Vikings Begin 2021 Campaign in Dominating Fashion

Vikings defeat Braves 46-18 behind big-time game from Ziere Ford


Tanner Pierce, Sports Editor

Graham, WA- November 23, 2019.

That’s the last time the Puyallup High School football team played a game.


That 454-day hiatus came to an end Friday night as the Vikings traveled to play Bethel High School to open up the 2021 campaign. This was the first matchup between the two teams in over five years as Bethel just this year moved back up to Class 4A, after a four-year stint in Class 3A.


After trading the first couple of possessions back and forth, it looked like a low-scoring game was ahead. Things changed when junior running back Ziere Ford found his way into the endzone for the first time of the night. That touchdown was set up by a 40-yard connection between Luke Holcomb and Jordan Dwyer, and it was all Ford from there. 


“I think we had a lot of jitters coming out there in the first quarter, but we just trusted our line so much and Ziere did such an amazing job running the ball,” Puyallup offensive coordinator Brian McKechnie said.  “I mean, his numbers have got to be way up there.”


His numbers indeed, were up there. The Vikings finished with 440 all-purpose yards winning this one by a final score of 46-18, and Ford alone accounted for 203 of those yards, tacking on five touchdowns to go with them. 


“We knew what we had coming into the season, and we knew [Ford] was going to be the guy because he was the one with the most experience,” McKechnie said. “He came out here and showed why he deserved to be in that spot.”


Bethel finally found the endzone late into the first half when quarterback Kekoa Visperas took it himself 10 yards for the touchdown. Coming out of halftime the Braves forced a stop and then marched down the field for another touchdown, this time on a 17-yard reception by Salama Filimaua from Visperas


The Braves brought it to within 13 points and it looked like a game was shaping up, but Ford felt otherwise.


The Vikings’ next two possessions both ended in four-yard touchdown runs from Ford,  For Ford, everything just felt right.


“I felt like our line was doing their job,” Ford said. “Everybody was blocking and I made the right reads. We just kept on pushing.”


The Vikings will look to keep it rolling Friday, Feb 26, against Rogers for their first home game of the season with one goal in mind of doing what it takes to win.


Our goals for the rest of the season are just to do the same thing,” Ford said. “Fifty points a game, everybody doing their jobs, everybody doing the right things, we’re just doing great right now.”