ARMA, Kan. — The Northeast Vikings were outscored 44-6 in the first half of their season opener Friday night and took a 52-14 loss to the Jayhawk-Linn Jayhawks at Samuel J. Nicoletti Field.
Northeast’s new head coach Mark Manriquez looked on the bright side of a painful loss not only on the scoreboard but actual physical pain with one player suffering a cervical injury and another a concussion.
“In the second half, the score was 8-8,” Manriquez said. “They still had their 1s in, and we finished that section tied with them. So, I’m proud of my guys fighting and scrapping. Just a little outmanned and outgunned, but we finished that second half well.”
The Vikings’ scoring plays were 56- and 26-yard touchdown passes from senior Dawson Troth to fellow senior Tayshawn Gaynor.
“The one thing we wanted to do that we really didn’t do at all was run the ball well,” Manriquez said. “Our interior line didn’t do the job that they needed to do, so that’s something we need to work on. That’s about it.
“We were forced to throw the ball, and we didn’t want to throw it as much as we did. I always said that if we threw the ball more than 40 percent of the time, then things probably aren’t going well.”
On the defensive side, linebacker Braden Young picked up from where he left off his junior season with a team-high seven tackles. Senior strong safety Sammy Stansbury added six stops.
“Our defensive gameplan was pretty good inasmuch as we were where we needed to be,” Manriquez said. “We had the right calls. We just didn’t tackle well. There were several times where their kids would break three or four tackles. The positive was we were in the right place, but the negative was we just didn’t wrap up and tackle.”
Northeast heads out on the road in Week 2 and will face Pleasanton.