Coming off back-to-back shutouts to end the regular season,
the Santa Monica Vikings (7-4) defense delivered another stellar performance
Friday night to start the first round of play in the CIF Southern Section
Western Division playoffs.
Facing third seeded Channel Islands (5-6), the Vikings forced
five turnovers, including a 95-yard interception return for a touchdown en
route to a 27-0 blowout victory.
On a night where Samohi’s one dimension offense didn’t
produce much, the defense provided all the energy needed by dominating the
Raiders from the very first possession of the game.
“We pride ourselves on being able to stop people. That’s
what I do, that’s what I teach.” said Samohi head coach Travis Clark. “If you
win the turnover margin and the special teams battle then you’re going to win
From the outset of the game the Vikings defense came ready
to play, forcing a turnover on the first pass play of the game. This would be
the first of three interceptions on the night for Samohi.
With great field position on their first drive the Vikings
were able to turn the interception into three points, kicking a field goal to
put them up 3-0 early in the first quarter.
Samohi scored 17 points off the five turnovers, proving that
this defense can very well carry them deep into the playoffs.
Following the field goal Channel Islands responded with
their only strong drive of the game, converting on two third and long plays
that brought them inside the ten-yard line of the Vikings.
The drive would come
to a screeching halt though when junior outside linebacker Terrance Jackson
made the play of the game by stepping in front of a pass, taking it back to the
house for a touchdown.
This proved to be the dagger of the game, giving the Vikings
a 10-0 lead in the second quarter. After that the Raiders offense stalled drive
after drive, turning the ball over three more times the rest of the way,
including two fumbles.
Samohi took a 13-0 lead into halftime, seemingly in control despite
being up by only two touchdowns.
On the offense side of the ball senior running back Will
Taylor recorded two rushing touchdowns, including a 24-yard dash and scamper to
put the finishing touches over the Raiders. His second touchdown of the game
made it 27-0 in the fourth quarter.
“This was just one game, we need to come out again next week
and continue to work hard if we want to move on,” said Taylor.
The Vikings will now go on the road, as they face a tough
opponent in Lompoc who defeated Cathedral in their first game 38-7.
But this is a match-up that head coach Travis Clark is
looking forward to very much.
“The way they run the ball, it plays right into our hands,”
said Clark. “It’s going to be a tough match-up going up there, but I know my
guys will be ready to play.”
Samohi lost the coin flip for home field, meaning the team
will make the three-hour drive up to Lompoc to face the Braves on Friday,
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