BAKER CITY – Vale Coach Jeff Aldred shied away from calling the Vikings 8-7 victory over Baker a signature win.
Instead, he was just glad his team was able to get out of Baker City on Friday, Sept. 15, with a win.
Vale quarterback Colten Stepleton threw a touchdown pass to Skyler Cade late in the third quarter and Kase Schaffeld ran in the two-point conversion to give the Vikings an 8-7 edge and eventually the win in the non-league contest. Stepleton’s scoring pass to Cade capped a 11-play, 92-yard drive.
Baker scored its only touchdown of the night in the second quarter.
Schaffeld rushed for 100 yards on 20 carries for the Vikings (3-0).
Baker City “is a tough place to play. So, to get out with a win was pretty fortunate,” said Aldred.
Stepleton finished the night 11 of 25 for 177 yards in the air and Cade had 70 yards receiving.
Aldred said the Vikings were stymied by missed opportunities during the game. Vale reached the red zone four times during the game but came away with just the single score.
“On the road you have to convert and get points on the board. We were just a little bit off offensively early in the game,” said Aldred.
Aldred said he was pleased with the performance of his defense.
“I thought we played really inspired,” he said.
Penalties also haunted the Vikings, said Aldred.
Baker and Vale recorded a combined 21 penalties.
“They were penalties at really inopportune times,” said Aldred.
Aldred, though, said he was happy overall with his team’s performance.
“We learned a lot of lessons you would normally learn in a losing game but we won,” he said.
Aldred said the Bulldogs are a good team.
“They played a tough game and I have a lot of respect for that program,” he said.
The road for the Vikings – currently ranked fifth by the Oregon School Activities Association – doesn’t get any easier this week. On Friday, Sept. 22, they will face Melba at 7 p.m. at Frank Hawley Field in Vale.
“Melba can create some real matchup problems. So, we will have to play very disciplined defensively,” he said.
Focus, he said, is also a feature his team will work on this week.
“Kids need to realize you can’t just show up and it happens. You have to earn it and go take it,” he said.
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