Vikings clinch share of league title

Fans all across Palo Alto hoped the Trojans would fall this weekend to the hometown team, but considering Stanford’s odds of winning Saturday against the USC Trojans, the Palo Alto High School football team’s Friday night 40-7 win over the Milpitas Trojans will have to suffice.

The victory clinched the Vikings (8-1, 5-0 league) at least a share of the De Anza league title and with wins over Los Gatos and Mountain View earlier this year, the Vikings hold the tiebreaker over the other contenders for the league title.

"It means a lot that we have a chance to clinch the outright title at home," senior quarterback Nick Goodspeed said. "We didn’t want to share the title like we did last year."

The Trojans (5-4, 3-3) came in after demolishing Santa Clara 42-7 last week and hoped to avenge last year’s 24-0 defeat at Palo Alto.

After a brutal five game stretch, the Vikings won their last two games without breaking a sweat outscoring Santa Clara and Gunn by a combined 70 points. The Trojans represented the final regular season test for a Viking team on a mission to not only win league, but CCS.

On the field turf of Milpitas, the Vikings faced the most talented player in the league. Senior Brandon Carswell has received a scholarship offer to play wide receiver at college powerhouse USC, though on Milpitas, Carswell starts as quarterback. Carswell essentially is the Trojans’ offense. Carswell averages nearly 300 all-purpose-yards, per game, including over 100 yards each on the ground and through the air. Carswell has scored 12 touchdowns this year and passed for eight more.

"We have to contain him," head coach Earl Hansen said before the game. "We’re going to wait for him to come to us."

Except for one highlight reel run, the Vikings did contain Carswell, holding him to 64 yards on the ground and only one completion.

"We had Evan [Warner] be Carswell in practice to simulate his mobility and quickness," senior lineman Fred Koloto said. "We took that into the game tonight and it worked.

The Vikings first drive ended with a 33-yard field goal by junior Tyger Pederson. After a Trojan punt, the Vikings appeared to have a 13-yard touchdown pass from Goodspeed to junior receiver Mike Scott, but a Paly penalty negated the score. On 4th and 13, senior receiver Maurice Williams took the reverse 14 yards for the first down and on the next play, senior running back Will Frazier punched it in from 4 yards out for the Viking touchdown.

Carswell responded quickly with a dazzling 63-yard scamper eluding just about every Viking defender to score the touchdown. It was the only highpoint for the Trojans all game.

After an exchange of punts, the Vikings suddenly could not hold onto the ball. The Vikings fumbled the punt and then fumbled again on two of the next three plays, but recovered each one. After a beautiful 35-yard pass from Goodspeed to Williams, Frazier found the end zone from 2 yards out.