Vikings record sixth shutout over Longhorns in 4 years
Hollister – Ever since most of the Junior Midget Vikings were competing at the Junior Pee Wee level, one of their key rivals in Peninsula Division II has been their counterparts from Cambrian Valley. From the time that the players were 9-years old, their teams made a habit of shutting down every opponent. And each time they faced each other, there was either a playoff seed or a championship on the line, as well as the foreboding sense that something had to give.
They have met six times in the past three years, including twice in the postseason. As Pee Wees last year, they met in the semifinals, with Hollister prevailing 14-0, and going on to finish as national runner ups. This year, after both coaches (Nick Gonzalez of Cambrian Valley and Larry Murphy for Hollister) moved up to the Junior Midget level with their teams, the contest between the rivals on Saturday was highly-anticipated by both sides. Yet for all the intensity that these games have generated over the years, the results have been remarkably consistent – the Vikings have shut out the Longhorns every single time, beating them by a combined score of 97-0 in the six contests.
Saturday’s game, in which Hollister prevailed 14-0, was possibly the final chapter of this rivalry. And just as all the others before it, this game turned on great defensive plays. Conner Stevens was single-handedly responsible for many of those plays for Hollister on Saturday, as he played like a man on fire, racking up several quarterback sacks and backfield stops. He was joined by Tyler Pina, Ryan DiSalvo and Isaiah Quintana, who pummeled Longhorn runners and passers in the backfield throughout the game.
Unlike previous meetings, many of which remained scoreless well into the fourth quarter, it didn’t take the Vikings nearly as long to get on the scoreboard. Their first drive stalled after some good runs, but the next time Hollister got the ball, Julius Travis broke loose for a 25-yard burst that set the Vikings up deep in Longhorn territory. Travis followed that up with another first-down run, and Mark Neal ran to the opposite side for 16 yards to the Cambrian Valley 3. Then, on the first play of the second quarter, Travis ran for a touchdown, and Tyler Pina’s two-point kick made it 8-0 Vikings.
Justin Raine’s fumble recovery set up another Hollister score as quarterback Tyler Decker took off on a 25-yard run to the Longhorn 15, and then hit Isaac Navarette in the end zone on the next play to give the Vikings a 14-0 lead.
As Cambrian Valley was unable to move the ball on the ground, the Longhorns took to the air in the second half. The Vikings’ defense smothered their passing game completely as Adrian Soto and Travis pilfered passes to end the Longhorns’ first two possessions. Hollister’s defensive line of Stevens, DiSalvo, Quintana and Jonathan Huaracha continued to pressure the quarterback relentlessly, and Soto added one more interception late in the contest.
Junior Pee Wee: Hollister Vikings 27 Cambrian Valley Longhorns 0
The Junior Pee Wee Vikings asserted themselves as one of the league’s best defenses with their third shutout in four games. The ball bounced Hollister’s way early as a muffed punt was recovered by Cody Cameron after the Longhorns had stopped the Vikings. Hollister converted that miscue into a score as Tyler Fhurong hit Cameron for a 25-yard touchdown pass to put the home team up 7-0. The Vikings scored again on their next drive as Mikey Koroluk broke loose for several long runs, finally scoring on a 7-yard scamper. Joshua George ran in the conversion in, making it 14-0. Hollister’s defense put up a brick wall as Cody Freitas, JC Canes, Junior Munguia, Angel Pasillas and Braulio Ornelas stopped many Longhorn ballcarriers for losses. The Vikings put the game away in the third quarter as Fhurong hit Freitas with a 12-yard touchdown pass and Canes ran in the extra point. Moments later, Pasillas returned a recovered fumble 27 yards for Hollister’s final score. The Viking defense refused to let up in the fourth quarter as Munguia recovered yet another Longhorn fumble, and Alex Huaracha intercepted a pass to preserve the shutout.
Pee Wee Cambrian Valley Longhorns 34 Hollister Vikings 6
Cambrian Valley demonstrated why it is one of the top teams in the league this year, making the Vikings their third consecutive victim. Nevertheless, there were a few bright spots for Hollister. The Vikings became the first team this year to score against the Pee Wee Longhorns. It happened late in the game when Austin Wahl hit Dan Buzzetta with a short pass, and Buzzetta proceeded to break eight tackles down the right sideline for a 70-yard touchdown. Several Hollister defenders turned in good performances, including Gio Caro and Damon Perez, who made fourth-down tackles to stop Longhorn drives. Eddie Munoz, Mark Ponte and Rolie Ortiz also made many tackles for Hollister during the game.
Midget Cambrian Valley Longhorns 22 Hollister Vikings 13
The Midgets dropped an exciting contest to the Cambrian Valley Longhorns. After the Longhorns drew first blood, Hollister struck back as Sergio Prado recovered a fumble, and Brandon Pina spearheaded a 70-yard touchdown drive that culminated in his 2-yard scoring run. The Vikings converted as Dillon Albert hit Anthony Cervantes to give the Vikings a 7-6 lead. But that advantage was short lived as Cambrian Valley came back to take the lead just before halftime. Early in the third quarter, Hollister scored again on a long drive sparked by several long runs by Pina and a 25-yard pass from Pina to Ricky Rodriguez. Cervantes scored on a 16-yard run, and Hollister trailed by only one point. But the Longhorns capitalized on a fumble recovery to cement their lead moments later. Rodriguez and Cervantes excelled on defense, making a number of outstanding tackles for the Vikings.
Mighty Mite Hollister Vikings 18 South Valley Grizzlies 0
Hollister’s defense overwhelmed South Valley as Ezzie Lovato, Tommy Ford, Justin Sanders and Buddy Barrientos swarmed to Grizzly ballcarriers on virtually every down. Hollister broke on top in the second quarter when Ford made a 14-yard run to the 3-yard line, and Lovato followed with a scoring plunge. Early in the third quarter, Lovato broke a 52-yard run for Hollister’s second touchdown. In the final period, Kyle Cameron made a 25-yard run, and shortly after that play, Austin Cascio scored on a 22-yard scamper for the third and final touchdown. Daniel Hopkins saved a touchdown by tackling a breakaway Grizzly runner late in the game, preserving Hollister’s shutout.
The Tiny Mites took on Oak Grove on Saturday. Early in the game Matthew Trimble recovered a fumble for Hollister. Other defensive highlights included several tackles by Hector Lopez, and Andres Soto and BJ Quintana both made tackles of breakaway Rugrat runners. Soto and Antonio Caro made strong runs for Hollister.
Hollister teams visit Marina this weekend to take on the Monterey Peninsula Jets. Games begin at 9am.