BURNS – For Vale football coach Jeff Aldred, the win over Burns, Friday, Sept. 29, was a victory without triumph.
The game was a good news, bad news contest for the Vikings.
On one hand they beat the Higlanders, 14-6, to improve to 5-0.
On the other hand, Vale made uncharacteristic mistakes and couldn’t get its offense untracked until the second half.
“We need to execute better,” said Aldred.
Vale’s Kase Schaffeld piled up 177 yards on the ground while Viking quarter back Colten Stepleton was 11 of 20 for 114 yards and threw two touchdowns against the Hilanders in a game where Vale trailed 6-0 at halftime.
“We didn’t get going until the second half,” said Aldred.
Vale opened the second half with a long scoring drive that culminated with Stapleton’s pass to Brooks Haueter to knot the game 6-6. Then Stepleton ran the conversion in for an 8-6 Vale lead.
The Vikings iced the game in the fourth quarter on Stepleton’s 20-yard pass to Damick Eddy to put Vale ahead 14-6.
The Vale defense once again performed well, limiting the Burns offense to minus 14 yards rushing for the game.
Yet the Vale offense sputtered in the first half.
“Our first two drives were not characteristic of us. Then I think we had a third drive where it was an absolute and complete meltdown. We were first and ten from the 25 and ended up having a first and 40 because of holding and false starts,” said Aldred.
Penalties haunted the Vikings against Burns. Vale was penalized 13 times for 85 yards.
“There were some guys who made some mistakes in this game that should beyond some of that stuff. We didn’t protect the football and there was some confusion at the line of scrimmage that a veteran team shouldn’t be making,” said Aldred.
Burns forced the Vikings out of their initial game plan, said Aldred.
“They were doing some things defensively that were confusing us,” said Aldred.
The Vikings, though adjusted, and went back to their vaunted running game.
“We knew we could do that but with guys banged up, that wasn’t part of what we were planning on doing. But with the lack of focus offensively early in the game, we had to alter what we were doing and the kids did a good job adjusting,” said Aldred.
Aldred said he was happy with the win and “there were a lot of good things we did.”
Yet, he said, more work by his team is needed.
“We set ourselves up to be league champions but we have to execute at a much higher level than we are. When you are on the road in a rivalry type atmosphere, we have to have a lot better in intensity. But it’s all stuff that can be fixed,” he said.
Vale has a bye this week but will face Umatilla at Umatilla Oct. 13.
News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]
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