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8/28/2012 11:20:00 AM
Vikes toss Needles aside in season opening win
WHS football starts season with an impressive 53-7 victory at NAU's Skydome
A Vikings defensive player lassos a Mustang behind the line of scrimmage. Ryan Williams/WGCN
A Vikings defensive player lassos a Mustang behind the line of scrimmage. Ryan Williams/WGCN
Tyler Walker (#5) gets behind the Needles defense to make an over-the-shoulder catch. Ryan Williams/WGCN
Tyler Walker (#5) gets behind the Needles defense to make an over-the-shoulder catch. Ryan Williams/WGCN

David Yankus
Reporter


FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The Williams High School (WHS) football team started its season in Flagstaff at Northern Arizona University's Skydome on Saturday with a resounding win over Needles (CA) High School 53-7. The WHS Vikings outplayed Needles from start to finish in their non-conference season opener.

Head Coach Jeff Brownlee said how pleased he was with the progress his team has already made since their scrimmage just one week prior. He added how nice it was to watch the kids come out and play so well their first week.

"We dominated from start to finish and it all started up front with our offensive line, they played a great game," said Brownlee. "The specialty players also did well with running and receiving the ball, and our quarterback made some good passes."

Brownlee said his team won the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and were much quicker than Needles as a unit overall, which helped tremendously in the win. The coach also mentioned he and his staff were happy to see the team start off the season on the right foot.

"Our offense came out great, we ran the ball smooth and our blocking scheme went very well. So I was very excited because we can just keep growing on that," Brownlee said. "Our first string defense didn't allow anything, we dominated the line of scrimmage and got a couple fumbles, actually Kohl Nixon took one in and scored for us. I was very proud of our defense, the kids played team ball, they swarm tackled, and just played real heads up football for us."

Perhaps the only negative was in the second half when two players were ejected from the game, one from Needles and one from WHS. The Needles player was ejected early in the third quarter when he late hit WHS player Aiden Grantham after Grantham scored a rushing touchdown. Then in the fourth quarter a shoving match ensued between the two teams resulting in the ejection of WHS middle linebacker Jorge Martinez.

"There were a lot of hits after the play by Needles. Actually when Aiden Grantham ran in and scored a touchdown which made it 53-0, Aiden was tackled way late in the end zone and that guy was ejected," Brownlee said. "Well, I'm not blaming anybody, obviously my kids need to be disciplined, but there was a lot of second shots and late shots that shouldn't have happened, because of Needles' frustration."

Brownlee spoke about how his team now needs to learn how to not get frustrated themselves and walk away from these kinds of situations. Even though it was only a "pushing match," as Brownlee described it, he said it's still not right for his kids to get involved in that and they need to be more disciplined and learn to turn away.

"Emotions can get high in a football game," said Brownlee, adding that it is something Martinez does feel very badly about being involved in.

The ejection will however result in Martinez being suspended for one game. He will be unable to play in their next game, an away game against Chino Valley.

The Vikings scored 27 points in the first quarter against Needles. Quarterback Jeff Brownlee completed a 58-yard touchdown pass to Adrian Solano to score first, missed point after touchdown (PAT). Then Solano scored again on a 22-yard touchdown run, with Brownlee passing to Coty Baxter for the two-point conversion. Next scoring play was Brownlee completing a 69-yard touchdown pass to Oscar Nunez, PAT good. Final scoring play of the quarter was Baxter with a 5-yard touchdown run, missed PAT.

The second quarter saw the Vikings put up 19 more points. Baxter with a 20-yard touchdown run, missed PAT. Nixon scored on a 20-yard fumble recovery, missed PAT. Followed by Solano scoring on a 95-yard touchdown run, PAT good.

Coach Brownlee started the junior varsity players in the second half with the Vikings up 46-0 at the break. Early in the third quarter Grantham ran 55 yards for a rushing touchdown, PAT good.

Needles was finally able to put points on the board in the fourth quarter, with WHS being held scoreless. Needles scored one touchdown with a good PAT. Williams gets the decisive victory with a final score of 53-7.


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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Article comment by: what again?

Another ejection of a Williams player? Come on this is getting ridiculous. The Coach is quick to blame the other team again. Whats the deal?

Posted: Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Article comment by: margaret Love

It gives me such pleasure to be able to pull The Williams News up on my face book and read about the Williams Vikings and my Grandson Coty Baxter and the football team. Just wanted you to know that theres a Grand-Mother in Pinehurst North Carolonia and am very proud of them. Sincerely yours, Mrs. Margaret Love



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