Vikings offence explodes in week 1 win

By Nathan Kanter
September 11, 2017 - 12:00pm

On their first possession, the Evan Hardy Souls marched all the way down the field and scored a touchdown against the North Battleford Comprehensive Vikings.

On their second drive, the exact same thing.

After that, however, the Vikings defence allowed almost nothing else. The offence just kept chugging along, so much so that the Vikings won their opening game of 2017 by a score of 56-20 this past Friday evening.

"It was 14-13 and then kind of after that our defence just settled down and started making plays and offensively we just kind of kept going the whole game long," Vikings head coach Mike Humenny said one day after the team's opening week win. "I’ll give credit to Evan Hardy, they came out and played hard in the first quarter. It just took us a little bit to find our groove and then obviously things went our way from there.”

Leading the way on the offensive side of the ball was the duo of running back J.T. Lamb and quarterback Damon Dutton.

Lamb rushed 19 times for 188 yards and three touchdowns, while Dutton was 15-for-18 for 259 yards and also three touchdowns, including a 60-yard pass on a broken play to receiver Presley Peterson.

"We had anticipated this, but... [J.T. Lamb] was the guy on offence who really got it going. It was all game long for him," Humenny said. "Even not just as a runner, but also in a blocking capacity. He was a beast for us all day. And Damon Dutton [too].

"Those two guys on offence were our big guys and they led the way but the supporting cast was deadly all game long too.”

Peterson totalled 90 yards receiving on three catches and had two touchdowns, while Zach Wolfe had four catches for 78 yards. Riley Rathwell also found the endzone and finished with two catches for 41 yards.

“We have a lot of weapons in our passing attack," Humenny said. "I was really happy to see those guys step up and all those guys make plays.”

Although the defence wasn't quite ready right off the get go, Humenny was pleased with how they settled down.

It was also 32 degrees celsius at kickoff, making things difficult for both sides.

Humenny said defensive back Kolby Heidt, who started at linebacker, and defensive tackle Zack Weber particularly stood out on defence.

"Kolby Heidt was probably our MVP on defence yesterday," Humenny said. "He had a massive game for us and later on we were starting to get some really good pressure on the quarterbacks in passing situations. And Zack Weber was the leader out there for us. He played a monster of a game from the defensive tackle position."

Perhaps the best thing to take away from the win was not a lot needs fixing. In fact, Humenny said nothing really needs fixing at all.

"There's nothing really glaring that we need to take care of for next week," Humenny said. "I think we're just going to move forward with the same schemes on offence and defence. We're just going to work on getting fundementally more prepared for each game and that's going to be our focus going to Warman next Friday."

Warman moved up to the 12-man Saskatoon league this season after winning back-to-back nine-man championship titles the past two years. They had to begin their inaugural season in tough, against the defending champion BJM Saints, and lost 38-0.

But Humenny talked to the Saints head coach, who said he thought the Warman team showed the potential to have success later this season once they've gotten a bit more accustomed to the league.

"As a coaching staff, we're going to quickly suggest to [our] guys that Warman is not going to be a pushover," Humenny said. "They haven't sleuthed their way into the position that they're in. They ran the table in the 9-man league the last two years and they're making the jump up.

"On paper it would be easy for our guys to be overconfident but once again, going back to the fact that we have 26 Grade 12s on our team and a lot of these guys have been starters for three years, so I think our guys should know how to respond."

The week two game between the Vikings and Wolverines is set for Friday afternoon at 4:30 p.m.

It will also be Warman's home opener.


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On Twitter: @NathanKanter11

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