Vikings show on the gridiron is more treat than trick

PORT ANGELES — It was, after all, Halloween.

Would North Kitsap Viking football fans be treated to their formerly 5-1 and 10th-rated team?

Or would they be tricked by a team that nearly squandered a game against Bremerton a fortnight ago, before being upset Oct. 24 in Silverdale by surging Olympic High School?

In the end, it was a series of adjustments before the game and at halftime allowing the visiting Vikings to cruise to a 23-6 victory against the Port Angeles Roughriders at Civic Stadium on a balmy, dead calm evening.

The Roughriders controlled the ball for more than nine minutes after kickoff, scoring on a picturesque 29-yard strike from quarterback Colby Adamich to Cameron Moon on fourth down and 12. The ball seemed overthrown, but Moon streaked under it. The extra point was blocked and PA led 6-0, with 2:54 left in the first quarter.

PA converted three, third-down plays in the drive, but would never threaten again.

Frease gave credit for the near shutout to the mid-week efforts of defensive coordinator Dave Snyder.

“We went to a five-man front and that brought the defensive linemen into the game,” Frease said. “Dave did a good job. He spends hours and hours on film. People don’t always see that.”

The Vikings moved the ball well enough in the first half to get kicker Zack Sampson in range three times with his howitzer right foot.

On their first possession, the Vikings moved to the Port Angeles 17-yard line. The key play in the drive was a nifty 19-yard pass from Senior QB Kevin Stringer to Evan Tidball.

Sampson kicked a 34-yard field goal with three seconds left in the quarter.

The Vikings got unraveled after a nifty interception and runback by Alex Smith put them deep in Roughrider territory. The Vikings quickly returned the favor – fumbling on their first play.

Port Angeles went three and out and the Vikings quickly smelled paydirt again.

Starting from the PA 49, North Kitsap marched into field goal range in six plays.

The soccer-player-turned-kicker Sampson blasted a 47-yard field goal with 5:49 remaining before the half.

Just before halftime, the Vikings quickly moved from the PA 44 yard line to the three, where Sampson connected squarely on a 20-yarder as time expired. The drive was aided by a 36-yard bomb from Stringer to wide receiver Brandon Huggins.

The score was only 9-6 Vikes at halftime, but still it seemed North Kitsap was not the team from the previous two week’s scares.

Frease made locker room adjustments which sharpened the focus of the offensive line.

“We blocked what we saw, instead of the wrong guys,” Frease said. “That’s been a problem.”

The NK offense, operating on high octane all year, got cranking in the third quarter.

A double inside hand-off, the Vikings call “criss-cross” worked to perfection early in the third quarter after the Viking had run the ball up the middle.

“The criss-cross got set up well,” Frease said. He jumped as high as anybody did on the sidelines when senior running back Taylor Chisholm took the second handoff around right end for a 38-yard touchdown with just under 11 minutes left in the third quarter.

The herky-jerky Chisholm had a stellar game with 14 carries for 96 yards, while also snagging two passes for 50 yards.

Chisholm sent the scoreboard operator home for the night, with a twisting, 32-yard touchdown pass from Stringer with 6:29 left in the third quarter.

That was the end of the scoring with substitutes finishing up for both sides.

Stringer had his normal, high-efficiency night under center for the Vikings hitting on 9 of 13 passes for 165 yards. Six different receivers worked their way under Stringer aerials. The Vikes also rushed 37 times for 177 yards.

Frease knows there is much to be done before the Vikings cross-over game on Friday, Nov. 7 and the state playoffs after that.

But after the game, the Viking head coach said he would savor the long ride home in the big yellow limousine — courtesy of NK School District.

“It will make for a more fun bus trip than the Olympic ride, I can tell you that for sure,” Frease said.

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