VISALIA - Kingsburg keeps its undefeated season alive.
Backup quarterback Travis Hall threw three touchdowns and Blake Spomer scored three times in the Vikings' 34-20 road win over Central Valley Christian on Friday.
Kingsburg stays unbeaten at 7-0 overall while improving its Central Sequoia League record to 2-0. It’s the program’s first 7-0 start since 2009, which was the year that Tyler Bray led the Vikings to an undefeated 13-0 campaign.
“Anytime you come in here and win, it’s a good statement because that’s a good football team,” Vikings coach David Wilson said. “They got a good running back [in Jaalen Rening] and they’re always usually well-coached.”
Hall drew the start at quarterback after previous starter Jett Jackson suffered a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament injury against the Exeter Monarchs on Oct. 4. Hall will remain the starter with Jackson out with a torn ACL.
“He’s a great football player, but he’s even a better guy,” Hall said about Jackson. “It was sad to see him hurt and it’s a pretty serious injury, but he’s very optimistic. He’s got our backs and we got his back. We got this win for him.”
The Vikings’ offense didn’t slow down with Hall as the starter, as the unit consistently moved the chains with a balanced passing and rushing attack.
Along with his three touchdowns, Hall finished the night completing 15-of-22 passing attempts for 286 yards and an interception. Spomer rushed for 131 yards on 12 carries and scored three total touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving).
Hall consistently found Kaden Tate and Connor McFall, who was promoted from the junior varisty squad, for a combined 10 completions for 175 yards. McFall made five catches for 91 yards while Tate had five receptions for 84 yards and two touchdowns. Josh Jackson also made four catches for 54 yards.
In the first drive of the game, Spomer scored his first touchdown of the night on a 35-yard run to give the Vikings a 7-0 lead, which would carry over to the second quarter after Kingsburg’s defense forced two-straight punts.
After CVC got on the board to tie the game, Kingsburg responded with a 57-yard play to the endzone on a pass from Hall to Spomer, who was wide open in the middle of the field.
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The Vikings extended their lead to two scores after Hall found Tate for a 17-yard touchdown with 2:09 left in the first half. Kingsburg would go into halftime with a 21-7 lead.
“With Jett going down, people thought we weren’t going to come out like we have these past couple of games,” Spomer said. “We showed how much good players we have. If you take away our starting quarterback, someone else is going to come back [from injury], someone is going to have a good game, someone else is going to go off. We got depth.”
After both offenses were forced to punt to start the second half, the Cavaliers heavily utilized Rening, who rushed for a 13-yard touchdown to cut the Vikings lead to 21-13. Kingsburg’s lead would stay at eight points after CVC missed the extra point.
The Vikings answered to Rening's score with a 41-yard touchdown run from Spomer - his final touchdown of the game - to re-extend their lead to two scores. Kingsburg led 28-13 at the end of the third quarter.
Rening scored again for CVC to make it a 28-20 game, but Kingsburg responded with another touchdown - a 37-yard connection between Hall and Tate - to go up 34-20 with 8:30 left to play.
“Our coaches did an amazing job of picking holes in their defense,” Hall said. “I would give a lot of credit for this game and our passing game to the [offensive] line. They gave me a lot of time. The receivers did a great job of getting to each ball and again the coaches of just having a great game plan.”
With three weeks left in the regular season, the Vikings are currently the only undefeated Central Section Division III team, which has them ranked as the top squad in the division, according to MaxPreps.
“I’m ecstatic for these guys,” Wilson said about the team’s 7-0 start. “These guys are playing hard and they got some guys banged up, missing Jett, the guys still rallied and to me that’s awesome. That’s what it's all about. That’s what football is all about.”
The Vikings will look to remain unbeaten when they host the Dinuba Emperors (2-5, 0-2 CSL) on Friday at 7:30 p.m. The Emperors have lost three-straight games with their last defeat coming against the Selma Bears in a 36-23 final last week. In last season’s meeting, Dinuba defeated Kingsburg 47-35 in the Vikings’ only CSL loss of 2018.
“Their record never fools me,” Wilson said. “It’s a well-coached team, who is normally tough and they’re gritty when they come play us.”