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Orcas football: Vikings beat Concrete and Seattle Lutheran to advance to state playoffs
Story contributed by Merrick Parnell. Following the wins described in this story, on Saturday, Nov. 12 the Vikings played their first state playoff game against Napavine, and lost 47-0.
On a frosty November night in La Conner, the Vikings took the field against the Concrete Lions, facing the daunting task of playing two games in one night.
Each game would be made up of two 10-minute halves to determine who would grab the third seed in the post season. The winners of the first game would move on to play Seattle Lutheran.
The Vikings had beaten the Lions easily in their last regular season home game.
Led by quarterback Tyler Clark, the Lions scored first on a long drive that started after a Viking three and out, with 1:55 remaining in the first half.
The Vikings received the ball on the kickoff and began using familiar weapons in their offensive arsenal. With rumbling carries by Jake “The Locomotive” Zier, and stealthy Robbie Padbury keepers, the Vikings marched down the field. Freshman receiver Gage Harlow was also instrumental in the drive, with a key reception on a third down play that resulted in a first down after a Lion penalty.
At the end of the first half the Lions lead the Vikings 7-0.
Early in the second half, Orcas scored on a Padbury quarterback keeper, and after the PAT, the game was tied at 7.
On the next Concrete drive, Clarks pass was intercepted by Padbury.
On an aerial attack involving receptions by Aubrey Schermerhorn and Devon “Coast to Coast” Stanzione, the Vikings quickly drove into Lion territory, resulting in another touchdown from a Padbury sweep.
“I ran my routes as thorough as I could, and made sure to catch that football,” said Stanzione.
The Lions would not be silenced as they assembled a composed drive, marching up the field, but the Viking defense came up big, with a sack from Zier and several key tackles by Mikail Van Maren and Randall Boetger to keep the lions from moving the chains. The Lions' drive ended when a fourth down pass was dropped, giving the Vikings the ball with 1:13 remaining. After a series of victory formation plays the Vikings emerged victorious, beating Concrete 14-7.
The Vikings moved on to the next game against Seattle Lutheran, who earlier in the season beat the Vikings at homecoming. Like a heavyweight prize fight, the battle raged back and forth, with key defensive plays by Joey Susol, Dimitri Pence and Jake Zier.
With four minutes remaining in the game, the Vikings called on rookie kicker Jack Rusillo to attempt a 30-yard field goal. After a perfect snap and hold the ball sailed through the uprights, giving Orcas the lead 3-0 which they held on to the rest of the game, giving them the win.
“I knew that the kick was coming. I had been practicing all week for it,” said Rusillo.
“Our guys played with great effort. That has been our focus...play as hard as you can as long as you can.” They did that on Tuesday night,” said Viking head coach Scott Harris.
Padbury had 124 yards passing on the day, along with 46 rushing yards and two crucial interceptions.