Vikings improve to 2-0 in Foothill League play; Askins records four TDs
Valencia football showed the rest of the Foothill League just how tough it’s going to be to keep the Vikings away from the 2023 league title on Friday.
The Vikings (5-1, 2-0) put on an offensive clinic in the first half against the Castaic Coyotes (4-2, 1-1) at Valencia High School, racking up 262 yards of offense on their way to a 48-14 victory.
Starting in the second quarter, Vikings head coach Larry Muir felt that his team started to play the way that it knows how to.
“I felt like we were a little sloppy to begin the game, I felt like we were a little slow,” Muir said. “And in that second quarter there, I think we picked it up and got it going. And we had like a three- or four-minute spurt there, we really kind of played Viking football. I think we got to fight to be more consistent. As the season goes, we’ve got to be more consistent. So, that’s just the standard. That’s the level that we play at.”
Valencia senior quarterback Jackson Askins was responsible for two of those touchdowns in the first half, tossing one to senior halfback Tony Testa early in the second quarter before finding senior receiver Deandre Kermah less than three minutes later.
Testa added a second score, this one on the ground, midway through the second quarter. He would finish with three touchdowns on the night, adding a 15-yard reception for a score near the end of the third quarter.
“I’ve kind of been a blocker, but it was good to score,” Testa said.
Askins finished the game with just two incompletions on 11 attempts, throwing for an even 200 yards. Muir challenged his squad to ramp up the offense after only scoring once in the first quarter. The Vikings responded with 28 points in the second frame, taking a 35-7 lead into the half.
“It felt slower,” Askins said. “We’re better than this, so we had to put the foot down and pretty much take over the game.”
Valencia senior running back Brian Bonner kicked off the scoring after a long first drive for the Vikings, finishing things off with a 7-yard run. That was the lone touchdown for either team in the opening frame.
Vikings senior Jake Pikor made his presence felt in the first half, recovering a fumble near the end zone and returning it a short distance for a touchdown. He then added some offense to his game in the second half, running for 63 yards on just five carries on one drive. Askins finished things off with a short touchdown run.
“I’m all for it,” Pikor said. “Just give me the ball, stiff arm, give me the ball, single play.”
He didn’t get his second score, but was happy to see Askins reach the end zone.
“My boy got a touchdown,” Pikor said. “That’s OK.”
Castaic got on the board midway through the second quarter on a 9-yard run from quarterback Tyler Lewis. He then made it two touchdowns for himself late in the fourth quarter, finding receiver Logan Mietzner for a 20-yard score.
Those were the only two times that the Coyotes made it into the red zone, and head coach Sirr Guy Shakir liked what he saw from his team when Castaic was able to move the ball down the field. The key now, he said, is to do that consistently.
“I like our fight, without a doubt,” Shakir said. “I like that. I like our effort, our execution needs to improve, especially when you play a team of this caliber, there’s no doubt about that. But, there’s some good things going on.”
As part of Valencia’s First Responders Night, a moment of silence was held prior to the game in memory of slain Palmdale Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer, who was killed while on duty last weekend. Clinkunbroomer was a 2010 West Ranch High School graduate.
This was the first game that Valencia played at its home field after delays to turf renovations.
The Vikings will go on the road to Golden Valley this coming Friday.
The Coyotes will host Canyon on Thursday.