GRASS VALLEY‒ The Oakmont Vikings are proving that they are no easy out in the Foothill Valley League.
At one point in Friday’s FVL game at Nevada Union, the Vikings led 23-0 and finished with a 29-20 victory over the Miners to move to 4-3 overall this season.
While Oakmont has done it with defense all season, the Vikings produced offensive touchdowns on their first three drives of the game, including a 67-yard hookup between Joseph Mintmier and Louie Rastelli on the first play of the game.
It was the first touchdown reception by anyone on the Vikings with the exception of Mintmier ‒ the team’s quarterback ‒ who reeled in a scoring grab on a trick play in the opening-week victory over El Camino.
Jordan Green and Seth Miller followed with touchdown runs to help Oakmont hold off a mounting Nevada Union comeback and claim its first FVL victory.
“We stayed strong in the fourth quarter and ran the clock as much as we could,” said Oakmont head coach Tim Moore. “I told them we’ve got to grind through it.”
Mintmier added three field goals from 37, 44 and 27 yards to round out the scoring for Oakmont.
“We call him the swiss army knife,” said Moore of Mintmier, who also plays in the defensive secondary for the Vikings. “We’ve been trying to limit his defensive plays, just getting him in on passing downs. I think it’s really helped his quarterbacking. He’s been a good soldier.”
Another soldier on the defensive end for Oakmont has been sophomore linebacker Sean Myles, who Moore said is “slowly becoming our most valuable player.”
“We want to say we have a good (defensive) scheme, but we just really have good players,” said Moore, speaking of Myles in particular. “He’s our guy. He makes all of our strength calls. He understands coverage. Up until the ball is snapped, he’s always pointing things out.”
Oakmont has achieved the four-win minimum to be postseason eligible. But the Vikings have bigger goals in mind.
“We’ve been a five-win team the last two seasons,” Moore said. “We trying to reach our goal of No. 6. We lost a couple tough games to Roseville and Casa Roble. If we win those two games, we’re in the Top 20.
“It could come down to a win in Week 10 to go on.”
Oakmont plays host to undefeated Placer this Friday and rounds out the season at Rio Linda Oct. 19 and at home against Ponderosa Oct. 26.