By RayJaun Stelly, The Seattle Medium
Rainier Beach returned to action against Ballard last Friday night, after cancelling two games due to their exposure to Covid-19. Both teams came into the game with previous losses, Vikings coming in with a loss to 4A Eastlake and Ballard with a loss Garfield.
Offensively, Rainier Beach began the game out of sync, they punted the ball away just 1:17 into the game. Ballard took over possession and put together a drive down field, but missed a field goal attempt that would have given them an early lead.
On their second possession of the game, Rainier Beach established their offensive rhythm by throwing the ball. Vikings’ quarterback Chance Guadiz and receiver Jaelin Green connected twice, one for 49 yards and one to complete a fourth down conversion, as Rainier Beach started moving the chains.
From there, Rainier Beach running back Scot’Tre Humphrey began imposing his will and wearing down the Ballard defense, as he scored the games’ first touchdown and gave the Vikings and early 7-0 lead.
However, the excitement for Rainier Beach was short-lived because Ballard returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown, and tied the game at 7-7.
Rainier Beach looked to separate themselves from Ballard once again behind the arm of Gaudiz. Gaudiz would throw completions to receivers Shaki Davis and Green before connecting with Nahmeir Robinson for a 20-yard touchdown pass to give the Vikings a 14-7 lead.
Ballard would threaten to score late in the second quarter, but Rainier Beach’s Amir Cornett intercepted a pass with 11 second left in the half to prevent a Ballard touchdown.
Picking up where they left off in the first half, the Vikings’ offense put the ball in Humphrey’s hands and let him continue to wear down Ballard’s defense.
Rainier Beach would remain in control and Humphrey would go on to score the games’ final touchdown, as the Vikings secured a 20-7 win over Ballard.
Rainier Beach was able to contain Ballard’s uptempo style of offense throughout the game. The defense, led by Josh Conerly, Jr., forced Ballard to punt and turn the ball over on downs throughout the game. Their secondary didn’t allow anything over the top, as they batted down and intercepted passes. More importantly, the defense as a whole did not allow Ballard’s offense to score any points during the game.
“I’m very impressed with our defense, considering the fact we haven’t been on the field in two weeks,” said Rainier Beach Head Coach Corey Sampson after the game. “Only having three days of practice to prepare, and kids were out of school for two weeks. We adjusted to it.”
“These kids are resilient,” added Sampson. “They’re prepared and mature [and they’re only going to] get better on and off the field.”
Despite not playing for two weeks, the Vikings’ managed to get an important win against a Metro League opponent as they head into a rivalry game this week against Garfield.
Sampson says that his team will have to remain disciplined and focus in order to be successful in the matchup against the Bulldogs.
“Staying level headed will be key,” says Sampson. “It’s a big rivalry. It’s going to be about having the mindset of a championship.”