Oct 25th, 2009 @ 12:14 pm | Author: Viking Sports Info
Vikings Thrashed by Hardrockers
By Ryan Cunningham NewsDakota.com

October 24

Rapid City, SD--The toughest challenge the VCSU Viking football team will face this year will have nothing to do with an opponent. It will be forgetting what took place Saturday in Rapid City.

The Vikings surrendered 53 unanswered points, including a run of 26 points in 10:57 of the second half, in a 60-20 rout by the South Dakota Mines Hardrockers at O'Harra Stadium.

A 13-0 lead by the Vikings went sour on three snaps over punter Derek Elliot (Fr., Valley City, ND)'s head, a Hardrocker fumble recovered by the offense and run in for a score, and four stopped opportunities from the Hardrocker one.

Ironically, the game included the best drive of the season for the Viking offense. They used 17 plays to marck 88 yards for a score on their opening possession, capped by quarterback Trent Kosel (Jr., Edgeley, ND) hitting A. J. Pfeifer (So., Buffalo, ND) for 19 yards to the Hardrocker one, and Andy Derilus (Jr., Miami, FL) punching it in for a 7-0 lead at the 4:31 mark of the opening quarter.

Just 52 seconds later, the Vikings were back in the end zone when Viking safety Eric Burgad (So., Argusville, ND) stripped the ball from receiver Tyler Barth (Jr., Dickinson, ND) and ran 41 yards to the house for a score, delivering the Vikings a 13-0 lead.

Barth would redeem himself on the next Hardrocker drive by running in a Nick Russell (So., San Diego, CA) pass 28 yards for score, cutting the lead to 13-7. A drive later, Russell would hit Tony Ostheimer (Jr., Ranchester, WY) for 39 yards, and Jamie Dale (So., Alpine, CA) would rumble 42 yards to the house, giving the Rockers a 14-13 lead with 13:28 left of the half.

The Vikings would fumble on their next possession, but the defense would turn the Hardrockers away. The field position battle had swung in favor of Mines however, as the Vikings would take over on their own 17, and stall after three plays. Mines would get the ball at the Viking 29, and Andy Smith (Jr., Pierre, SD) would tack on a 42 yard field goal to push the lead to 17-13 with 6:57 remaining till the break.

The Vikings again shot themselves in the foot, when a punt snap sailed over the head of Elliot, setting up the Rockers at the Viking 19. Smith would connect from 36 yards out, driving the lead to 20-13 with 4:56 to go, a lead that would stand to halftime.

The third quarter was most likely the worst quarter of Viking football this year, perhaps in several years. Mines would score when Russell connected with Jason Beilstein (Sr., Lodi, CA) for a 17 yard touchdown pass less than five minutes into the frame, edging the lead to 27-13.

The Vikings would drive 10 plays to the Mines one, but would fail to get in on four straight plays. Mines took over on the their own one, and would pitch to Dale, who would fumble. Cody Kilthau (So., Mililani, HI) had a chance at the ball, but whiffed on the recovery. Oshheimer would pick up the ball and dash 80 yards for the score, and the lead ballooned to 34-13 with 3:39 of the third remaining.

Another snap over Elliot's head would record a Mines safety 46 seconds later. Mines would return the free kick to the Viking 33, and Smith hit his third field goal from 30 yards out, increasing the lead to 39-13 with 45.5 seconds left in the period.

Mines would add another score when Trevor Roberts (Jr., Vancouver, WA) would rush in from 17 yards out just three seconds into the fourth quarter, a play set up by another snap over punter Elliot's head. Joe Sanchez (So., Gilbert, AZ) darted in from six yards away, knocking the lead to 53-13, capping 53 unanswered points with 9:18 left of the game.

Mike McAtee (RFr., Rolla, ND) would finish a drive engineered by quarterback Tommy Zinke (RFr., Rolla, ND) to cut the edge to 53-20 with 7:47 remaining. Mines answered with a score by quarterback Tanner Ireland (Fr., Albuquerque, NM) to record the final of 60-20.

The Vikings fall to 2-4 in Dakota Athletic Conference (DAC) play, 2-6 overall. They are cemented in the sixth seed for the DAC Bowl November 8th, and they will face the loser of Mines vs. Black Hills State, a game played next week. The Vikings host Jamestown College October 31st at Lokken Field.