FB: Vikings First Half Mistakes Costly in Loss to MiSU

Sep 19th, 2009 @ 5:06 pm | Author: Viking Sports Info
By Ryan Cunningham NewsDakota.com

September 19

Valley City--Minot State may have won the game with the Vikings Saturday, but it was a different team that beat the Vikings.

The Vikings beat the Vikings.

The Vikings surrendered three touchdown drives of 16 yards or less, all on fumbles recovered by the Beavers, in a 21-17 loss the Minot State Saturday at Lokken Field in Valley City.

Those fumbles, and Nico Youngren (Fr., Gig Harber, WA) ate up a Viking defensive effort that was superb against a contender for the Dakota Athletic Conference (DAC) title, and the team with the signature win of any team in the DAC during the preseason. The Beavers defeated Division II Concordia-St. Paul 24-21 two weeks ago.

Youngren rushed for 206 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries, stepping in for Tyson Schatz (So., Minot, ND), who left the game early after a tough hit. Although Youngren chewed up yardage, the Beavers were denied each time they sustained long drives.

Trent Kosel (Jr., Edgeley, ND) led the Viking offense, finishing 19-32 for 200 yards and a score. He found LeTheo Proctor (So., Anchorage, AK) in the end zone for the third time this year, running the streak of that combination connecting for score to three games.

Andy Derlius (Jr., Miami, FL) rushed for 72 yards to lead the Viking run game. The Viking defense held Minot State to just 83 yards passing, with receiver Johnny Lester (Jr., Miami, FL) limited to 35 yards receiving, after entering the game with 251 yards and five touchdown catches.

Fumbles and penalties dominated the first half woes of the Vikings. The first of the fumble miscues came on the third Viking drive, when A.J. Pfeifer (So., Buffalo, ND) dropped the ball on the Viking 16. A play later, Youngren scampered in, giving the Beavers a 7-0 lead with 4:40 left of the opening quarter.

The next drive saw more of the same. The Vikings would be hit with a 15 yard chop block penalty, and then fumble on their own 15. A two yard sneak by quarterback Jon Meier (Sr., Regent, ND) would put up the second score with 2:46 left of the frame, pushing the lead to 14-0.

The Vikings would use a long-range score to cut into the lead. Starting at their 37, the Vikings got a ten yard completion to Ken
Eliacin (Fr., Miami, FL) to get the drive moving, and Derilus broke a 44 yard run for score, cutting the edge to 14-7 at the 1:02 mark.

After holding the Beavers to one first down, the Vikings took over at their own 20, but would succumb to the fumble bug for the third time, with Minot State recovering at the Viking 14. Two plays later, Youngren was in the end zone again from eight yards out, propelling the lead back to 14 at 21-7.

Valley City State would respond with a 15 play drive, ending in a Marineo Toslluku (Sr., Naples, FL) field goal from 24 yards out with 1:07 left of the half, trimming Minot State's advantage to 21-10, a lead they would take to the break.

The Vikings would get back in the game with their opening drive of the second half. Derek Elliot (Fr., Valley City, ND) would convert a key fourth down on a fake punt pass to Matt Crane (Sr., Wasilla, AK). Kosel would hit Proctor for a four yard score on the 16th play of the drive, cutting the edge to 21-17 just 6:05 into the second half.

After the teams exchanged series, Minot State posted their biggest threat of the half. Starting the drive at their own 36, they would find Lester for a 21 yard gain through the air to start the march.

They would trek to the Viking four and, on fourth down, pass up a short field goal to go for it from the two. A dive by Youngren was blown up by Ronald Buck (Jr., Minneapolis, MN), giving the Vikings the ball at their own four.

The Vikings would mount two more drives, threatening each time, but they were denied. One last chance started at the 20, but a Beaver interception with 55 seconds left ended the game.

The Vikings fall to 0-3, 0-1 in DAC play. They face Dickinson State next weekend in Dickinson.