There was some good, some bad, and some..well..downright yuck offensively for the Evergreen Vikings Friday night.
There was enough good to go with a more than solid defensive performance, as the Vikes beat an undermanned Delta team on the road 32-0 to even their record at 3-3 on the season.
“We tackled this week,” Viking coach Aaron Schmidt said regarding his defense that was much improved from last week’s 43-22 loss to Swanton.
“That was a major point of emphasis at practice this week, making sure we were bringing our feet with us. Wrapping up instead of just throwing arms. Their kids ran the ball pretty hard, we had a lot of kids step up and play decently tonight. I was real proud of the way they played tonight.”
Offensively the Vikings started out smooth, using the running of Hunter Van Wert (seven carries for 56 yards) to set up Nick Beemer’s circus catch of a Jack Etue aerial from 13 yards out for the first Evergreen score with just over six minutes remaining in the first for a 6-0 lead.
However, that’s when the engine stalled for Evergreen.
A fumble at the Delta 24, a holding penalty that nullified a Van Wert 56 gallop for a score, another fumble inside Delta territory and a miscommunication in the backfield after a dropped touchdown pass in the red zone followed for Evergreen, keeping the score at 6-0 deep into the second quarter.
Finally Evergreen broke through with 27 seconds left in the half when Etue found Free Canales on an 18-yard strike to cap an 80-yard drive to make it 12-0.
The Viking defense held the Panthers to 15 total yards in the first half compared to 240 for Evergreen.
It was more of the same in the second almost immediately as Beemer forced a fumble that David Carroll flopped on at the Delta 45 to put the Vikings in business.
Etue’s 46-yard romp on a read option set up Van Wert’s score from seven yards out and Etue’s pass to Jack Krispin on the conversion made it 20-0.
Evergreen added fourth quarter scores on Etue’s TD pass to Hunter Svoboda from 30 yards out and freshman Trent Coopshaw’s 41-yard sprint to paydirt.
“We moved the ball well, and then we had trouble putting it in the end zone in the first half,” explained Schmidt. “We shot ourselves in the foot over and over. The kids were resilient, they came back in the second half and put together good drives. Our line opened some big holes for us and the big thing for us was going from last week to this week and working on the things we needed to get better at.”
Evergreen ran for 306 yards, led by Van Wert’s 187 in 25 totes.
Etue was 10 for 20 for 107 yards.
Delta was held to just 61 yards for the entire game.
Evergreen (3-3, 1-2 NWOAL) next hosts Patrick Henry (2-4, 1-2). Delta (1-5, 0-3) travels to Bryan (2-4, 1-2).