Football Recap: Chryst shines as Vikings dominate Chargers

Jared Schwartz and Neal Biswas

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The Vikings raise their helmets in unison during a huddle after defeating the Wilcox Chargers 38-12. Senior tight end De’Antay Williams led the way with two receiving touchdowns. [Credit: Jared Schwartz]

The Palo Alto High School Vikings football team (4-2-0) blew out the Wilcox Chargers (3-3-0) 38-12 in a crucial league match up Friday night at Wilcox High School.

The Vikings knocked off the Chargers, who were previously tied with Paly for third in SCVAL De Anza League  play.

Star junior quarterback Keller Chryst led the Vikings to victory with a rushing touchdown and three passing touchdowns, including a pair to senior tight end De’Antay Williams in the third quarter. Senior running back Justin Gates-Mouton added an electrifying touchdown run three minutes later to put the game out of reach.

Wilcox managed to strike first in the first quarter with a 12-yard rushing touchdown by junior running back Delshawn Mitchell. The Vikings’ defense responded by smothering the run-oriented Wilcox offense for the remainder of the game.

Meanwhile, the Paly offense sputtered on its first couple of drives. After receiving the opening kickoff, the Vikings ended with a quick three and out. On their next possession, kicker James Foug’s 30-yard field goal attempt sailed wide right.

“We need to start off faster and hit harder,” Williams said after the game. “We have to be quick and explosive.”

The offense began to find its rhythm late in the second quarter. Junior quarterback Keller Chryst finished off a methodical drive with a 1-yard quarterback sneak. A successful 29-yard field goal by Foug gave the Vikings a 10-6 lead going into the half.

The Vikings came out firing on all cylinders in the second half. Chyrst connected with Williams on a 9-yard pass in the corner of the end zone. On the ensuing possession, a long run by senior running back Matt Tolbert set up a second 5-yard touchdown pass to Williams.

Soon after, Justin Gates-Mouton dazzled the crowd with a scintillating 51-yard rushing touchdown. Taking the handoff from Chryst, Gates-Mouton ran to the left, shaking off multiple defenders. He then cut back across the field, eluding several more defenders before diving into the end zone and extending the Viking lead to 31-6.

The Chargers managed to find some life in the fourth quarter with an 11-yard rushing touchdown by senior running back Roland Luke.

But the Vikings swiftly crushed any hopes for a comeback. Later in the fourth quarter, junior wide receiver Malcolm Davis secured an 18-yard pass from Chryst in the corner of the end zone as the Vikings delivered the final blow. The Vikings forced yet another punt by the Chargers and ran out the clock to complete the 38-12 victory.

Head coach Earl Hansen was pleased with the victory, but emphasized the significance of next week’s match up against league rivals Los Gatos High School.

“We stepped forward quite a bit this week. We played a quality team.” Hansen said. “Next week we have to step up even more. That team [Los Gatos] beat this team [Wilcox].”

The Vikings play host to the De Anza division leading Los Gatos Wildcats (4-2) at 7:30 p.m. next Friday at the Paly football field.

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