Vikings defeat Raiders, 51-6, in opener
FULDA -- Unleashing a punishing rushing attack and sprinkling in some timely deception, the Minneota Vikings stretched a 6-0 first quarter lead into a 51-6 Little Sioux Conference football victory over Fulda Thursday night.
The Vikings, who have been one of the top teams in the conference in the last several seasons, looked better as the game progressed -- pounding the ball with powers up the middle and effectively gaining yardage on counter plays.
Fulda, which did not win a game last season, had several highlights during the contest -- keeping the home crowd excited. But the Raiders were able to sustain only one drive for a touchdown -- that coming 21 seconds into the fourth quarter.
The Raiders started the game with a nice eight-play, 35-yard drive, moving the ball from their own 31-yard line down to the Minneota 36.
But a penalty stalled the drive, and after a couple of exchanges on turnovers, the Vikings scored when Sam Derynck recovered a Fulda fumble and rambled 21 yards for a Minneota touchdown with 1:53 to play in the first quarter.
Following an 18-yard kick return by Raider senior David Crowley, Fulda's offense was unable to move the ball and the Vikings began a drive as the second quarter began.
With senior fullback Craig Peterson (26 carries, 155 yards) doing the bulk of the rushing, the Vikings moved the ball down to the Fulda 10-yard line before fleet-footed freshman Jacob Cheadle carried the ball on a counter play for Minneota's second touchdown.
Fulda played well the rest of the half, creating some exciting moments for their fans.
Among those highlights were another nice kick return by Crowley, a crunching open field tackle by sophomore defensive back Devin Kuehne, a 17-yard run by junior tailback Tyler Goedtke, a pass deflection by senior defensive back Brett Sandhurst in the end zone, a touchdown-saving tackle by Crowley, an 11-yard pass play from junior quarterback Aaron Leinen to senior tight end Tom Kuhl and a 20-yard interception return by Crowley on the last play of the second quarter.
But the Raiders could not move past the Minneota 40-yard line and the Vikings scored another touchdown late in the half when Derynck found a wide-open Tony Noyes with a well-designed 14-yard pass play with 49 seconds remaining in the first half.
"Minneota ran some nice plays in that second quarter," Fulda head coach Brad Holinka said. "Then in the third quarter, they controlled us up front and really took it to us."
Holding a 19-0 lead as the third quarter opened, the Vikings dominated the next 11 minutes. Peterson scored three touchdowns, lifting the Minneota lead to 38-0.
Late in the quarter, Leinen and Kuhl connected three times on exciting pass plays. The first one gained 20 yards, but the second one -- which was snared on a beautiful one-handed catch by Kuhl -- picked up eight yards, but was nullified by an offside penalty.
The third catch was the game's biggest play for the Raiders. Passing from midfield, Leinen found Kuhl heading to the right sideline. After making the catch, Kuhl received a stunning block from Crowley at the 25 and sprinted all the way to the Minneota six-yard line before being driven out-of-bounds.
On the next play, Crowley carried the ball on a reverse and stiff-armed the lone defender, taking the ball into the end zone for Fulda's first touchdown of the season.
Typical of how things went for the Raiders, Cheadle returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for another score, increasing Minneota's lead to 45-6.
Brandon Anderson added a five-yard touchdown midway through the fourth quarter, completing the game's scoring.
The Viking finished with a total of 403 yards -- 344 of them coming on the ground -- and picked up 26 first downs.
The Raiders, who had just seven first downs, were led on the ground by Goedtke, who rushed 11 times for 42 yards. Kuhl caught three passes for 70 yards.
Kuehne and Crowley topped the Raider defensive charts with 10 tackles each.
Fulda hosts MACCRAY Sept. 7.
Minneota 6 13 19 13 -- 51
Fulda 0 0 0 6 -- 6