Eleven sacks plus more passing recordsMIKE ANDERTON | CONTRIBUTING WRITER The Vikings spoiled the Eagles homecoming with a 45 -23 WesCo North victory
Down 14-0 halfway through the first quarter to the Homecoming-celebrating Eagles? No problem for this year’s Vikings, who overcame a 21-0 deficit at Mariner in its season opener.
The Viking defense, improving game by game, stepped forward to take command at Arlington, laying an astonishing 11 sacks on Arlington’s quarterback Jake Parduhn (up until this game an unstoppable offensive machine).
So ramped up was Lake’s defense that it nearly overshadowed another record-smashing performance by Viking quarterback Nick Baker, who picked apart the Eagle defense for 19 of 22 completions (no interceptions), for 346 yards and three touchdowns. Baker’s 86 percent completion rate is the highest for a single game in school history for a quarterback attempting at least 20 passes. For good measure, Trevor Riecks tossed a 27-yard completion to Colton Tupen, for a team record of 87 percent (20 for 23).
The blowout may well have been greater had not Lake lost six fumbles, two of them returned for Eagle touchdowns. And the Vikings continue to be Wesco’s most-penalized team, this time losing 76 yards via eight infractions.
Lake (4-0 overall, 2-0 in Wesco North) played its first game without Bo Dickinson, injured last week. Dickinson, Lake’s most productive all-around player, had scored seven touchdowns in five different ways (rush, reception, fumble return, kickoff and punt return) as well as being a key player in the defensive backfield. Dickinson, who suffered bone damage in his back, could possibly return to action towards the end of the season.
Arlington (now 3-1 overall, 0-1 in Wesco North) lived up to its billing as an offensive powerhouse early in the game, with Parduhn driving the Eagles 85 yards in nine plays following the opening kickoff. His 2-yard touchdown run followed three completions totaling 66 yards. Brandon Pierce’s PAT kick made it 7-0, at 8:33 of the quarter.
Lake fumbled the ball away on its first two possessions, the second one resulting in Alexander Marshman’s 25-yard return for a touchdown. 14-0, with 5:12 left in the quarter.
But Lake got rolling after that, with Baker directing a seven-play, 65-yard drive in its next possession. Baker was 4-for-4 on the drive, connecting with four different Vikings (Riecks, Tupen, Eric Huswick, and Duke Dolphin) and he added one rush for 11 yards. Dolphin polished off the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run immediately following his 16-yard run. Dolphin, a sophomore filling in for Dickinson at running back, displayed impressive moves and field vision, finishing with 76 net yards in 15 carries, and two touchdowns. And his only punt covered 49 yards. Dolphin’s touchdown and Arvid Isaksen’s PAT cut the gap to 14-7, at 3:00 of the quarter.
Shortly after that, following a Huswick sack of Parduhn, the latter’s pass was picked off by Brandon Preslar (another Viking sophomore) and returned 43 yards for a touchdown, one of two Parduhn interceptions. Isaksen’s PAT tied it at 14-14, at 1:11 of the quarter.
Lake ran off two quick touchdowns in the second quarter, on Riecks’ 46-yard reception from Baker, and on Dolphin’s one-yard run, set up by Baker completions of 34 yards to Riecks and 14 yards to Dolphin. 28-14, with 8:02 left before halftime.
It became a route with Riecks’ 14-yard touchdown reception from Baker at 2:01 of the quarter, which had been preceded by Baker’s 46-yard pass to Tyler Bryant in which the latter fought off two Eagle defenders to make a spectacular grab.
Lake dominated the second half as well, outgaining the Eagles by 178 yards to 79 in the final two quarters. Donavan Granston, just called up from the Frosh team, belted a 31-yard field goal in the third quarter, and that was followed up by Tupen’s 32-yard touchdown reception from Baker late in the quarter to make it 45-17.
Reserves played much of the fourth quarter for Lake, where the only scoring came on Arlington’s Sherman Pruitt’s 20-yard return of a Viking fumble.
Overall, Lake outgained the Eagles by 451-210, holding Parduhn to 131 yards on 11 of 21 completions (with one interception), and despite a 61-yard keeper in the third quarter just 25 net yards on the ground after those 11 Viking sacks.
The Viking sack attack was led by Zach Teuber with three, Stickney, Huswick and Chase Crowley with two each, and Riecks, Jacob Huddle, Chameron Lackey and Dylan Youngblood notching one apiece.
Vikings host Wesco South power Jackson this Friday, in a non-league test, then host Marysville the following week for what could be a league title-deciding fracas.