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FB: Vikes Lose a Close One in Conference Opener

Sep. 18, 2010 4:32 PM | Author: Viking Sports Admin | Updated: Sep. 18th, 2010 9:57 PM
Vikings Improve, but Lose to Mines
By Ryan Cunningham NewsDakota.com

September 18

Valley City--For the Vikings in the third week of the season, there was improvement and moments of excitement, but ultimately, no win.

South Dakota Mines put the only second half points on the board, sort of, with a 30 yard pass from Nick Russell (Jr., San Diego, CA) to Bernis Berber (So, Tempe, AZ) in the fourth, pulling the Hardrockers ahead to stay at 24-21.

The Vikings had not trailled to that point, thanks to a big opening play, an impressive scoring drive, a special teams score, and a defense that refused to quit when the offense ground to a halt.

Down the stretch, however, Mines was able to keep the Viking defense on the field with gashing runs from Jamie Dale (Jr., Alpine, CA), who finished the game with 198 yards on 30 carries, scoring once.

The Viking offense looked good for a half after a stagnant effort a week previous at Concordia College. Viking quarterback Trent Kosel (Sr., Edgeley, ND) completed eight of his first nine passes, and finished 15-22 for 191 yards and a score.

Those first eight completions included an opening play 76 yard toss to Derek Elliot (So., Valley City, ND) for a score, sparking a 7-0 Viking lead. Kosel would then lead a 16 play, 77 yard drive, setting up a score with a 19 yard completion to LeTheo Proctor (So., Anchorage, AK), giving the Vikings a 14-7 edge.

The Vikings would push the lead to 21-7 when Axel Neree (Miami, FL) blocked a Hardrocker punt, which Elliot recovered and ran in from 23 yards out. It appeared the Vikings were cruising.

Mines clawed their way back into the game with a 10 play drive, capped by a three yard run by Everett Brill (Sr., Elko, NV), and an Andy Smith (Jr., Pierre, SD) 34 yard field goal just before half, cutting the lead to 21-17.

The Vikings offense sputtered after their long drive. They experienced a span of six possessions without a first down, and after finally extending a drive early in the fourth, a fumble by Kosel on a fourth-and-one from the Viking 45 put Mines in terrific shape.

The Viking defense came to play all day, and ended the Hardrocker possession with their third quarterback sack of the half, resulting in a 14 yard loss on third down, but again, the Viking offense would be held in three plays.

Mines started their eventual scoring drive from their own 26, and reeled off four plays for 10 or more yards, including back-to-back 14 and 18 yard runs by Dale. Russell found the 6'5" Berner on an underthrown ball when Viking corner Cody Kilthau (Jr., Mililani, HI) fell in coverage for the gamewinner.

Kosel would lead the Vikings on a final charge, finding tight end Ken Eliacin (So., Miami, FL) twice for big gains, and also scrambling for 17 yards to continue the drive. A crucial penalty turned a 33 yard field goal try into a 38 yarder, and kicker Dillon Davis (Fr., Cocoa Beach, FL) sent a line drive into the line, ending the opportunity.

Mines picked up two first downs to run out the clock, a clock that did not run all day. Due to scoreboard issues, the game time was kept by the officials on the field throughout the entire game.

The Vikings fall to 1-2, 0-1 in Dakota Athletic Conference (DAC) play, and travel to Minot State next Saturday afternoon.
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