"We played hard but we didn't play well," said Viking coach Jim Sturgeon. "We did some good things but we shot ourselves in the foot a couple times."
Arguably the game's biggest plays came on defense as both teams would not yield to the running game. Holtville's duo had to contend with Vincent linebacker Manuel Padilla (13 solo tackles, 23 overall), while the Scots accumulated only 59 yards on the ground against the Vikings. Six of the game's turnovers came on fumbles as hard hits and dog piles were a common sight.
The passing game, however, was a different story.
"We stopped their run but we couldn't stop their passing," said Sturgeon.
Behind a variety of offensive looks by offensive coordinator Anthony Likos, Vincent Memorial tallied 234 yards through the air and four touchdowns. Scot quarterback Miguel Montaño threw for 193 yards and three touchdowns, including a flea flicker for 64 yards in the second quarter.
Juan Lopez was the recipient of all Montaño's scoring passes and finished the game with 172 yards receiving. Lopez also threw the fourth Vincent touchdown strike on a double-pass play. The toss came in the final quarter and covered 41 yards to Vicente Alaniz.
"We were prepared well for this game," said Lopez, whose brother Juan scored the game's lone rushing touchdown giving the family a hand in every score. "Holtville has an excellent offense and good runners, but we also have an excellent defense and we were able to stop them."
The Vikings (4-4 overall, 0-2 DML) were forced to punt five times in the first half and fumbled the ball twice. Vincent (5-1 overall) took advantage of the seven empty possessions by scoring three times in the first half.
Montaño passed for a touchdown to Juan Lopez on the Scots' first offensive play of the game as Lopez slipped by Holtville defensive back Ricardo Aguilar. The two-point conversion failed, but Vincent would put itself back into position to score again four minutes later.
Alaniz returned a short punt by the Vikings' Lopez some 35 yards to Holtville's 4-yard line. Three plays later Jose Lopez was in the endzone behind a two-yard carry. Montaño followed with the first of his three extra points for a 13-0 lead with just under five minutes to go in the opening period.
Nine possessions by both teams passed before the Scots got the ball back with 43 seconds remaining in the first half. Working from their own 36-yard line, another score looked improbable but Vincent had something up its sleeve.
Montaño handed off to Jose Lopez, who took off to the left side of the field. Instead of completing the run he tossed the pigskin back to Montaño, who found a wide-open Juan Lopez around the Viking 35-yard line. All Juan Lopez had to do was catch the ball and walk into the endzone after that. The score pushed the lead to 19-0 and stuck after a penalty killed what looked like a successful two-point conversion from Montaño to Fernando Goycoolea.
"Our offensive coordinator gives us a lot of options," said Santos. "Anthony does a great job. He pretty much created our entire offense. We have the athletes for it and some good talent."
Added Juan Lopez, "We really worked hard and I just thank my coaches for giving me the opportunity to touch the ball."
The second half awarded the Vikings a couple of chances to turn the game around as the Scots turned the ball over twice and punted once on its first three possessions.
Montaño fumbled for the second time on the first play of the first half, but Holtville gave Vincent the ball right back when quarterback Colby Drye fumbled as well. Montaño was then intercepted in the endzone by the Vikings' Chase Iten on the Scots' next possession, but Holtville was forced to punt.
The squads then exchanged punts before the Scots were back in the endzone again with 16 seconds left in the third period and again it was Montaño to Juan Lopez. The pair's 33-yard strike was down the left sideline and, with Montaño's extra point, made the score 26-0.