Happy Homecoming

By Eli Beachy
Pelican football coach

Defensive lineman Justin Jacobson’s touchdown was one for the highlight reels. He’s pictured here as he trots into the end zone.
Jacobson literally swiped the ball from an OTC running back, mid-stride, and dashed 62 yards to give the Vikings another six points.

PHOTOS BY LOUIS HOGLUND

The Vikings had their sights set on getting things back on track to take on the Ottertail Central Bulldogs. 

The goal was to find an identity on both sides of the ball and be great at doing one thing. That one thing for the Viking offense was to never stop moving your feet. The defensive goal was to win the leverage battle. 

Those goals were met and exceeded. 

The players got their swagger back and had a resounding victory over the #5 ranked Class A team from OTC, winning 40-6 on homecoming night.

The Bulldogs were able to move the ball into Viking territory to start the game, putting together a nice drive running the ball. 

With the Vikings backed up, they were able to hunker down and force the Bulldogs to punt the ball away on their first series. After a penalty, muffed snap, and an incomplete pass, the Vikings had to do the same. 

This endzone interception by Carter Johnson was a big play in an evening of big plays for the Pelican Rapids Vikings. Pelican racked up 40 points in typically low-scoring conditions—damp, slippery, and off-and-on rain Sept. 30.

On the ensuing Bulldog possession, they moved the ball into Viking territory again after a couple of first downs. The message was, win the down, win the down, win the down. The Vikings did. Treyvon Benson made a huge play on the first down to force the Bulldogs into long second and third down attempts. 

To close the defensive series for the Vikings, Carter Johnson came up with an interception in the back of the endzone to regain possession of the football. 

From there, the Vikings were able to roll. 

In 5 plays, the Vikings drove the ball 80 yards for the first score of the game. Set up by a huge run from Junior quarterback Timmy Guler, senior running back Carter Johnson carried the ball in for his first touchdown on the night from 7 yards out. Guler capped off the two-point conversion, carrying it in himself to make the score 8-0 at the end of the first quarter.

Second quarter highlight was defenseman Jacobson’s ball heist 

A dash by quarterback Tim Guler set up Pelican’s first score at the Sept. 30 Homecoming game, played in front of a near full-house, despite soggy conditions.

The second quarter was electric. The Bulldogs started with the ball and drove into Viking territory. 

On third down, the Junior defensive lineman, Justin Jacobson, was able to disrupt an attempted reverse and strip away to rumble for a 62-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion was unsuccessful from Peyton Blakeway, making the score 14-0 early in the second quarter. 

On the ensuing Bulldog possession, they were able to drive down the field in 9 plays and cap off the drive with a 7-yard touchdown run. The Vikings were able to come up with a huge stop on the two-point conversion attempt because of great pursuit from sophomore linebacker Jack Kepenga, keeping the game an 8-point difference. When the Vikings got the ball back, the score was 14-6. 

After a nice return from senior wide receiver Blakeway, the Vikings took over on their own 39-yard line. In 3 plays, the Vikings found the endzone on a 50-yard touchdown pass from Guler to Blakeway, making the connection for the 5th time this year. The two-point conversion attempt was no good, making the score 20-6. 

Pelican’s Peyton Blakeway looks downfield for a gain against the OTC Bulldogs.

To end the quarter, the Viking defense came up with a huge stop as the Bulldogs were able to drive down and get a shot at the endzone. 

“This stop by our defense was such a huge factor in the game, holding the game to a two score game heading into half. To allow them not to gain momentum heading into the half was crucial as we were getting the ball in the second half,” noted Coach Beachy.

Despite early penalties, Vikes increase lead 

The second quarter was electric. The Bulldogs started with the ball and drove into Viking territory. 

On third down, the Junior defensive lineman, Justin Jacobson, was able to disrupt an attempted reverse and strip away to rumble for a 62-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion was unsuccessful from Peyton Blakeway, making the score 14-0 early in the second quarter. 

On the ensuing Bulldog possession, they were able to drive down the field in 9 plays and cap off the drive with a 7-yard touchdown run. The Vikings were able to come up with a huge stop on the two-point conversion attempt because of great pursuit from sophomore linebacker Jack Kepenga, keeping the game an 8-point difference. When the Vikings got the ball back, the score was 14-6. 

After a nice return from senior wide receiver Blakeway, the Vikings took over on their own 39-yard line. In 3 plays, the Vikings found the endzone on a 50-yard touchdown pass from Guler to Blakeway, making the connection for the 5th time this year. The two-point conversion attempt was no good, making the score 20-6. 

To end the quarter, the Viking defense came up with a huge stop as the Bulldogs were able to drive down and get a shot at the endzone. 

“This stop by our defense was such a huge factor in the game, holding the game to a two score game heading into half. To allow them not to gain momentum heading into the half was crucial as we were getting the ball in the second half,” noted Coach Blakeway.

A great cap on Homecoming for Vikes

To begin the fourth quarter, the Vikings methodically drove down the field 96 yards to cap off the scoring on the night. Johnson ran the ball in for his second score of the night from 4 yards out. The two-point conversion was finally good as Guler connected with Junior wide receiver Luke Sjolie. This made the score 40-6. 

The rest of the night was about enjoying the performance and getting everyone on the sideline into the game to experience the feel of playing on Homecoming night.

This was the game the Vikings needed and had been preparing for all week.