SEDONA, Ariz. - The Williams Vikings (8-1) traveled south Oct. 19 and continued their strong push towards the postseason with a solid victory over the Red Rock Scorpions (5-4) 35-7 on the road.
The rushing attack of Williams dominated the game from start to finish as the Vikings tallied 391 yards on the ground. Leading the way was Joaquin Salaz with 10 rushes for 118 yards and a touchdown, in addition to Adrian Solano's seven rushes for 229 yards and three touchdowns.
"They defended the pass pretty well, they seemed to drop an extra man into coverage a lot, only rushing three linemen, so we took advantage of that with our run game," said Williams head football coach Jeff Brownlee. "They have a very nice run game too, they were able to move the ball but were unable to capitalize because our defense played very well. We flew to the ball well, we took away their A gaps, we just played tough football."
The Vikings currently sit in the 11th seed as far as playoff positioning. Brownlee said he figures most of the teams seeded higher than his squad should win their final regular season games, which would leave the Vikings at that 11 seed heading into postseason play. That is of course if Williams can also win their final regular season game, Friday on the road against the Tuba City Warriors.
"If I could give a team ball to our offensive and defensive lines I would. I believe this was their best game of the year," Brownlee said. "This is a great time for them to start peaking too, right at the end of the season and heading into the playoffs."
The scoring began in the first quarter with a 58-yard touchdown run by Solano, with a good two-point conversion on a run by Solano. These were the only points put on the board by either team in the first.
In the second quarter Solano scored on a 70-yard run, and this time the Vikings failed on their two-point conversion attempt. After a Cody Dick interception, Coty Baxter turned the turnover into points with a 16-yard touchdown run, followed by a good two-point conversion on a pass from quarterback Jeff Brownlee to Solano. Red Rock capitalized shortly after on a Vikings turnover, an interception thrown by Brownlee, with a five-yard touchdown run, and a made point after touchdown (PAT). Then just before half Salaz scampered 55 yards for a touchdown, with a good PAT to make the score 29-7 Williams on top at the break.
In the third quarter Solano scored his third touchdown of the day on a 72-yard run, then the Vikings missed their PAT. The rest of the quarter and game went scoreless and Williams prevailed 35-7.
"In high school a lot of games are a must-win, but this game against Tuba City is definitely a must-win because we do not want to drop to a lower seed than 11," said Brownlee. "We can't look past Tuba City at all, we have to prepare for them as if the playoffs start Friday."
The Williams Vikings head to Tuba City on Friday to take on the Warriors (3-6) in their regular season finale at 7 p.m. State playoffs begin Nov. 2.