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“We are finally healthy and executed well on both sides of the ball,” said Vale coach Jeff Aldred. “It has taken us some time, but we have stabilized the offensive front situation to where we now have some kids only playing one way.”
Using that new front, the Viks led at the half 27-13 before holding Baker scoreless in the second half for the victory.
As typical for the Vikings, the ground game proved to be the backbone as Nathan Kimball put up 67 yards on 16 carries. Vale ended the game with 124 yards on the ground to go with 161 yards in the air for a total offensive effort of 285 yards.
Vale quarterback Tanner Steele was 7-for-13 passing with no interceptions. Steele also ran for 24 yards and two scores. John Wolfe ended the game with six catches for 128 yards. Wolfe also excited the visiting Vale fans with a 95-yard kickoff return for a score.
“I think we realized during the Ontario game we can put points on the board a lot of ways,” Aldred said. “Our defense has really been there all year, but the offense is really starting to click now.”
Aldred has been trying different combinations on the offensive line since game one of the season. At times, players played both offensive and defensive line. His settling on a group playing only one way and allowing rest for players is not good news for future opponents.
“Owen Crane and Colton Stepleton played a great game,” said Aldred. “I do think this was as much as a total team win that is possible. The team just really clicked tonight as a whole.”
Baker, a young team boasting only seven seniors on the squad, ended with 218 yards of total offense with 94 yards on the ground.
Sophomore quarterback Paul Hobson connected on 120 yards passing on 13 attempts, but was picked off by the Viking defense three times. Malaki Myer had four receptions for 59 yards to go with 23 yards on five rushes. Gauge Bloomer led the ground game for the Bulldogs with 14 carries for 54 yards. He also hauled in one pass for 22 yards.