Discover more from The Journal 425
Photo Diary: Vikings smash Arlington, 45-23
Lake Stevens @ Arlington 9.26.08 - Lake Stevens 45, Arlington 23
All photos courtesy of Rob Carlson/Sportsmedianorthwest.com
Thousands of Eagles fans descended upon Larsen stadium in Arlington to celebrate the Eagle's Homecoming festivities, but it's never really a road game for the Vikings when the SuperFans are in attendance...
Junior cheerleader Kelsey Bailey sported eye black in a sign of team unity...
Arlington received the opening kickoff, and their standout junior QB Jake Parduhn led the Eagles on a nine play, 85 yard drive culminating with Parduhn's two yard TD run. The Eagles scored again on a fumble return, and before many fans had found their seats, Arlington led 14-0.
Sophomore RB Duke Dolphin had the unenviable task of filling in for injured Senior Captain Bo Dickinson. Dolphin was up for the task (14 carries for 72 yards, 2 TD), answering the bell for the Vikes. Dolphin broke off a 16-yard run into the Eagles' red zone, bowling forward to the two yard line. Dolphin took the handoff again and bashed his way in for a two yard touchdown, closing the gap to 14-7 in the first quarter.
The Viking defense stiffened as coordinator Joe Cronin dialed up a series of blitzes. The pass rush forced Parduhn to make some bad decisions...
...and Sophomore S Brandon Preslar stepped in front of a third down pass and reeled off a 43-yard pick-six interception touchdown, evening the score at 14-14 as the first quarter came to a close. Preslar had two interceptions on the evening.
The momentum had shifted, the Arlington crowd grew quiet, and QB Nick Baker began dissecting the Eagle defense. Baker hit nine consecutive passes at one point in the first half, finished the game with gaudy numbers: 19/22 passing, 346 yards, 3 TD's. Baker set the all tie completion percentage record for a single game at 86 percent.
Baker hit WR Trevor Riecks for a 46-yard TD reception.
On the next Viking drive, Baker hit WR Colton Tupen on a screen...
Then dialed up a deep ball to WR Tyler Bryant, who fought off two Eagle defenders to bring in the 46 yard pass reception, which set up...
...Baker's 14-yard strike to Riecks. Riecks filled up the box score in several categories - six catches for 113 yards and two TD's, two carries for 18 yards, six tackles, one sack...and one 27-yard pass completion to Colton Tupen on a gadget play.
As halftime approached, the Viking defense continued to batter Parduhn and company, using a downhill, gang-tackling approach. The half ended with the Eagles in full retreat - what had once been a 14-0 lead had disintegrated into a 35-14 route.
The second half wasn't any kinder to the Eagles. First, most of their fans filed out of the stadium and returned home to milk to cow or whatever. Then, Baker went deep for Tupen, who fought through an interfering Eagle defender and hauled in a 32-yard touchdown. On the day, Tupen had five catches for 84 yards and one TD.
The Viking defense pinned their ears back and continued to hit the Eagles in the mouth. Here, DE Eric Huswick tossed aside RB Chris Myers. Huswick had four tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery on the defensive side of the ball, and added two catches for 51 yards on the offensive end.
Even if the Eagles were luck enough to reach the perimeter, they found stout resistance from the Viking secondary. Here, CB Ryan Mielke sticks an unfortunate Eagle in the gut.
Everybody got in the action for the Vikes - here, Preslar and Quade Saleh reel in RB Alexander Marshman.
But it was the Viking pass rush that truly carried the water this night, totaling a ridiculous 11 sacks and knocking the shattered Parduhn out of the game.
Linebacker Sean Stickney (eight tackles, two sacks) and Jake Huddle (five tackles, one sack) repeadetly walked up to the line and shot through gaps, launching themselves like missiles at the unfortunate junior quarterback.
Senior DE Zach Teuber had good reason to celebrate, as he led the Vikings with three sacks, bringing his team-leading season total to seven.
In the end, DT Dylan Youngblood celebrated the triumphant 45-17 victory with a primal scream.
The 4-0 Vikings moved to 2-0 in league play and sit atop the Wesco North standings aside Marysville-Pilchuck, whom the Vikes will host for Homecoming in two weeks. This Friday, the Vikings welcome the 3-1 Jackson Timber Wolves of Wesco South for a non-league tilt.