By Steve Knez
BurbankNBeyond Staff Writer
A little adversity combined with an undefeated foe in miserable playing conditions was just what Midget Green needed as they earned a trip to the Pacific Youth Football League Super Bowl with a 33-14 victory over Lancaster last Saturday at Antelope Valley High School.
The semifinal playoff victory proved to be the final measuring stick for the Vikings as they knocked off the No. 1 seed in the southern bracket and remained confident and undefeated.
Midget Green, together with Senior Green, will represent the city of Burbank in the PYFL Super Bowl this Saturday at Thousand Oaks High School at 2:00 p.m. It is the first time since 2007 that a team from Burbank has made it to the title game. In the 19-year history of the PYFL, no team from Burbank at any level has won the Super Bowl.
The Vikings will face Ventura Black, the No. 4 seed from the northern bracket. Ventura’s path to the Super Bowl includes upsets over No. 1 seed Camarillo and No. 2 North Oxnard.
With temperatures in the mid-30s, the Vikings (11-0) continued their playoff dominance with a strong ground game and penetrating defense. Loyal Terry scored the first touchdown of the game with a bulldozing run up the middle, blasting defenders for a 65-yard score. The Jets (10-1) answered with a touchdown on their next possession and scored the 2-point conversion to take an 8-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Vikings, not accustomed to being down on the scoreboard, quickly scored on their next possession as Dante Coxsom took advantage of some great down field blocking and outran the defense for a 53-yard touchdown. After a failed extra point attempt, the Vikings led 12-8.
After a series of turnovers by both teams, the Jets found themselves with great field possession and an opportunity to take the lead. However, Isaac Cordova made a clutch tackle on fourth and goal to complete a brilliant goal line stand by the defense and the Vikings maintained their slim lead as time expired in the first half.
On the opening drive of the second half, the Jets were able to pull ahead once again on a nice draw play for a 33-yard touchdown and a 14-12 lead. The rest of the third quarter was filled with turnovers, penalties and some questionable officiating. Regardless, the Vikings found themselves down on the scoreboard at the start of the fourth quarter for the first time all season.
Not even the wind chill factor of the cold Antelope Valley could hold the Vikings down any longer as the offense and defense heated up in the fourth quarter. On a play that was designed in the locker room at halftime, Cordova hit Sebastian Leal with a 35-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter and the Vikings took an 18-14 lead.
After a defensive stand, Terry blasted his way to a huge 27-yard gain. Leal then ran 48 yards for a touchdown, breaking several tackles along the way. Terry went untouched for the 2-point conversion and the Vikings led 26-14.
Coxsom scored on a 67-yard touchdown run on the first play of the Vikings next possession and Manny Pimentel kicked the extra point for the final score.
To add salt to the wound, Kade Lewis crushed the Jets quarterback in their final attempt to score, causing a fumble recovered by the Vikings. Jake Moore, Max Cotton, Coxsom and Lewis led the stingy Viking defense.
“We told the boys all week that the winning team would be the one that hit the hardest in the fourth quarter,” Vikings Coach Corey Enman said. “The fourth quarter is where this game was won.”