KERMAN - After being down 14-0, the Kingsburg Vikings scored 20 unanswered points to capture a 20-14 road win over Kerman High on Sept. 7.
The victory improves Kingsburg to a 3-1 overall record and it’s also the third-straight win for the Vikings.
“It’s always good when you come back,” Kingsburg head coach David Wilson said. “Do I think this is the best we played? Probably not… but that’s always encouraging. We could build on this moving forward, giving us hope and giving us perseverance coming back when we’re down.”
At the end of first quarter, the Kerman Lions had a 14-0 lead after quarterback Gavin Layton tossed two touchdowns to Trace Silva.
“We came out and we didn’t play very well,” Wilson said. “We kind of came out made some mistakes, some mental mistakes, got some bad penalties that extend some drives for them. They ended up capitalizing on some really big plays. We on the other hand had some trouble moving the ball early.”
After Kingsburg’s offense was shut down early in the game, the Vikings finally got points on the scoreboard near the end of the second quarter on a touchdown pass from Jett Jackson to Kaden Tate. The touchdown cut Kerman’s lead to 14-7, which would be the score at halftime. Tate's score came on a pass that was tipped by Silva, who played cornerback on the Lions' defense.
In the first drive of the second half, Kingsburg’s offense turned it over on downs, but on the ensuing drive the Vikings’ defense intercepted Layton.
Kingsburg’s offense ended up getting points off the turnover after Jackson scored on a 3-yard run to tie the game 14-14.
Early in the fourth quarter, Kerman had the ball inside Kingsburg’s 20-yard line, but the Lions missed an opportunity to score failing to make a field goal with 11 minutes to play.
During the next drive, Jackson scored on the ground again, but this time it was a 70-yard score to put the Vikings up 20-14. The extra point was missed, which had Kingsburg’s lead at six points with under 11 minutes to play.
Kingsburg fumbled the ball on Kerman’s 25-yard line with under four minutes to play. After the Vikings and Lions traded punts, Kingsburg eventually clinched the win.
“Kerman is good man. They've got a real good team. They’re well-coached,” Wilson said. “They were a lot more physical than I thought they would be and you've got to take your hat off to them. They pushed us for a while especially early.”
Wilson said the defense had good individual performances by Cole Dias, Jadon Spomer and Jackson, who had one of two interceptions for Kingsburg. Freshman Micah Spomer had the other interception for the Vikings’ defense.
Collectively, Wilson said the defense played great, especially after shutting down Kerman’s offense after the first quarter.
“That whole defensive group really stood their ground,” Wilson said. “We gave up a couple of big plays early, but they were able to dig their feet in, kind of recover and get some big plays of our own.”
During the team’s three-game winning streak, Wilson said the defense has been a significant factor even though the offense has averaged 37.6 points per game in that span.
Throughout the first four games of the season, Kingsburg has forced multiple turnovers in each game.
“We’re a big-play defense,” Wilson said. “We got two more turnovers [against Kerman] and I think that gives us almost 12 in four games. I think we might of had 12 all of last year.”
After a bye week, Kingsburg will look extend its winning streak to four games in a road matchup against Madera South High School on Sept. 21. The game will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Memorial Stadium at Madera High School.