MIDWEST – The Guernsey Vikings endured an unusual season to say the least, battling injuries, pandemic and Mother Nature. If their last two regular season games are any premonition to the playoffs, this team, tried in the fire has gained some all-important character and strength.
Resting on the arm and legs of sophomore quarterback Brian McCoid and punishing running back Justin Malcom, the team will head to Meeteetsee to play a very good team in the first round of the playoffs in a tough away game.
The last test before the playoffs was against Midwest on a snowy afternoon where the fan caravan home on icy and snow-covered roads took almost as long as the game itself.
The Vikings, playing in icy conditions took command of the game almost immediately with a 33-yard pass play to Brock Hohnholt who had been out for several weeks due to illness. It was a welcomed sight to welcome back the talented receiver who has a natural chemistry with McCoid.
A quick three and out found the football in Viking hands once again, and if the McCoid/Hohnholt was the left jab, the powerful running of Malcom was the right uppercut to the jaw of a football team who was already reeling from the early punches.
The combinations worked so well that Guernsey did it again and Midwest must have thought it was Déjà vu. Again, a touchdown pass from McCoid to Hohnholt and a bruising run by Malcom gave Guernsey a first quarter 25-0 lead.
They never looked back.
By the time the fourth quarter was to begin, Hohnholt had a touchdown run, McCoid had a touchdown run and McCoid threw a touchdown pass to Rawland Isabell. The 45-0 score was good enough to secure the win, but a fourth quarter had to be played and the punch in the head from a heated Midwest player to McCoid was to be avenged.
Midwest finally scored in the last 30 seconds of the game, but it was much too little, much to late and the Vikings skated to a 61-7 victory on the icy field north of Casper, Wyoming, in a blizzard.
Even in the adverse conditions, Guernsey ran up 307 yards of total offense with 114 passing yards and 193 yards on the ground. The defense also stepped up and held Midwest to just over 100 yards total offense, had one interception by Hohnholt and the defense forced two fumbles. What was really impressive was what the defense accomplished was holding Midwest to just three first downs all game.
“It was a very cold and snowy win for us but it’s always good to enter the playoffs on a high note,” varsity coach Curtis Cook said. “We will still be down two players due to quarantine but I have all the confidence in the world in my guys.”
Individually for the Vikings, the team was well balanced with almost everyone back. McCoid was 7-13 for 98 yards and threw four touchdown passes. Malcom carried much of the load on the ground becoming known as the workhorse, carrying 13 times for 129 yards. Hohnholt carried four times for 42 yards and an impressive 10.5 yards per carry average. Hohnholt led the team with three receptions for 58 yards. Malcom led the teams with 5.5 tackles.
The game at Meeteetsee Friday begins at 6:30 p.m., and the winner will go on to play the Kaycee/Little Snake River winner Nov. 7.
The Longhorns are 6-1 while Guernsey comes in with a 4-4 record.
“Meeteetsee is very similar to us in that they run a spread type offense with a mix of run and pass much like us,” Cook said. “I’m hopeful that we will be able to matchup athletically with them even with contributors on quarantine. I keep reminding myself that we weren’t supposed to have a season at all with the state health department set on no fall sports but I think we as a team and school have done an excellent job managing this and a lot of credit goes to Principal Sisson for her leadership and hard work behind the scenes. I’m excited to travel to Meeteetsee next week and compete with a very good Longhorns team.”