Photo by Wendy Howell.
WILLIAMS, Ariz – With the 72-22 win Oct. 14 over El Capitan, the Williams Vikings secured the 1A North region title and head to the Arizona 1A State playoffs.
The Vikings took control early in the game and never lost the lead during the last regular game of the season.
Vikings running back Tyler Smith took the ball in for a 48-yard run early in the first quarter to get the Vikes on the scoreboard. Ethan Johnson followed up with a 3-yard touchdown run and Cisco Ortiz scored on a 9-yard run. El Capitan scored on an 85-yard touchdown return but Cruz Pearson, Martin Soria and Smith brought in more points for the Vikings as they left
the field after the first quarter leading 52-6.
The Vikings entered the second quarter with Head Coach Jeff Brownlee making room for junior varsity players. The junior varsity players only allowed 14-points in the second half with the Vikings pulling down 20 more points. The highlight of the second half was a blocked punt by Viking Zack Perkins who recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown.
“Eight man football only takes 12 teams to the state playoffs,” Brownlee said. “With that being said, four of us get a first round bye. So fortunately with our victory last Friday night and being the 1A North Champs we automatically qualify for the first round bye.”
After the seeding took place, the Vikings will play the winner of the sixth and eleventh seed game. The sixth seed is Valley Union and the eleventh seed is Salome.
Salome finished the regular season 3-2 in region play, 4-3 in conference. They lost to NFL Yet, Mayer and Bagdad.
Valley Union finished the regular season 3-1 in region play, 6-2 in conference play. They lost to St. David and Bagdad
“Valley Union is a tough football team,” Brownlee said. “They lost a tough one to St. David last week. We know no matter which team comes up here, they are going to be a tough football team.”
Brownlee said he and the coaching staff are scouting the teams and watching game films. He said the Vikings did not face any teams from the eastern portion of Arizona during the season and the staff is evaluating the teams based on their past records.
“The whole point is you still have to play football Friday night,” Brownlee said. “I believe the top six teams separate themselves from the bottom six. With that being said there will still be some upsets.”
Brownlee said with the bye, the Vikings will have a chance to get the players healthy and give them a rest before their first game. He is hoping for a large fan and community turn out for the game.
“It’s exciting, the players are excited as well as the coaches and community,” Brownlee said. “It’s been a while since we won our section.”
The Vikings play in the second round of the state playoffs at home either Oct. 28 or Oct. 29 at 6 p.m. The final date and time of the game will be posted on the Williams High School website. The Vikings will face the winner of the Oct. 22 Salome and Valley Union game. If the Vikings win they will proceed to the semifinals game Nov. 5. The championship game will be Nov. 12 at Maricopa High School.
The price for the Vikings game will be $10 for adults and $5 for children over six. Children under six are free.