KINGSBURG - Two fourth quarter turnovers by Kingsburg’s defense propelled the Vikings to a 19-16 win over Central Valley Christian in a Central Sequoia League game on Oct. 5 in Kingsburg.
It was Kingsburg’s sixth-straight victory. The Vikings sit at 6-1 overall and 2-0 in CSL play.
It was a tale of two halves for Kingsburg, who were down 16-6 at halftime. The only score for the Vikings in the first half came during the team’s first offensive drive of the game. Quarterback Jett Jackson threw an 18-yard pass to Jadon Spomer that gave Kingsburg an early 6-0 lead.
“We got away from running the ball in the first half,” Vikings head coach David Wilson said. “That was the first thing we said at halftime. We had to establish the line of scrimmage.”
Before halftime, the Cavaliers were threatening to score and extend its lead, but Kingsburg’s defense made a stop near the red zone that gave the Vikings momentum going into the locker room.
“Getting a stop at the end of the first half was huge,” Wilson said. “With them going in up 23-6 would’ve been a lot different than 16-6. We just settled in and started running the football and gave the ball to our playmakers.”
Kingsburg’s defense shutdown CVC’s offense in the second half, while the Vikings offense outscored CVC 13-0.
During the Kingsburg’s first drive of the second half, Jackson threw his second touchdown of the game to Travis Hall for a 4-yard score on 4th-and-goal. The touchdown cut the Cavaliers lead 16-12. The scoring drive took eight minutes off the clock.
Hall said he’s been injured and hasn’t played many snaps on offense this season, but when he got into the game, he made sure to make his opportunity count.
“They called a pass play and I knew this was my opportunity to do something,” Hall said. “I got open, but Jett Jackson made a wonderful play. He scrambled and got me in the end zone with a perfect pass and I just did everything I could to drag my feet [in the end zone.]”
On the ensuing drive, Kingsburg linebacker Bo Jackson intercepted a pass from CVC quarterback Eric Dragt. On offense, Bo Jackson scored on the next drive, running for a two-yard touchdown to give the Vikings a 19-16 lead with 58.6 seconds to go in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Kingsburg’s defense forced two more turnovers. With 5:14 to play, Jett Jackson, who plays safety on defense, forced a fumble, but the Vikings offense didn’t turn the takeaway into points. The second turnover came on an interception by cornerback Blake Spomer with 2:59 to play.
Kingsburg eventually ran the clock down to zero for the win.
Spomer said he struggled to cover CVC’s receivers in the beginning of the game, but he made adjustments to have success against them in the second half.
“They were picking on me in the first half when they scored those two touchdowns,” Spomer said. “I started to learn how to cover them. At the end of the game, I tripped up and I had to catch up with [the intended receiver] on the play. I got the pick, and I just had to get that ball, I had to get it.”
With the win over the Cavaliers in the books, the Vikings will face another tough test when the team heads to Dinuba to play the Emperors on Oct. 12.
Wilson said Dinuba is one of the toughest places to play at in the Central Valley.
“It’s frustrating to go over there,” Wilson said. “They have a wonderful football atmosphere and they make it tough for visiting teams. We just have to do our thing and if we don’t turn the ball over and play good on defense, good things happen.”
Dinuba will be 5-2 overall and 1-1 in CSL play going into the game. The Emperors are also coming off a 35-0 road win over Selma High. Dinuba also lost to CVC 21-7 on Sept. 28. A win for Kingsburg would improve the Vikings’ chances of claiming a CSL title.
“Right now our motto is one in a row,” Wilson said.
Last season, Dinuba defeated Kingsburg 27-24 in overtime at Vikings stadium.
Kickoff between the Vikings and Emperors is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. start.