For the 11th straight year, the Pointers defeated the La Jolla football team to retain possession of the once-proud but now missing trophy known as “The Shoe.”
This year’s game, played Oct. 18 at Gene Edwards Stadium on the Viking campus, saw the Pointers surge to a 31-7 halftime advantage before coasting to game’s end with a 44-24 blowout of the hosts.
The victory ups the Pointers record to 5-3 overall (2-0 in Western League) while the Vikes dropped to 3-4 (0-1).
“They’re a different team now,” said Pointer head coach Mike Hastings about the Vikings. “They spread it out (the offense) and throw the ball 95 percent of the time, so I thought our defense came out and played extremely well.”
The Pointers scored on every possession in the first half, with Jaime Medina’s 47-yard field goal ending their first drive.
Following a Viking punt, Jalen Griffin, running a sweep to the right, broke free for a 55-yard touchdown run with 4:27 still left in the first quarter.
On the first play following the kickoff, Dogs defender DeAndré Benson picked off a Viking pass attempt and returned it 40 yards to the hosts’ 18-yard line.
From here, a Viking sack backed the Pointers up 23 yards, but Griffin again answered the call on a 41-yard run that upped the lead to 17-0 with 3:06 still to play in the opening period.
That’s 17 points in a span of just 8:54 of game time.
The Pointers were plagued during the game by illegal procedure penalties, and on their next possession in the second quarter, after several such miscues, quarterback Gavin Grady lofted a pass down the left sideline and into the arms of Dirk Lacy. The running back’s moves left Viking defenders grasping at air as he scored on the 31-yard play to put his team up 24-0.
The Vikings continued to put the ball in the air and connected on a 51-yard catch and run for their first points.
But the Pointers struck again following a 35-yard pass from quarterback Quinn Bohannon to Drew Rutledge and a long run by Griffin that was capped by Lacy’s 20-yard run up the middle for the score with just under two minutes left in the first half.
Make that 31 points in 22 minutes of play.
The Dogs seemed to ease up in the second half, still adding scores by Rutledge (27-yard pass from Grady) and Bohannon (1-yard run).
Later, Lacy’s interception in the end zone, which he returned for 85 yards to the hosts’ 17, was wasted when the Pointers couldn’t capitalize on the play.
“I thought our kids came out and played their butts off in all three phases of the game,” Hastings said.
The Pointers have been enjoying a bye week as they prepare for their final two regular season games.
The first of those is set for Nov. 1 when Mission Bay’s Buccaneers pay a visit to Pete Ross Stadium for a 3 p.m. kickoff. The Bucs are having their best year in recent memory as they have sailed to a 6-1 record with their only loss to Western League rival Madison.
• Medina’s 47-yard field goal is the longest seen by Pointer fans in some years.
• La Jolla’s turf field was in deplorable condition, with virtually no blades of artificial turf remaining. The Pointer field, showing substantially less wear, was replaced last season as a safety issue.
• The Vikings attempted to run a no-huddle offense with heavy emphasis on the passing game. Any advantage seemed lost, as players had to repeatedly stop to look for signals from the bench. Vike quarterbacks threw 52 passes, completing 26 for three touchdowns and the two interceptions.
• The Pointer junior varsity improved to 6-2 with a 35-7 drubbing of the Vikes, while the freshman team, also 6-2, trounced the Vikes 32-7.