HOLTVILLEÂ – The Holtville Vikings Varsity football squad hosted Salvatierra Prep of Mexicali Friday and earned a win as the Vikings introduced both a new head coach and leaned on a new batch of athletes following the departure of over a dozen starters from last yearâ€™s team.
The excitement and tradition of Holtville football permeated the stands and the team picked up momentum as the game moved along Friday night. Long weeks of practice and preparation came together and the team looked strong and convincing, but not without Salvatierra Prep leaving its mark.
This yearâ€™s Vikings are led by alumnus Jason Turner, the former Vikings quarterback who led them to success during his tenure of wearing the green and yellow. Coach Turner was flanked on both sides by seniors Andy Pasqual and Jacob Leyva they played running back and line backer, leaving their own impression in the first game Friday.
The Vikings opened their first possession of the game driving the ball down the field in six plays, ending with Leyva punching into the end zone with a 21-yard touchdown that gave them the first score of the game with a successful extra point attempt.
Halfway into the first quarter, the Vikings made the contest 7-0, but opening game jitters had coaches trying to lock their squads against the challenges of a live opponent that led to a stalemate. Missteps and broken plays took over the game, leading to missed opportunities and frustration on both sides of the field, and the score board still showed 7-0 for Holtville going into halftime.
The Vikings jumped into their opening drive in the second half looking like the earlier squad that had opened the game. Driving the ball 80 yards, it was capped off by a 36-yard touchdown from Leyva giving the Vikings a 14-0 lead over Salvatierra Prep.
The Vikingsâ€™ Pasqual reached up into the late August night sky and plucked an interception from Salvatierra Prep in the ensuing drive following the touchdown. This left Salvatierra Prep needing to shift its approach. They began the contest with a balanced pass and run approach, but began falling behind as Holtville picked up momentum.
The intersection led to another Leyva touchdown as he broke a 14-yard scramble into the end zone, giving the Vikings a 21-0 lead.
Pasqual closed the third quarter running over Salvatierra Prep on the way to another touchdown, putting Holtville up 28-0 at the end of the quarter. Pasqual could not be contained as he visited the end zone just one more time, limited only by time restrictions in the game, leaving Holtville with a total of 35 points.
Mexicali Prepâ€™s quarterback, Alex Mendivil, finally found his offense in the fourth quarter through the air on two solid drives leading to two touchdowns, leaving the score at 35-13 after Mexicali missed a point-after attempt.
In comments after the game, the Vikings’ Coach Turner said, â€œTonight we were very vanilla, very basic.â€
â€œWe want to be good at something and not average at a lot of things, so we look forward to Palo Verde next week, opening up and spreading our wings a little more,â€ Turner said.