FOOTBALL: Santa Clara sweeps Vikings

Hollister Vikings junior midget fullback Bryan Noble found it hard to run with three Santa Clara players hanging off of him. Santa Clara shut down all five of Hollister's teams on Sunday. Despite the setback, all of the Vikings teams have qualified for th

Junior pee wees beat Bay Cities 7-0 for fourth straight win
SANTA CLARA

Hollister Pop Warner played its final regular season games this weekend, and all five of the teams playing the Santa Clara Lions went down in defeat. The red-hot junior pee wee Gold team salvaged Hollister’s only win of the weekend when they defeated the Bay Cities Bulldogs on Saturday morning.

A recap of this weekend’s games:

Junior Pee Wee Gold

Hollister Vikings 7, Bay Cities Bulldogs 0

It’s been a long time since any team has scored on the Gold Vikings — five weeks in fact — and Hollister added the Bay Cities Bulldogs to the list with a 7-0 shutout last weekend. The Gold junior pee wees played a perfect October, shutting out four consecutive opponents to finish the season at 4-4.

The defense played an outstanding game for the Vikings. The only time the Bulldogs did threaten, the Viking defense responded with a goal-line stand. Hunter Nye, Tristan Wahl, Cobi Armstrong and David San Miguel all made tackles to keep Bay Cities out of the end zone. Armstrong also recovered a fumble to end another Bulldogs drive. Joey Demaggio dominated the middle of the field, shutting down Bay Cities’ power running game.

When the Vikings went on offense, Andres Soto, San Miguel, Juan Gutierrez, Adrian Alvarez and Darius Parks ran the ball for good yardage all day long. Their efforts helped the defense by limiting the Bulldogs’ time with the ball, but for most of the game they could not punch the ball into the end zone.

Finally, with less than two minutes left, Hollister got the ball at its own 20. San Miguel broke a long run and dashed 80 yards to paydirt for the game’s only score. Soto added the extra point on a run.

The Bulldogs got the ball back, but their pass was intercepted by Ishmael Medina to put an exclamation point on Hollister’s fourth consecutive shutout. The Gold junior pee wees will now face a Division II playoff opponent with a similar record in the first round of the playoffs.

Mighty Mite Gold

Santa Clara Mitey Cats 6, Hollister Vikings 0

In a game between two hot teams, Santa Clara’s defense rose up to deny the Vikings a fifth straight victory as the Mitey Cats defeated Hollister 6-0.

Santa Clara shut down holes that had opened up for the Vikings throughout the last month as they won for games in a row.

Santa Clara got its first big break on the game’s very first play when it recovered the kickoff. The Cats then moved the ball downfield, but Hollister’s defense put up a tremendous goal-line stand as tackles by middle linebacker Jonny Gonzalez stood up the Mitey Cats on their first two plays. When they tried to run outside, Sean Nelson was there to stop them cold, and the Vikings denied Santa Clara the satisfaction of capitalizing on their miscue.

But the Vikings offense was backed up, unable to move the ball against Santa Clara’s defense and were forced a punt. This time, Santa Clara muffed the ball and Aiden Lyon recovered for the Vikings.

After Hollister punted again, the defense continued its aggressive play as Allen Reyes stripped the ball from an unsuspecting Mitey Cat runner, recovering the ball himself.

Santa Clara drove toward the goal line again late in the first half, but once again the Vikings defense came through under pressure. Gonzalez and Nick Trimble made big tackles to stop the Mitey Cats at the goal line, and the half ended scoreless.

Santa Clara finally got on the board midway through the third quarter on a long run up the middle. The Vikings had their opportunities in the fourth quarter but Santa Clara’s defense proved to be as stingy as the Vikings had been lately.

Trimble ran for a first down but the drive was stopped and the Vikings were forced to punt.

Once again, the Mitey Cats did not field the punt cleanly and it was recovered by Eric Green for another Vikings first down.

Gonzales broke a 25-yard run to get deep into Santa Clara territory, but the Mitey Cats defense stopped Hollister to preserve their 6-0 shutout win.

The Hollister Mitey Mites will finish the season against Cambrian Valley in the Mitey Mite Bowl on Saturday. Kick-off is 1 p.m. at the Salinas Sports Complex.

Junior Pee Wee Purple

Santa Clara Thundercats 27, Hollister Vikings 0

The Thundercats proved that their high Division I seed was well earned as they registering their sixth shutout in eight games Saturday in a 27-0 victory over the Hollister Vikings.

Santa Clara finishes the season at 7-1.

Hollister’s defense played well and allowed only one score as Christopher Parga, Tanner Okerson and Alexander Garcia made many tackles to stop Thundercat drives, while Abram Pasillas made a big defensive play on a 10-yard sack.

But Santa Clara scored on a long punt return, and its defense scored twice on fumble returns after stripping the ball from Hollister running backs. The defensive scores turned what might have been a tight game into a rout by the second quarter.

Shraee Harrison and Dimarco Del Curto had long runs late in the game that put Hollister in the red zone, but the Thundercats stopped that drive to preserve their sixth shutout.

The loss dropped the junior pee wees’ final record to 4-3-1, which will likely qualify them for a high Division II seed.

Pee Wee

Santa Clara Panthers 14, Hollister Vikings 0

The Hollister pee wees faced off against the Santa Clara Panthers on Sunday. After a well fought battle on the field, the Vikings lost 14-0.

Early in the first quarter, the Panthers took the lead against Hollister. After Hollister’s brief turn on offense, Esmond Lovato delivered a spectacular punt deep inside Panther territory.

Big stops by Jonathon Mendoza, Philip Castro and Evan Weatherly let them know the Vikings were here to play. With a fumble recovery on the 28-yard line by Tyler Biersdorff, Hollister was in good scoring position. But after Austin Cascio made a carry to the 17-yard line, the Vikings were stopped short of the end zone.

As the second quarter began, the big story became the defense. Hollister shut down the Panther running game as Andrew Huaracha, Dominic Barrios, Castro and Cascio effectively brought the Santa Clara offense to a standstill. At halftime, the score remained 6-0.

When the teams returned to the field, there was much anticipation as it was still anyone’s game. Both teams were disciplined and well prepared for the match-up. The Panthers, however, were to expand their lead on an impressive 70-yard punt return followed by a successful conversion kick for an additional two points.

While down, the Vikings were still not out of the game. As the third quarter wound down, the Viking offense ramped up.

Following a pass completion to Matthew Rabago, Tyler Biersdorff made a series of carries, each time providing the Vikings with first downs. With the end zone in sight, Austin Cascio made a run to the 6-yard line. But the Panthers mounted an inspired goal-line stand to preserve the shutout.

With a 6-2 record, the pee wees have qualified for the Division I playoffs, which will begin next weekend.

Junior Midget

Santa Clara Wildcats 30, Hollister Vikings 0

Santa Clara’s junior midget team wrapped up a 6-2 season with a win over the Vikings.

Hollister held the vaunted Wildcat offense to just one touchdown in the first quarter as they forced two turnovers. Todd Alnas stripped the ball from a Wildcat runner and rumbled 25 yards before being brought down. Christopher Cook thwarted another Santa Clara drive with an interception in the end zone, which he returned 25 yards.

But the Wildcats exploded in the second quarter with four touchdowns to put the game away. The junior midgets have earned one of the last seeds for the Division II playoffs, and will play again this weekend.

Midget

Santa Clara Lions 33, Hollister Vikings 0

The legendary Santa Clara Lions roared into the top seed for the Division I playoffs with a 33-0 whitewash of the Vikings. They only lost once all year.

The Vikings offense was able to complete some long passes as several of Tyler Tobia’s aerials were hauled in by Cody McGrew and John Canes. But the Lions defense prevented them from mounting a sustained drive or putting any points on the board.

The mighty mite Purple Vikings were defeated by Redwood City 22-0 on Saturday morning, and the Hollister tiny mites also scrimmaged against Andrew Hill on Sunday.

The playoffs begin this weekend, and all Hollister teams, with the exception of the tiny mites, will be participating. Mighty mite teams do not compete in the playoffs, but will play an invitational bowl game at the Salinas Sports Complex instead.

The Gold team kicks off at 1 p.m., while the Purple team plays at 3 p.m.

For competitive playoff times and venues, check the Hollister Vikings Web site on Wednesday at:

http://www.eteamz.com/HollisterPopWarner/

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