On Friday (March 26), Siuslaw’s football team hosted Sisters at home for the Vikings’ fourth game of the season. It was an action-packed match-up against a long-time rival and the Viks proved unstoppable — defeating the Outlaws handily, 36-19.
Coach Sam Johnson explained that Siuslaw’s goal for this game was not to try anything fancy, “but instead just trust that we can run the ball and execute between the tackles.”
Johnson knew they would be well-matched on offense, strategically speaking,” he said. “We take a great deal of pride in running a triple option offense, so when we see a team who runs a triple option offense as well, it becomes a very meaningful game.
“Whoever is able to execute the triple option better will win, and our kids ran it really well Friday night.”
After winning the coin toss and opting to receive, the Vikings’ Braydon Thornton caught the kickoff at the 10-yard line, running it 20 yards for the first play of the game and landing Siuslaw at the 30-yard line. Following a recovered fumble and an incomplete pass, Siuslaw wasn’t able to get another first down on the drive and turned the ball over on downs to Sisters.
But the Vikings held the Outlaws for four downs — then received a penalty for an illegal tackle, giving the Outlaws another first down. Although Sisters lost yards on a false start penalty, they were able to push the ball far enough up the field to attempt a field goal kick on their fourth down with 7:22 left in the first quarter.
The kick was good and the Outlaws brought moved ahead 3-0.
But it would be the only time Sisters would enjoy a lead over Siuslaw.
Following the field goal, Camp Lacouture caught the Outlaws’ second kickoff of the game for a 42-yard return.
Lacouture followed this play with another 14-yard run for Siuslaw. After three downs, Thornton caught a pass from Elijah Blankenship for a 17-yard run — securing another first down for the Vikings with 5:36 left in the quarter.
Skyler Loomis then picked up two short carries, then a third, bringing the Vikings to first-and-10 on the Outlaws’ 14-yard line.
On the second down, the Vikings received an illegal procedure call, pushing them back five yards. But on the next play, Blankenship nailed a pass to Lacouture in the end zone, giving the Vikings their first touchdown.
After an offsides call against Sisters during the conversion play, the ball was moved even closer to the goal line for Siuslaw, and the Vikings scored the conversion, bringing the score to 8-3 with 3:17 left in the first quarter.
After the kickoff, the Outlaws couldn’t break Siuslaw’s defense, turning the ball over on downs at the Vikings’ 36-yard line with just over a minute left in the quarter.
Loomis then carried the ball for 11 yards for another first down. The Outlaws received another offsides call, bringing the Vikings to the 20-yard line for first-and-five. Thornton rushed the ball another nine yards for another Siuslaw first down.
To start the second quarter, the Vikings received a penalty that put them at second-and-21.
Blankenship was able to carry the ball 11 yards to the 10-yard line. Shortly after, Loomis caught a pass to run up the middle, breaching the end zone just 11 seconds into the quarter.
Following another offsides call against Sisters on the conversion,
Blankenship carried the ball to nab the conversion, putting Siuslaw ahead 16-3.
On their ensuing possession, the Outlaws held the ball for more than five minutes before eventually turning the ball over on downs with 6:11 remaining in the half.
Some clutch carries by Lacouture and Blankenship allowed Siuslaw to push the ball up the field.
With 16 seconds left in the half, the Vikings called a time out and, immediately after returning to the field, Thornton caught a pass from Blankenship for a TD. This was followed by a successful conversion from Lacouture — and a 24-3 Viking lead entering the half.
Coming back from the break, Sisters maintained possession of the ball for the majority of the third quarter, finally calling a time with 5:21 left in the period. The Outlaws came back to score their first touchdown as well as the conversion, bringing the score to 24-11.
On the Vikings’ next possession, Blankenship scored on a keeper up the middle and, following a failed conversion, Siuslaw moved ahead 30-11 with 2:22 left in the third.
The Viks held the Outlaws on their next possession, ending the third quarter still ahead by 19 points.
In the fourth quarter, on Sisters’ possession, the officials called several questionable penalties against the Vikings, which allowed the Outlaws to slowly push the ball up the field. With 8:27 left in the game, the Outlaws were able to score a touchdown and conversion, cutting Siuslaw’s lead to 11.
The Vikings then held possession for the five minutes, with Loomis finally trucking through the middle of the Outlaw defense for a touchdown with 3:26 remaining — and a 36-19 Vikings advantage.
Sisters was unable to answer on its next possession. Siuslaw took over with less than two minutes remaining, holding the line and running the clock out for the win.
The win over Sisters puts the Viks at 2-2 overall as they head into their final game this Friday (April 2), at home against Junction City.
Johnson said he is looking forward to the match-up and his team is ready to dig into this last game.
“Going into this last regular season game against Junction City, we want to make sure we are able to execute our offensive and defensive game plans better than we have all year,” Johnson said. “We are playing a very talented and deep team who has already proven they can win.
“Our kids will lay it all on the line this Friday night and let the chips fall where they may.”
Kick-off for Friday’s game is set for 7 p.m., with KCST Radio’s live broadcast beginning at 6:45 p.m. on 106.9 FM.