Saturday, Sept. 27, 2008 | 12:15 a.m.
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For the second week in a row the Valley Vikings have lost a game in the dying moments of the fourth quarter, going down 33-20 to the formerly winless Desert Pines Jaguars.
Down 27-20, Valley had a shot at tying the game up. The offense had driven to the 10 with less than a minute remaining, but when Viking quarterback Kerwynn Williams threw to the end zone he connected with Jaguar defensive back Eric Tuiloma.
“The whole game they were throwing passes away from my side,” Tuiloma said. “So, I’m thinking ‘the last play is going to be a touchdown play, they’re going to throw it away from me.’ So I went to the other side to help my guys out and the play just happened.”
Tuiloma returned the pick 99 yards to the end zone for the game’s final score. He now has two 99-yard scores in his high school career, with a 99-yard rushing play last season.
“That’s what it’s all about, that feeling when he caught that interception and he went 99 yards, that feeling right there,” yelled Jaguar coach Paul Bennett during the post game celebration.
“I just kept telling the kids we just have to keep at it, nobody realized that, hey, we’ve played some of the top teams,” the coach explained. “We told them just stay at it and we’ll take each week and I’m proud of the kids. They really worked hard today.”
It was the Jaguars' special teams that came up with some of the game’s most crucial scores.
They leveled the game 14 all going into the half when a defensive stop forced the Vikings to punt out of their own territory. However, the long snap was misjudged and sailed right over the head of the punter and into the end zone, where the Jaguars pounced on the ball for the touchdown.
The play was similar to a Vikings play in the first quarter, when their special teams unit blocked a punt and forced the recovering Jaguar punter to fumble the ball in the end zone. The Vikings then dove on the ball for the game’s first score.
However, the Jaguars' special teams showed a little more versatility, striking again halfway through the third quarter. After a defensive stopped forced the Vikings to punt, Schaquawn Williams returned the kick 50 yards for a touchdown. It appeared as if Williams was stacked up on the 10-yard line but he inexplicably broke free from the grasp of the Vikings defenders and went in for the score.
“I just kept my feet moving, hoping I could get the touchdown and I just kept it in my mind that I could score,” Williams explained.
The point-after put the Jaguars up 21-20, giving them their first lead of the game.
Bennett gave his special teams and defense credit following the win.
“There were some big special teams plays there; a hell of a couple special teams plays,” the coach said. “I’ll say we stayed true to what we were doing, and defensively we cut down on the big plays. But it’s tough when you’re going against a quarterback like that kid.”
Vikings quarterback Kerwynn Williams had a monstrous game, rushing for 206 yards and two touchdowns while also collecting 96 yards passing. He was involved in 42 of the Vikings' 67 offensive plays.
His first score came with 4:11 remaining in the first quarter. He was almost sacked in the backfield while attempting a pass, but ran down field toward the left sideline before cutting back to midfield. He made two defenders miss and burned the rest of the defense on his way to a 78-yard touchdown.
The score put the Vikings up 14-0 going into the second quarter.
He struck again on the Vikings' opening possession of the third quarter, running in another broken play 64 yards to the end zone to put the Vikings up 20-14.
In contrast, the Jaguars spread the ball around. Running back Derrick Shaw saw most of the action, picking up 74 yards off 19 rushes. He shared carries with senior fullback Scott Dennis, who ran for 45 yards and a touchdown off eight rushing attempts.
“Thanks for not giving up,” Dennis shouted to his elated teammates after the game. “It really means a lot to us seniors.”