Oct 3rd, 2009 @ 4:48 pm | Author: Viking Sports Admin
Vikings Fall Short in Comeback Bid

By Ryan Cunningham NewsDakota.com

October 3

Valley City--After three quarters of very stagnant offensive football, the Viking offense roared to life with 21 points in the final nine minutes on Saturday.

It was too little, too late.

The Vikings left a two-point conversion try short with :52 left, dropping a heartbreaker to Black Hills State 23-21 in their homecoming game Saturday afternoon at Lokken Field.

Ken Eliacin (Fr., Miami, FL) grabbed five balls for 105 yards and two scores, including a 55 yard catch and run that kept the Vikings alive late.

Trent Kosel (Jr., Edgeley, ND) finished 17-36 for 203 yards and two scores. He also threw one interception, and it would prove to be costly, stopping the first Viking drive of the game at the Yellowjacket two yard line.

Cole Benne (Fr., Rapid City, SD) ended the day with 128 yards and two scores on 18 carries. Drew Hodg (Jr., Douglas, WY) was limited to just 116 yards on a 15-32 effort, throwing two interceptions, with both leading to Viking touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

For all the scoring that flew in late, the early part of the game was to scoring as the Sahara is to water. Benne ripped off a 65 yard dash with 4:44 remaining of the opening quarter for the only points of the half, giving the Yellowjackets a 7-0 lead, a lead they would take to the intermission.

Black Hills State added a field goal on their initial drive of the second half, and used their fourth series of the half to stretch the lead. Benne would again dash to open field for 38 yards, and a pass to Colby McGinley (Jr., Rapid City, SD) would push the game to 16-0 with nine seconds left of the third.

After a third quarter with only one first down and a three-and-out to start the fourth, the Viking offense would watch as their defense came up big. Defensive back Bernardo Marte (Jr., Miami, FL) would intercept a Hodg pass over the middle, setting the Vikings up at the Yellowjacket 40.

It would take the Vikings 11 plays to capitalize, but Eliacin would haul in a 30 yard catch to set up the score, then take a nine yard throw for the touchdown with 8:46 left of the game, cutting the lead to 16-7.

The Yellowjackets would be stopped on three plays, and the Vikings would get the ball back at their own 19. Two quarterback sacks would give the Jackets the ball at the Viking 16, and Benne would run in a 16 yard score on a Statue of Liberty play to pump the lead to 23-7.

Valley City State would strike quickly to stay alive. Kosel would connect with Eliacin on a third-and-long, shredding the middle of the field for 55 yards and a score. Kosel would toss a conversion try to Eliacin, and the Vikings slimmed the lead to 23-15 with 3:30 left.

The Yellowjackets would take over on their own 32, seemingly to take time off the clock. After on rush, they would attempt to pass twice, with the first falling incomplete, stopping the clock. The second would be picked off by linebacker Coty Beck (Jr., Seward, AK), with Beck's return taken to Black Hills State's 42.

Kosel would go to work, tossing to A.J. Pfeifer (So., Buffalo, ND) for 11 yards, then to tight end Jason Hollett (Sr., North Pole, AK) for 20. On fourth-and-goal from the Jacket three inch line, Andy Derilus (So., Miami, FL) would run in a counter for score, reducing the deficit to 23-21.

The Vikings needed the two pointer to tie the game. Kosel faked an end-around to Derek Elliot (Fr., Valley City, ND) and attempt the keeper for score, but would be dropped at the five yard line, ending the comeback bid.

The Vikings fall to 0-5, 0-3 in Dakota Athletic Conference (DAC) play. They travel to Madison, SD, to face the Dakota State Trojans Saturday afternoon.