By Jennifer Trend, Staff Writer
With a winning streak of 4-1 under their belt, Baron varsity football added another win to their season after they defeated the Marina Vikings 35-21 in the first league game Friday.
Penalties hindered the Barons early in the game and their defense was sloppy as they failed to complete tackles against the Vikings as they advanced.
“Whenever we do something good, we do something bad. It’s the Barons beating the Barons…We just can’t overcome ourselves. But if we ever stop shooting ourselves in the foot, we could actually be a good football team. While they are in great shape and they worked real hard, it doesn’t mean that they have football IQ,” said Head Coach Jimmy Nolan.
In the start of the first quarter, senior Nick Welch attempted several passes but they did not connect due to the Vikings’ strong defense. However, the Barons slowly advanced and a handoff from Welch to senior Benn Vallier led to the game’s first score, but they missed they extra point. While on defense, the Barons were quick to tackle Marina for a few plays but soon lost their edge and allowed them to slowly advance. Back on offense, Welch passed to Vallier who confused the Vikings and advanced 43 yards to the 4-yard line, dragging a Viking defender along with him. A few plays later Welch ran in another touchdown and this time the Barons converted the extra point to increase their lead to 13-0.
With the Vikings on the offense at the start of the second quarter and the Barons struggling to finish their tackles, the Vikings advanced and scored a running touchdown and converted two points decreasing the Barons’ lead to 13-8. Welch threw an interception early in the Barons’ offensive drive which led to another Vikings touchdown to overtake the Barons 13-14.
With possession of the ball, Welch passed 30 yards to junior Brandon Krause at the 5-yard line but the Vikings intercepted and crossed the field into the end zone for a pick-six to extend their lead 13-21.
The Vikings began the third quarter on the offense, but unable to secure a down was forced a three-and-out, and the Barons went on the offense. Welch kept the ball and advanced 33 yards to the 17-yard line, but due to a penalty, the Barons lost 15 yards and started the next play at the 32-yard line. A few plays later, Welch passed to Krause, who advanced 45 yards to the 3-yard line. Welch attempted to throw in a touchdown, but Vikings intercepted him for the third time. The Vikings slipped through the Barons’ defense but were unable to score. Later, Welch passed to Vallier who ran in a touchdown but due to a penalty in play, did not count which ended the quarter at 13-21.
The Barons started the fourth quarter on offense and Welch passed to Kishaun Sykes, who advanced 34 yards to the 5-yard line. Welch ran in a touchdown and the Barons successfully converted for two points and the score tied 21-21. The Barons were still unable to tackle and stop the offense from gaining yards but soon regained possession of the ball. After small advancements from the Barons, Welch passed to Krause, who ran in a touchdown and Barons converted for one point and retook the lead 28-21.
On the Barons next possession, Welch passed to Vallier who ran in a touchdown and converted one point to further their lead 35-21. The Barons prevented any scoring from the Vikings when they intercepted a throwing touchdown and took a knee when they were back on offense.
“I’m really happy that we won the game, but I’m also very upset with the way that we hurt ourselves all night. If we would just clean up all of our stupid mistakes, we could actually get a couple relevant victories ahead,” said Nolan.
The game ended with a final score of Barons 35, Vikings 21 and the Barons now 5-1 on the season.
The next varsity game is the homecoming game against the Huntington Beach Oilers at Huntington Beach High School, on Friday, October 13.
“I always tell these guys that it’s not about what we did, it’s about what we’re doing today, and what we’re gonna do. For example, I don’t care that we just won. I’m happy we did, but now we’re thinking about Huntington Beach,” said Nolan.