The La Jolla High Vikings (6-4) executed in the first quarter of their game against Hoover (0-10) with near perfection. La Jolla led 44-0 at the end of quarter, and would win by a final of 58-0. This was the Vikings fourth shutout on the season.
Needing only three plays to score on their first possession, Daniel McColl would find the end zone from the 11 yard line to put the Vikings up first, 7-0. Forcing a three and out defensively, Cole Dimich would find Patricio Castillejos deep down field for a gain of over 40 yards, setting up an Alex Dockery one yard touchdown run. After an interception on the next play from scrimmage by linebacker Nick Hammel, Dimich would connect with Castillejos again on a screen pass going all the way for a 32 yard score. Dockery would return a punt deep into Cardinals territory, however, Dimich would be intercepted in the red zone by Andres Peraza. Unfortunately for Hoover, the next snap would wind up going out of the back of the end zone for a safety. In total, the Vikings had forced four turnovers in the first quarter, including Hammel with two interceptions, one being for a touchdown.
Since a two point loss at the hands of City League Champion Patrick Henry almost a month ago, La Jolla High has rallied off four straight wins. In that streak, they have outscored opponents 185-8, posting three of their four shutouts on the season. It is fair to say that, especially defensively, the Vikings are getting hot at the right time as the First Round of the Playoffs begin next week!
PREVIEW: As we reach the final week of the regular season, we also reach the final week of City League play as the Hoover Cardinals (0-9) host the Vikings of La Jolla High (5-4). Though Hoover is still winless, they will be coming into Friday night with a lot of confidence offensively after scoring their first two touchdowns of the year last week.
Sophomore quarterback Jack Fanning will be an uncertainty this Friday after sustaining a right leg injury against Patrick Henry last week, an injury severe enough to keep him out of the rest of the game. Fanning was able to throw the first of two long touchdown passes last week prior to his injury, connecting with Angel Bermudez for a 74 yard scoring strike. If Fanning is unable to play this week, the Cardinals will turn to backup Nathaniel Grinter. Grinter came in relief last Friday for the injured Fanning, and the Cardinals were still able to move the ball on offense. Late in the game, Grinter would find Deonte’ Jackson for a 47 yard touchdown pass, their second score of the night, and of the year.
As for La Jolla, the Vikings know that they could easily have an impressive record of (7-2). However, two losses by a combined five points and the Vikings find themselves in a position for a much needed victory to solidify their playoff position. Leading the way for La Jolla is dual-threat quarterback Cole Dimich. Dimich has thrown for almost 1,400 yards, averaging 152 yards per game with six passing touchdowns. He has been just as effective running the ball, though, compiling over 400 yards on the ground and eight rushing touchdowns. Dimich is also the lone Viking to rush for over 100 yards in a game this season, which he did against Serra en route to a 32-0 win. Senior running back Alex Dockery, however, leads La Jolla in all major rushing categories. Dockery has 98 carries for 578 yards and 12 rushing touchdowns, while adding 260 receiving yards and a touchdown reception as well. But if you’re going to keep your eyes on one Viking this week, I recommend watching Senior running back/linebacker Daniel McColl. McColl seems to always find himself around the football defensively, with a team high (and it’s not even close) 77 total tackles. When in the backfield on offense, if he isn’t leading the way for Dockery, McColl can also handle the football. Amassing almost 400 rushing yards and three touchdowns on the ground, McColl is extremely active in the screen game as well, catching 21 passes for 268 yards and a team high four receiving scores.
These two teams will meet for the ninth time since 2004, but for the first time in five years. La Jolla holds the advantage with a (7-1) record against the Cardinals in that time, with Hoover’s win coming 10 years ago in 2006. Kickoff this Friday night will be at Hoover High at 6:30pm. Catch all the highlights on the Prep Pigskin Report at 10:30pm, only on KUSI.