with their own quick touchdown off a sideline pitch with 1:30 left in the first quarter.

“Their wishbone offense hits very hard and we couldn’t really stop them,” head coach Jake Halas said. “We had to score with them, and we did, so we did well offensively.”

To tie up the game, Shaun Pike (‘16) caught a leading pass into the endzone to finish the half. Hull, with only seven incomplete passes, had a few tricks of his own. Late in the third quarter, Hull executed a quarterback sneak play for a touchdown putting the Vikings down 28-21. Givens also had quite a showing, two touchdowns off a 30-yard and 52-yard pass by Hull.

“We just had some mistakes on defense and we’ve got some improvement for next week,” Givens said. “I think if everyone comes to practice and we work hard, we’ll have a good go against Mitty.”

The second half contained many ups and downs for the team. With 9:45 on the clock, San Benito completed a pass for a touchdown which was soon called back due to a penalty. This didn’t seem to stop them as the Haybalers had a huge 22-yard run combined with a few smaller plays for a touchdown with six minutes to go in the quarter.

Paly looked good after an 18-yard pass from Hull to Schoeben, but things crumble shortly after as two passes by Hull were incomplete. A fake punt trick play gave the Vikings a shot of a first down, but just fell short giving San Benito the ball on the 46-yard line. The Haybalers capitalized and scored another touchdown extending its lead 28-14.

Going into the fourth quarter, San Benito squeezed in another quick touchdown off a 48-yard run just five minutes of play. Chuck Stephenson (‘16) gave hope to the Vikings after a 27-yard punt return, but Tonga Latu (‘16) was slow to get off the field, taking away a lot of the Vikings energy. An incomplete pass fumbled by Givens gave the Haybalers the ball on its own five-yard line.

“You have to play real hard to beat a team like that, but we’ll be back,” Halas said. “I’m not worried, we just have to gel.”

The team finished strong as Pike and Givens both received gains for a combination of 23 yards. 30-yard pass from Hull to Givens who caught the ball with one hand in the endzone created a loud roar from the crowd, ending the game 49-34 in a Viking defeat.

“Mitty is another really tough team,” Hull said. “We hope our defense can do what they did against Sequoia and we keep executing on offense.”

The Vikings will take on Archbishop Mitty next friday (9/18) at Foothill College.