Running on all cylinders: Vikings cruise to easy win over Anthem Prep Aug. 23,

Team heads to Nevada to face dominant Pahranagat Valley Aug. 30

Viking Kolby Payne passes to Mario Vazquez during the game with Anthem Prep Aug. 23. (Wendy Howell/WGCN)

Viking Kolby Payne passes to Mario Vazquez during the game with Anthem Prep Aug. 23. (Wendy Howell/WGCN)

WILLIAMS, Ariz. — The Vikings gave the Williams home-town crowd a glimpse of what’s to come when they blasted past Anthem Prep 75-0 in their opener Aug. 23.

With a strong offensive and defensive line and depth in their running backs and wide receivers, the Vikings are obviously healthy and ready for a winning season.

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The Viking defensive line keeps Anthem Prep scoreless Aug. 23. (Wendy Howell/WGCN)

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Mario Vazquez takes the ball down field for some yards. (Wendy Howell/WGCN)

“We have a solid football team this year,” head coach Jeff Brownlee said after the game. “It was nice to see our offensive line control their defensive line.”

The Vikings got on the board early in the game and left the field at half-time leading 48-0.

Although the game was lopsided, Brownlee said it was good to see the team in action and also see what some of the younger players can do.

“We were explosive all over the field,” Brownlee said. “Our defensive line is fast, strong and physical, and we can spread the ball around our wide receivers and running backs.”

Kicker David Lozano was back on the field for the first time after recovering from a foot fracture that kept him out of most of the 2018 season. Lozano made 3 of 4 extra point kicks with one block. He had 11 kickoffs, averaging 51.4 yards for 565 total yards. His longest kick was 60 yards.

“It was great to see David back on the field,” Brownlee said. “He was bringing the ball to the 1-2 yard line.”

Senior Kolby Payne had two touchdowns, and senior Chance Pearson had three touchdowns.

Pearson had seven carries, including one for 61 yards, for a total of 129 yards and Payne had seven carries, one for 44 yards, for a total of 120 yards.

Sophomore Jesse Hernandez returned three punts for 50 yards, average 16.7 yards per return. Junior Blake Smith returned two punts for 31 yards, averaging 15.5 yards.

Seniors John Bryant, Angel Ayala, Mario Vazquez and Lozano added a touchdown apiece to the Vikings tally, and sophomores Preston Ford and Hernandez also added to the total.

The Vikings next travel to Pahranagat Valley, Nevada Aug. 30. Brownlee said Pahranagat Valley is considered one of the toughest eight-man programs in the country.

Brownlee said their coaches had heard about the Williams eight-man program and called him to see if the teams could have an early season game.

“We have watched some game film on them and know they graduated some good football players,” Brownlee said.

The game will be the Panthers first game of the year.

“For an early contest like this and with everyone healthy, I think this will be a fun, competitive football game,” he said.

The Pahranagat Valley Panthers are known for holding the record for the longest winning streak in the history of eight-man football, when their 11 season, 104-game streak ended with a loss at the Nevada 1A state title game in 2016.

The Panthers have won 20 state championships, with their last state championship in 2017 when they beat Spring Mountain, 68-18.

In 2018 they went 6-2 and lost in the 1A state quarterfinals to Tonopah, 42-36.

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