Vikings dominate Lakes in 44-16 victory: 3 observations

Tanner Pierce, Sports Editor

Puyallup, WA-

After the Puyallup vs Rogers football game originally scheduled for Friday night was canceled due to health and safety protocols in the Rogers program, the Vikings soon found an opponent in the Lakes Lancers to play Saturday afternoon at Sparks Stadium.

 

This matchup between two top programs in the state was highly anticipated, and for Puyallup it was once again an opportunity to prove the doubters wrong

“I mean people just tend to continue to underestimate us sometimes,” senior quarterback Luke Holcomb said. “We just love proving people wrong, that’s all I can say”

 

Here are three observations from Puyallup’s rout of Lakes:

1- Vikings offense is a two-headed beast

Last week against Bethel, it was all about Ziere Ford and the run game . This week, it was Holcomb and the receivers that stole the show on offense. 

Holcomb threw for 205 yards and four touchdowns, completing 14/20 passes. He attributed that ability to attack through the air to his offensive line and the Vikings’ run game.

“I mean our offensive line, they’re beasts up there,” Holcomb said. “We just want to go behind them and have them lead us, and that’s what we did.”

Ford didn’t exactly slow down today either. He tacked on 175 yards on 24 carries for one touchdown, and just allowed the Vikings to relax and play their game.

“There’s nothing more comforting for a coach or teammates than to successfully run the ball down people’s throats,” head coach Gary Jeffers said. “It takes a lot of the anxiousness out of the game. We love to throw the football here at Puyallup, but there are times when a lot of things can go wrong throwing the ball. Being able to rely on a strong run game is just a comfortable place to be.”

Puyallup vs Lakes 2/27/2021

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2- Sermon Wilson and the Viking d-line is a force to be reckoned with

Lakes drove down on its first series of the game and ended up walking away with a field goal. The Lancers didn’t make moving the ball look difficult. From that drive on though, the Vikings defense, headed by their defensive line, stepped up big. 

Senior Sermon Wilson stood out on defense all game. Wilson, a Central Washington University commit, was flying all over the field, and it felt like he was in the backfield getting to Lakes quarterback Justin Brennan almost every play.

“It helps a lot when he’s getting that much pressure,” Holcomb said. “We have some beasts on that d-line and he definitely leads them. They just did great today.”

For Wilson, he felt the coaching staff prepared them really well for this game, but mostly, he’s just happy to back out on the field.

“It felt good to be back out here, be with the team,” Wilson said.  “It just felt good to be at our home stadium ballin’ out”

  1. When the Viks are executing, it’s tough to beat them

With just under three minutes to play in the first half, Lakes’ Brennan connected with David Wells 41 yards downfield to get Lakes’ first touchdown of the game and put them back on top 10-7. Just over a minute later, Holcomb connected with junior Jordan Dwyer on a quick slant and Dwyer took it 40 yards to the house for Puyallup. That gave the Vikings a 14-10 lead and it only extended from there. 

The Vikings got the ball back one more time before the half and drove down the field, but couldn’t quite punch it in for six.  Hayden Lovett converted a 33-yard field goal as time expired to make it 17-10 going into the half, putting the Viks right where they wanted to be. 

“We wanted to score before half and we got the field goal,” Holcomb said. “Coming out we just wanted to keep our feet on their necks and really establish what we were going to do in the second half and we did that perfectly.”

If scoring 21 unanswered points on your next three possessions is considered putting your feet on their necks, then the Vikings did exactly that. Ford found the endzone on a nine-yard run on their first drive of the second half. The next possession Holcomb connected with senior receiver Jaylan King for 32 yards, and on the next, Holcomb connected with Dwyer from four yards out for a touchdown for the second time of the day.

When the Vikings find their rhythm on offense like they did in the second half, they’re going to be tough to beat.

“Well I think one of the messages that we preach pretty clearly is that there’s only one team that can beat Puyallup, and that’s Puyallup,” Jeffers said. “So, if we can control our errors, and our mindset, and make sure that we’re focused and we’re executing on every play then nobody can stop us. I think that we finally got into that rhythm in the second half and the kids kind of exploded.”