VHS FB State Playoffs

Vale senior QB/DB Tanner Steele uses his speed to get around the edge before outrunning the Sutherlin defenders, in the first round of the state playoffs, resulting in a Vikings touchdown on the first play of the second quarter.

BEND — Recently, on Nov. 20, the Vale Vikings’ football team traveled to Caldera High School, in Bend, Oregon, to compete against No. 3 South Umpqua Lancers in the semifinals of the 2021 3A Football State Championships.

Prior to the semifinals, the Vikings defeated No. 10 Sutherlin 43-8, and were able to upset No. 2 Rainier 14-6 in order to be competing in the state semifinals.

In relation, South Umpqua defeated No. 14 Yamhill-Carlton 35-6, and No. 11 Santiam Christian 28-8.

In the game, the two teams battled back and forth for the advantage in the game. South Umpqua was the first team to get on the scoreboard on a 1-yard touchdown run, early in the first quarter 7-0. The Vikings answered back when senior QB/DB Tanner Steele (9) found senior WR/DB John Wolfe (1) for a 34-yard touchdown pass towards the end of the first quarter in order to tie the game 7-7.

Early in the second quarter, South Umpqua regained the lead on a one play offensive drive that resulted in a 45-yard touchdown pass 14-7. With only a few minutes left in the first half, the Vikings found their way to the endzone on a 1-yard rushing touchdown scored by Steele (9). However, South Umpqua was able to drive the ball down the field with under two minutes left in the half to score a late touchdown with only eight seconds left in the first half on a 6-yard touchdown pass. As a result, South Umpqua was able to enter halftime with a 21-14 lead.

In the second half, the two teams continued to fight for their ticket to the state championship. The Vikings were able to find the endzone with 24 seconds left in the third quarter for the only touchdown scored in the second half. Vikings’ Steele (9) was able to find his way into the endzone on a 8-yard touchdown run to tie the game 21-21.

The remainder of the game was a defensive showcase. With the score tied 21-21, the Vikings were fighting for their opportunity to compete in the state championship. However, with 18 seconds left in the game, South Umpqua was able to position themselves in field goal territory. They decided to put the pressure on the kicker, as he prepared to kick a 28-yard field goal. The Lancers’ kicker succeeded in making the 28-yard field goal to take the lead 24-21.

Stat LeadersFor the Vikings, senior RB/DB Nathan Kimball (34) led the team in the rushing category with 98 yards on 18 carries. Close behind Kimball, junior RB/LB Eli Aldred (29) was able to add 84 yards, to the team’s total, on five carries. Additionally, Steele (9) was able to acquire 69 yards on 18 carries for two touchdowns.

Through the air, Steele (9) led the team in passing yards, completing 9 of 11 for 100 yards, along with a touchdown. In the receiving category, Wolfe (1) led the time by gaining 65 yards on 6 receptions, along with a touchdown.

Consequently, the game ended with the final score of 24-21, due to the Vikings having little time to respond to the Lancers’ field goal. Therefore, the Vikings’ football season has concluded.

Throughout the season, the Vikings were able to accumulate an overall record 10-2, a conference record of 3-0, and a postseason record of 2-1.

Load comments