By Steve Knez
BurbankNBeyond Staff Writer
The Burbank Vikings, a chapter of the Pacific Youth Tackle Football League, opened their 43rd season in dominant fashion last Saturday. Seven of the 10 Vikings teams were victorious in venues throughout Southern California, from Burbank to as far north as Oxnard.
Corey Enman, vice-president of the Burbank Vikings and head coach of Midget Green, is very excited about the upcoming season and the possibilities that lie ahead.
“I think this is the year that not only one, but possibly three Vikings teams can bring home a Super Bowl title,” Enman said.
The league consists of 234 football players across five different divisions: Pee Wee, Bantams, Midgets, Juniors and Seniors. Each division is grouped by age (seven to 14) and weight class. The league welcomed 120 new players this season. The Vikings also have 44 cheerleaders who bring the spirit and energy to their teams and fans. All home games are played on Saturdays at Burbank High.
Scores from Week One:
PeeWee 18 Valley Orange 0
Within seconds, the PeeWee Vikings opened the entire 2012 Burbank Vikings season with a touchdown en route to an impressive 18-0 shutout victory over Valley Orange at the Cesar Chavez Learning Center in San Fernando. With an 8:00 a.m. start time, Paden White returned the opening kick-off 60 yards for a touchdown. The quick score not only set the tone for the rest of the PeeWee game, but for the entire Vikings program as they finished Opening Day with a 7-3 overall record.
Aidan Cox added a 32-yard run and QB Ian Gandara later scored a touchdown with a two yard sneak up the middle. The final touchdown was scored by AJ Vargas on a 19 yard run. However, defense was huge for the Vikings as Jacob Ferrat recovered a fumble and Anthony Torabyan had two sacks and a forced fumble. Linebacker Christian Elizalde played a huge role in preserving the shutout victory as well.
Aside from the opening kick-off return, the play of the game took place on an open field tackle late in the game by the Vikings’ Ava Gandara. The only girl in the entire Vikings program, Gandara stopped a potential touchdown and saved the shutout.
Midget Green 28 Santa Clarita Aztecs 14
In the game of the day, the Midget Green Vikings stated their case for the changing of the guard with a dominant 28-14 victory performance over the defending Super Bowl champions SC Aztecs at Burbank High School.
The Vikings scored first on an interception by safety Dante Coxsom who ran 56 yards for a touchdown. On the very next Aztecs possession, cornerback Kade Lewis made an open field tackle on the seven yard line to save a sure touchdown and spark the Vikings’ defense. The Vikings pushed the Aztecs back to the 26 yard line and re-took possession.
In the second quarter, quarterback Davey Stone scrambled for a first down on 4th and 8 and eventually scored on a one yard sneak up the middle. Sebastian Leal ran the ball for the two-point conversion to give the Vikings a 14-0 halftime lead.
Coxsom, playing on both sides of the ball with two interceptions on the day, scored on a 46-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Leal followed with another two-point conversion to increase the lead to 22-6.
The fourth quarter was highlighted by the inspiring play of Loyal Terry. After the Aztecs scored to make the score 22-14, Terry ran for a 46-yard touchdown and continued to eat up the clock on offense during the final minutes of the game in what proved to be an emotional afternoon. The game was dedicated to his father, Desi Terry, who passed away recently.
Junior Black 14 Newbury Park 0
Junior Black’s stellar defense was the highlight of the night in a hard fought 14-0 victory against perennial powerhouse Newbury Park at Burbank High. Vikings QB Ryan Hilinski was sidelined in the first quarter with a leg injury but the defense stepped up and held their opponents to negative yardage for the entire game.
In the second quarter, replacement quarterback Nathen Cruz threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Danny Chiarodit to break the scoreless tie. The two-point conversion attempt failed.
In the second half, the Vikings were bit often by the penalty bug as several big plays were brought back by holding penalties. Finally, in the fourth quarter, Alec Saavedra, playing with a broken finger, ran for a 30-yard touchdown to put the Vikings comfortably ahead. Tommy Cantrell rushed for the two-point conversion.
Senior Green 46 N. Oxnard White 14
In a complete team effort, the Senior Green Vikings displayed a full arsenal attack with an impressive 46-14 victory over North Oxnard White at Oxnard High School.
In the first quarter, Brandon Beardt blocked a punt and then scored two plays later on an eight yard touchdown run. Beardt then ran the ball for a successful two-point conversion.
The scoring continued as Guy Gibbs connected with Michael Woods on a 17-yard touchdown pass. Jake Kelley ran for the extra point. Soon after, Nick Warren added a two yard touchdown run and Khalid Taylor took advantage of some nice blocks to score the extra point.
Playing on both sides of the ball, Warren intercepted a pass in the second half and returned it 60 yards for a touchdown. Gibbs followed that with a 33-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Tucker and Khalid Taylor sealed the victory with a 50-yard touchdown run late in the game.
Gibbs was six for nine passing with 138 yards and two touchdowns.
Midget Black 20 Canyon Green 6. Christopher Rozo led the way with 125 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
Bantam Green 42 Canyon Gold 12
Highland Eagles 32 Bantam Black 26
SC Chiefs 48 Bantam White 0
Oxnard 44 Senior Gold 14