KINGSBURG — With the aid of a superb defensive performance that held their opponent’s offense scoreless and to less than 100 yards total offense the Kingsburg High Vikings stayed undefeated with a 16-7 victory over Washington Union High School on April 9 at Kingsburg High School.
The Vikings overcame five turnovers to earn the win and move to 4-0 on the season.
“Anytime you get a win, you're really happy. Especially when you commit five turnovers, and still get a win, you feel really lucky,” said Dave Wilson, Kingsburg High head coach. “Well, we have relied heavily on our defense all year, and Friday night was no different. They made play after play, long enough for our offense to settle in. Injuries have kind of been our Achilles heal on offense this year, especially at the QB position. We've started with Ethan Winslow and he went down with a collarbone injury and Jett Jackson aggravated his surgically repaired knee, so we had to put together an offense with our freshman backup Max Warkentin.”
Kingsburg was led on the defensive side of the ball by Blake VanBebber and Noah Rocha who each had two sacks in the game.
After a scoreless first quarter, Washington Union took a 7-0 lead in the second quarter when they returned an interception for a touchdown. That would be the halftime score.
After a scoreless third quarter, the Vikings offense woke up in the fourth quarter outscoring the Panthers 16-0.
Trace Jackson scored on an 11-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 7-7 with 11:55 remaining in the game. The Vikings defense forced safety with 7:13 left in the game to take a 9-7 lead. The Vikings sealed the victory with 2: 48 left in the game on Jacksons second touchdown run of the game.
Jackson finished the game with 28 carries for 163 yards and the two touchdowns.
Despite only playing four games this season, coach Wilson believes the team has gained valuable experience.
“What's funny, is even though the season has been short, I feel like the whole experience has been an eternity. We started way back in June and have done it off and on from June until now,” Wilson said. “But I can't think of another group of guys I would want to spend this much time with, then these players and coaches. They have been committed since day one. Of course, the season feels different, but we are just trying to take it one week at a time.”
Kingsburg hosts Selma High School on Friday, April 16 in the season finale in this shortened 2021 season. The Bears are coming off a 50-7 win over Dinuba High School. Coach Wilson knows his team will have be at their best.
“Well, whenever you play Selma, you have to match their physical play and intensity. Coach Logue does a fantastic job getting his players emotionally ready, so our guys must match that emotion and play tough Viking football. We have to do a much better job taking care of the football on offense, and our defense has to limit Selma's big play capability,” Wilson said. “They have a unique ability to play physical on offense, but a lot of their points come off big plays in the passing game. Like I tell our guys, we have to worry about how we play. We have no control of the score, just control of how we play, so that's what we will focus on this week.”
Despite the shortened season and no league champion being crowned, the game against Selma High is still a game sure to be intense.
“The Kingsburg vs. Selma game has transformed back into a legit rivalry, where both teams have a tremendous amount of respect for one another, and winning it means a lot to both schools and communities,” Wilson said. “Win or lose, that's what makes this game so much fun. Even playing in April, we look forward to the sights and sound of another edition of The Kingsburg Vikings vs the Selma bears.”