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Vikings blank Army/Navy 20-0

September 08, 2001|By CHRIS GRANT, Sports Editor

CARLSBAD — The Holtville High School football team opened its season with a 20-0 win over Army/Navy at John Maffucci Field here Saturday.

"I wanted us to be a lot sharper," said Viking coach Jim Sturgeon. "But as the game went on and unfolded I was pleased."

Frank Lopez spearheaded the Holtville attack, amassing 159 yards rushing and scoring one of the Vikings three touchdowns.

"We played good but we can play way better," said Lopez. "The line is finally getting off the ball and everyone played well."

From its first possession it was obvious Holtville had the ability to dominate the Warriors. After taking the opening kickoff, the Vikings embarked on a 67-yard, 14-play drive capped by Lopez's 18-yard touchdown run. The drive took 7:30 off the first-quarter clock and set the tone for what was to come.


What was to come was a solid effort from the Holtville squad. The Vikings limited Army/Navy to 75 yards of total offense and provided their offense with plenty of chances to put points on the board.

The only problem for Holtville was after their first scoring drive, the Vikings struggled to put more points on the board. In fact, Holtville did not score another point until the end of the third quarter.

"We wanted to throw but we couldn't keep them out," Sturgeon said of his sputtering offense. "But we've come a long way from our first scrimmage and now we know what we have to work on."

The Vikings second score capped an 89-yard drive that took up most of the third quarter. The touchdown came via the air as Holtville quarterback Jon Singh connected with Chase Iten on a 33-yard pass. Lopez ran in the two-point conversion to put the Vikings up 14-0.

"At the end of the second quarter we started to speed it up," said Lopez. "After that we started doing better."

Holtville breached the goal line for the final time the next time it touched the ball. After the Viking defense stopped the Warriors only scoring threat of the day by forcing a fumble at the Vikings' 4-yard line, the Holtville offense took over. This time the Vikings marched 96 yards to pay dirt. Singh ended the drive with a 23-yard scamper to put Holtville up 20-0.

Despite a bit of a lackluster performance by his offense, Sturgeon was pleased with the win.

"Any time you win you've got to be happy," he said. "We came down prepared and I'm pleased overall."

As for Lopez, he was just happy to be on the winning side of a 20-0 score.

"It feels good," Lopez added. "It's been a long time since Holtville has won (like this). We're glad to give the crowd some action."

Next up for the Vikings will be a trip to Imperial to take on the Tigers at 7:30 p.m. Friday. For his team to compete with Imperial, Sturgeon thinks some aspects of Holtville's game must improve.

"We've got to get a lot sharper," he said. "We did some different things and they're things we wanted to do, but we've got to get sharp doing them. Maybe having an intense second game will help us get sharp."

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