On Friday (March 12), the Vikings went head-to-head with Santiam Christian’s Eagles at Hans Petersen Field and, while Siuslaw played a dominant first half, it couldn’t hold on to that momentum in the second half — eventually falling to the Eagles, 47-21.
The Vikings started the first quarter with extreme tenacity fueled in part by Camp Lacouture, who stunned Santiam Christian with a 38-yard run. Then, with just under 5 minutes remaining in the first quarter and nabbing an Eagles’ fumble, quarterback Elijah Blankenship managed to explode through the line on a 52-yard touchdown run for the Viks. Skyler Loomis then ran in the 2-point conversion for an 8-0 Siuslaw lead.
With little over than 1 minute left in the quarter, Blankenship found Rhys Fleming on an eight-yard pass to the end zone to put Siuslaw ahead 14-0 to end the first quarter.
Siuslaw also did a great job on defense in the first quarter, with the defensive backs creating two turnovers and successfully blocking any available lanes for the Eagles to land any passes.
It wasn’t until 2 minutes into the second quarter that Santiam Christian scored its first touchdown to pull within 8 points after failing the PAT.
However, less than a minute later, the Vikings answered with a 62-yard touchdown run from Blankenship — with Lacouture kicking the 1-point conversion and a 21-6 Viking lead.
Near the end of the half, the Eagles grabbed a 13-yard reception for a touchdown. After scoring the extra point, Santiam Christian pulled back within 8 points, 21-13 to end the half.
But after playing a relentless first half, the Vikings began losing momentum in the second half.
In the third quarter, the Eagles scored once again to come within 2 points, 19-21.
Holding that narrow lead, the Viks received the ensuing kick, with Braydon Thornton returning the ball 90 yards into the end zone.
However, officials called a penalty, denying the touchdown and forcing Siuslaw further back.
Both Blankenship and Loomis had minor injuries in the third quarter, which also seemed to take some of the wind out of the Vikings’ sails.
Santiam Christian eventually took its first lead of the game, 25-21, with 4:15 left in the third quarter. After a conversion, the Eagles lead by 6.
The Vikings struggled to get the ball out of their end of the field for most of the quarter. Then, with 47 seconds left in the quarter, the Eagles scooped up an interception for a touchdown and moved ahead 33-21 to end the quarter.
Santiam Christian went on to score twice in the final period, ending the game with a 47-21 win over the Vikings.
The Vikings play again this Friday (March 19), on the road at Harrisburg.
Kick-off is at set for 7 p.m., with KCST’s live broadcast beginning at 6:45 p.m. on 106.9 FM.