Preview: Vikings’ look to gain momentum against Oak Grove

     

    Senior wide receiver Eli Givens awaits the snap as quarterback Justin Hull checks at the line of scrimmage in a game against San Benito. Hull and Givens, along with lineman Mikey Grandy and linebacker/fullback Tak Nishi, are this year's team captains. Photo by Ethan Kao.

    Senior wide receiver Eli Givens awaits the snap as quarterback Justin Hull checks at the line of scrimmage in a game against San Benito. Hull and Givens, along with lineman Mikey Grandy and linebacker/fullback Tak Nishi, are this year’s team captains. Photo by Ethan Kao.

    The Palo Alto High School football team (1-2, 0-0) is looking to move past last week’s 52-28 loss to the Archbishop Mitty Monarchs (3-0, 0-0) and secure a victory at home over the winless Oak Grove Eagles (0-2, 0-0). The game will kick off at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 25.

    Last Friday, the Vikings were able to keep up with the Monarchs for nearly three quarters, tying the game at 28 apiece on a connection between senior quarterback Justin Hull and senior wide receiver Riley Schoeben midway through the third quarter. The Monarchs, who came into the game ranked 54th in California, according to MaxPreps.com, closed the game with 24 unanswered points, slamming the door on any hopes of an upset by the Vikings.

    Senior captain and wide receiver Eli Givens is optimistic that the return of a number of injured players this week will provide a boost on the defensive side.

    “We just need our injured players that didn’t play last week to step up and help us out on defense,” Givens said.

    The Eagles, led by junior quarterback Tyler McGovern and senior running back Rasaan Fontenette, had a bye week this past week after being shut out by Valley Christian High School (3-0, 0-0) 24-0 on Sept. 11. Despite noticeable offensive struggles from the team, Fontenette has averaged 182 rushing yards per game through two games this season, according to MaxPreps.com.

    Givens stressed that executing on both sides of the ball will be key for the Vikings.

    “I think we will be able to pass and get some good run plays against Oak Grove and if our defense plays to its full potential then we will take care of them,” Givens said.

    The matchup will be the final game of the Vikings’ non-conference schedule, as the team will begin De Anza League play a week later on Oct. 2 against Saratoga High School (1-2, 0-0). Saratoga eliminated the Vikings from Central Coast Section playoff contention on the final day of the regular season last November.

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