The crowd at Gardendale High School was not prepared for the offensive firepower that it was going to see Friday night.
In a game that provided 97 total point, with 14 coming in the first minute of play, The Vikes just could not score enough points or get enough stops to outplay the Gardendale Rockets in a big region game tonight.
On three consecutive runs, with the third being the longest, the Gardendale offense struck first on the scoreboard with a long touchdown run. Ken Holiday promptly takes back the ensuing kickoff 90 yards to even the game up at 7 with about 11:00 to go in the first quarter. Those scores would not stop the frantic pace. The Rockets went back down the field in less than a minute on a 15 yard Lancaster touchdown. The Viking Offense answered 45 seconds later on a lumbering 70 yard Kaden Shelton touchdown run.
Back to back turnovers, a fumble by the Vikes, and a Gardendale pick in the red zone ended the scoring in the 1st quarter. With 9:05 in the 2nd Gardendale’s Hood scores on a 70 yard touchdown run. He was followed at just about the five minute mark by a 13 yard touchdown run that extended their lead to 28-14. Jasper answered on a beautiful double move Ethan Walker to Cole Bonner 23 yard touchdown pass that got the Vikes to within seven. After a big kickoff return, Gardendale goes up top for a 35 yard touchdown pass to send the Rockets to the half leading 35-21.
After the half, the Viking offense struck first on a 33 yard Ken Holiday zone left touchdown run, his second of the night, pulled us back to within seven at 35-28, but that was as close as we would ever get with 10:38 left in the 3rd quarter.
Gardendale’s Bankhead, who is a flat out speedster scores on a 10 yard jet sweep, followed by a wide open wheel route down the left side for a 35 yard touchdown made it 49-28 with 3:48 left in the 3rd quarter. After a fumble on the kickoff, Gardendale takes a connecting shot down the field, on the sudden change of possession for a score, and follows that with a short catch and 51 yard run to make score 63-28 with 2:00 left in the 3rd quarter.
Kaden Shelton capped off a really good night for our running backs with a 1 yard score. The missed extra point made it 63-34, which would stand as the final tonight in Gardendale.
In a game that saw many good things, the Vikes just could not outscore our own mistakes. Credit Gardendale for hitting on several home run plays that changed to complexion of the game.
Make plans to join us next Friday from Kiro-Gambrell Field as the Vikings welcome home alumni and community members to see the crowning of our homecoming queen. The Vikes play host to another tough region opponent, Carver-Birmingham. The game will start next Friday at 7:00, and don’t forget to take part in the Vike 4 Life 5 K & Fun run next Thursday afternoon at 6:00. Registration begins at 5:00, and you can find reservation packets in the main office at the new high school.
The parade will start at 1:00.