WILLIAMS, Ariz. - It's been over nine quarters since a team has scored against the Williams High School (WHS) varsity football squad - that's more than two full games.
On Sept. 14 the WHS Vikings once again posted a shutout victory with their 61-0 win at home over conference opponent Valley High School from Sanders, Ariz.
The Vikings improved their overall record to 4-0 (2-0 in conference play) and the Valley Pirates dropped their record to 1-3 overall. In fact, in four games this season the Vikings have only had two touchdowns scored against them, that's only 14 points given up all year by an extremely well coached and well disciplined defensive unit.
The stingy Vikings defense not only doesn't give up points, but they help put points up on the board with turnovers. Whether it's returning interceptions or fumble recoveries for touchdowns, or simply getting the ball back for their offense, the defense has impacted every game this season in a monumental way.
"Offense, defense, and special teams, we scored on all three phases of the game," said Jeff Brownlee, WHS head football coach. "Which is very exciting to see because we do spend a lot of time on special teams because you have to break the game down into thirds, and special teams is a big part of the game. It's nice to see our special teams excel like that, and they've been getting better and better as the games come and go."
The Vikings' Adrian Solano started off the score fest by returning the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown. Solano also reached the end zone on two punt returns, 82 and 47 yards respectively, both in the first quarter.
"What's exciting about that for a coach is we're seeing kids actually go out and seek someone to block, instead of just standing around and maybe watching the runner run," Brownlee said. "We're not that type of team this year, we're actually going out and looking for contact. You never know what block might spring a runner for a touchdown or getting a big gain. We've been working hard on special teams and you can see that."
Besides the three Solano special teams scores in the first quarter, the offense was very involved as well. Coty Baxter caught a 40-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jeff Brownlee, with a point after touchdown (PAT) good. Later in the first quarter Baxter had a five-yard rushing touchdown, PAT good. After the first 12 minutes of play, WHS was up 35-0 and well on their way to a resounding victory.
The second quarter saw the defense join in and put some points up on the scoreboard also. Defensive back Aiden Grantham returned an interception 51 yards for a touchdown, PAT good. Brownlee threw his second touchdown pass of the evening to Solano for a scoring play of 49 yards, PAT good. Foreign exchange student Alessandro Fadda got in on the action when he picked off a Valley pass and returned it 26 yards for a touchdown, two-point conversion attempt failed.
With almost all starters pulled for the Vikings, the only score in the second half came in the fourth quarter on a Grantham 33-yard touchdown run, PAT no good.
"Offensively, unfortunately we never really had a chance to do a whole bunch of things. As far as the varsity kids go, we didn't operate more than 12-15 plays due to the fact that our special teams and defense kept scoring," said Brownlee. "It was a great opportunity to get the JV team in there and get them a whole bunch of reps though."
The Vikings need to keep their explosive offense, big play-making special teams, and hard-nosed defense at a high level to keep their winning streak alive and continue this already successful 2012 campaign. The Vikings next regular season game is an away game against Greyhills Academy High School in Tuba City, Ariz. on Friday at 7 p.m.
"I'm just pleased with all the kids," Brownlee said. "Adrian Solano is a threat all over the field, no question. What's nice is we have so many weapons you never know who is going to step up and do well, but special teams and defense just dominated this game from start to finish."