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Vikings come from behind, edge Mesa Verde

By: Tom Kellar, Special to The Press-Tribune
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The Oakmont Vikings went into the locker room at the half against Mesa Verde, down 12-0. The Vikings had not scored a point in six quarters, including last week’s shutout at the hands of Pitman High in Turlock. Ironically it was the Oakmont defense, which seemed to inspire the team to finally get on track offensively, when an Oakmont goal line stand in the third quarter precipitated a 15-play, 99-yard drive for the Vikings, punctuated by an 18-yard touchdown run from Randy Purdy for the win. Oakmont held on to top the Mavericks 13-12. The first half had been all Mesa Verde, with the Mavericks hammering Oakmont on the ground, while piling up over 200 first-half rushing yards. The Mesa Verde backfield tandem of Sir Johnson and Brandon Dobson made life miserable for the Vikings early on, especially Dobson, who had two long runs, one for 67 yards, the other a touchdown gallop of 49. Johnson scored the Mavericks first touchdown in the first quarter on a 19-yard sweep around the left end. Oakmont finally got untracked in the third quarter thanks to a 30-yard touchdown hookup from quarterback Alex Ford to Fred Mobley. Mesa Verde threatened to put the game away late in the third quarter before Oakmont’s defensive heroics, holding the Mavericks out of the end zone after four times from inside the Oakmont three-yard line. Oakmont coach Dale Mortensen was proud of his team’s effort. “The goal-line stand started on the one-foot line and it’s things like that which can get your team fired up,” Mortensen said. “When they (Mesa Verde) were down there and couldn’t get in it really helped our cause.” Oakmont exhibited a strong running game of its own in the second half thanks primarily to the inside running of Braden Avery and Matt Higgins. Avery ended the game running for 44 yards on nine carries, while Higgins carried 12 times for 61. Purdy had a strong showing as well, accounting for 70 yards on 10 rushes and he also caught four Ford passes for 20 yards. Ford ended the night completing 8-of-18 tosses for 83 yards, with one touchdown and no interceptions.