The Spartanburg Vikings are 1-0 in Region play and 5-2 overall after shutting out Byrnes Friday night 13-0. Both offenses struggled to find any rhythm as both defenses were outstanding all night. Byrnes had 164 total yards on the night while the Vikings were held to just 142.
The game did have its fair share of highlights. Both teams had multiple interceptions and the Vikings scored their first touchdown on a Connor Shugart blocked punt and Thompson Rudolph scooped it up and walked into the end zone. Shugart was without question the best player on the field Friday night leading the Vikings with 14 tackles with 2 TFL, a blocked punt, a fumble recovery, and an INT. He has been an absolute force at linebacker for the Vikings.
Viking DE Ayele Jeter also had 12 tackles and 3 sacks. BJ Roseburgh had a pick 6 and DT Satorian Mobley had 5 tackles including a big sack the play before the pick 6. All in all the defense was a brick wall all night with four 4th down stops.
You take wins in Region play any way you can get them and the Vikings won a hard fought, defensive struggle.
Below are more of my thoughts of the Vikings win:
- All 11 defensive starters and quite a few backups made huge plays tonight in the shutout against Byrnes. On a night when the offense was off, the defense led the way to victory. Each and every player on defense was crucially important.
- Congrats to Shrine Bowler Grady Thomas.
- Jarrel Long needs to get more carries because he hits the hole faster and quicker than anyone else on the team. He’s very strong and tends to fall forward.
- I really want to see the Vikings throw the ball down field more early in the ball game. Byrnes was waiting for every play around the line of scrimmage and the safeties kept getting closer and closer pre snap.
- Connor Shugart is so much fun to watch. His instincts are unreal for his age.