Vale’s Jason Ponce looks for room to run just as Homedale’s Jake Collett goes in for the tackle during first half action of their game Friday night. The Trojans defeated Vale 65-12 in a non-league game. (The Enterprise/Yadira Lopez)
VALE – If any area prep football fan was unsure of Homedale’s on-the-field excellence, those doubts were put to rest early Friday night.
The Trojans piled up 557 yards of offense, including 491 yards in the first half, on the way to a 65-12 dismantling of the Vikings in a non-league prep football contest.
“Obviously sometimes you run into teams that are just better than you,” said Vale coach Jeff Aldred.
Homedale is also a far larger school with a deep reservoir of talent and it was on display Friday.
The Trojans stymied the Vale offense all night and punctured the usually solid Viking defense repeatedly. The Trojans built a 26-0 lead after the first quarter and were out in front 52-0 at halftime.
“We definitely lost the mental battle going into that game. I don’t know exactly what it was. Even after the first score I didn’t care for the effort from our kids in uniform,” said Aldred.
Homedale used a bigger and faster offense to take a 7-0 lead on Karsen Freelove’s touchdown run midway through first frame. Freelove’s touchdown opened up a scoring binge by the Trojans, and Homedale racked up three more touchdowns before the end of the quarter.
[ KEEP YOUR LOCAL NEWS STRONG – SUBSCRIBE ]
While there were three more quarters to play, the game for all intent and purposes was over.
Homedale continued to dominate in the second quarter and after halftime Trojan head coach Matt Holtry pulled his starters.
“We have a talented group right now. We have much respect for Vale. They are tough kids. And they are banged up right now,” said Holtry.
The loss was the worst defeat for the Vikings in at least 10 years.
“They were good. Anyone who was there could see we were outmanned. They have unique size and speed,” said Aldred.
The Trojans held Vale’s proficient offense to just 68 yards in the first half 187 total yards for the game.
Freshman Eli Aldred led the Vikings on the ground with 35 yards and quarterback Colton Kesey finished the night 11 of 28 for 92 yards and three interceptions.
“The timing and continuity was off from the very beginning. That is probably the most disappointing thing. We practiced well all week and it didn’t translate to Friday night,” said Aldred.
Freelove paced the Trojans as he rushed for 163 yards and three touchdowns while teammate Hayden Kincheloe contributed 50 yards on five carries and a touchdown. Trojan quarter back Daniel Uranga threw for 205 yards.
The good news for the Vikings is the Homedale game is, essentially, meaningless, said Aldred.
“In the grand scheme of things this game doesn’t matter one bit but it is something we can learn from. The kids know they did not give their best. It is something we definitely can’t repeat,” said Aldred.
Vale’s offense finally got going in the final quarter when John Wolfe hauled in a Kesey pass with 9:32 to go in the game.
Vale quarterback Tanner Steele hooked up with Jason Ponce as time ran out for Vale’s final score.
“The stakes were not near as high as a state championship game, but still, the effort needs to be there. And it wasn’t,” said Aldred.
Reporter Pat Caldwell: [email protected] or 541-473-3377.
SUBSCRIBE TO HELP PRODUCE VITAL REPORTING — For $5 a month, you get breaking news alerts, emailed newsletters and around-the-clock access to our stories. We depend on subscribers to pay for in-depth, accurate news produced by a professional and highly trained staff. Help us grow and get better with your subscription. Sign up HERE.