VALDOSTA –– The Lowndes Vikings opened the 2019 season with a statement win.
Nine different Vikings scored in the 69-6 home opening victory over Charles Drew.
A 98-yard touchdown run in the first quarter was the only difference in a complete shutout for the Vikings.
With the Titans backed into their own end zone on fourth and long they called a fake punt.
Tashawn Noah took the direct snap from end zone to end zone for Drew’s lone touchdown of the night.
The Vikings blocked the extra point which gave Drew a six point lead early in the game.
That lead didn’t last long for the Titans.
Lowndes scored on each of their 10 ensuing drives while holding Drew scoreless for the rest of the game.
The Vikings scored four touchdowns in the first quarter, four touchdowns in the second quarter, one in the third and one in the fourth in the win.
Sophomore quarterback Jacurri Brown was the lead player on offense for the Vikings. He was 4-4 with 92 yards and two touchdowns passes through the air and rushed for 59 yards on three attempts with a touchdown on the ground.
In the second quarter sophomore quarterback Tristin Bohler took over and put together a strong passing drive for the Vikings.
After a few handoffs, he made a sideline pass to Ghetti Brown which set up a 24-yard pass to Cornelius Wright for a touchdown.
Bohler finished the night with 77 yards on five completions and a touchdown pass.
The Vikings dual quarterbacks combined for 169 yards and three touchdowns through the air and 72 yards and a touchdown from the ground.
It’s a situation that breathes fresh life to the team when needed.
“It’s really reassuring,” Jacurri Brown said after the game. “It’s a team thing, it’s not just about me. Say if I go down, if Tristin comes in we have two quarterbacks that can really lead this offense. Most schools don’t got that and we’ve got that. That’s really good. That’s really special.”
Even with the strong offensive showing, the Viking defense left their own imprint on the game.
Thomas Davis led the way with 3.5 tackles and menaced the Titan’s offensive line by breaking into the backfield to disrupt plays.
Shawn Martin had an interception and a return that gave the Viking’s offense good field position. Tiberius Drocea, Leon Williams, Cade Powell, Devonn Lane, Caleb Roberts, DeAunte and Jacques Hunter combined for 15 total tackles.
And for the second consecutive week the Vikings didn’t give up a point on defense.
“They played really good, better than last week,” head coach Randy McPherson said on the team’s defense. “They played hard. We’ve just got to continue to improve each week. That defense is basically the same kids that played all year last year so they’re all in.”
With the difference in score, a lot of first and second string players didn’t see action throughout the contest. Despite not using their big name players the Vikings still were able to roll the Titans.
That’s the trust that the team has built through the summer and it was on display Friday night.
“To know that you’re not needed to be in the game and there’s another person behind you that’ll do the same thing you’ll do when you’re in is amazing,” senior Gary Osby said. “It just shows that you’re not the only one on the team and everybody has something to bring to the table … this just shows us where we’re at in the season. It tells us that we’re good but we still have somewhere to go. The score was pretty bad but we still have some work to do as it is.”
A 63 point victory to open the regular season is a strong start.
Drew isn’t the caliber opponent that looms deeper in the schedule but the win can still boost the confidence of the Vikings.
“It’s a win,” defensive coordinator Byron Slack said. “I’ve been involved with some teams and some programs where I’ve had an 0-11 in my career. So I appreciate all of them, regardless of who the competition is I really do. With that being said we’ve got a crew coming to town and I think they’ve got three top-100 guys. So I hope our confidence is high coming into next week because we’re sure going to need it.”
The Vikings face Champagnat Christian of Florida next Friday at Martin Stadium at 8 p.m.