October 25, 2007 at 8:54 a.m.
Hopkins dominated every aspect of the game. Hopkins ran a very balanced offense, gaining 165 yards on the ground and picking up 172 passing. Meanwhile, the Vikings were held to four yards rushing and 85 yards through the air.
According to Viking head coach Dave Eyre, Hopkins is a tough team with fine athletes. "Their quarterback has an unreal arm and their wideouts are great," the coach commented.
Injuries have made a difficult season more difficult for the Vikings. "We had a lot of starters out," Eyre said, "but it was good to see how well some of the kids who stepped in played. Jacobson (Zack) did a nice job filling in for (Jamie) Cooper." The coach also credited junior lineman Mike Johnson for good play along the line of scrimmage and junior running back Chad Anderson for his contributions out of the backfield.
Unable to gain many yards on the ground, the Vikings went to the air. Senior quarterback Cole Willcoxen completed 10 of 25 passes and threw two interceptions. Junior Sam Kalkbrenner was his favorite target, catching four for 23 yards. Junior Dan Schoess caught two for 11 yards and senior Victor Oyesile had a reception good for 27 yards.
Willcoxen and senior running back Will Huth scored the final quarter touchdowns for the Vikings. One bright spot for the Vikings was how Schoess returned kick-offs. He brought five back for a total of 115 yards, including a long of 38 yards.
On defense, senior Dillon Kost was in on 14 tackles. He had six solo stops and assisted on eight more. Senior Alex Sundly was next, with six tackles (4t, 2a). Aaron Barriger contributed four tackles (2t, 2a).
The Vikings were scheduled to travel to Griffin Stadium in St. Paul to play the Como Park Cougars in the first round of Section 4AAAA playoffs Tuesday, October 23. The undefeated St. Paul school scored 40-or-more points in six of its eight regular season games and defeated opponents by an average of 18 points.
Cougar Quarterback Greg Morse completed almost 60 percent of his passes this season while averaging 239 yards per game. His leading receivers were Josh Jerome (35 receptions, 794 yards, 12 touchdowns) and Saladine Broadway (43 r, 676 y, 9 TD). The Como ground game was led by Byron Poole (251 yards, 3 TD), Allen Gonser (241 y, 8 TD) and Rico Phillips (179y, 4TD).
"Their quarterback is about 6 foot 5 inches with a good arm," Eyre commented before the game. "They have a lot of talent in the skill positions. They are one of the few teams that set up the run with the pass and they have a pretty stout defense. If we can shut down their passing game, we should have a shot."