The Vikings played Division 1-A Fresno State Saturday, bowl-winning Fresno State, stomped-the-Beavers Fresno State. Our Viks lost, 42-16 — but they competed. They didn퀌_t lie down. Are they back in the football picture? Yes!
After last Saturday, the Vikings are definitely back in the picture. They got back to doing all that good stuff they퀌_d been doing early in the season.
A terrific sign was Ryan Fuqua coming in and turning it on. Coach Tim Walsh benched the running back, who had six rushes for minus-two yards in the Northern Arizona game, but when Fuqua came in, the Viks were already hurting, since the opening kickoff had been returned in a crazy play for a touchdown. One of the Bulldog players scooped the fumbled kickoff off the turf and ran it 70 yards for a touchdown to open the game 7-0. The Viking defense would have to wait a bit. As for Fuqua, he came in and turned on the juice, immediately catching a pass out of the backfield for 12 yards on third-and-nine. Then, his first four rushes went for a total of 26 yards. He was zoned. But there would be no early scoring.
In the second quarter, Fuqua marched the Vikings downfield with a couple of thick runs, but coughed it up on the 10-yard line. One series later, the Vikings had a punt blocked, and Fresno State tossed it in the next play to lead 14-0.
Wiser took control with 47 seconds left in the half and moved the team all the way to the Fresno State 15. Ryan Brown caught a 31-yarder down the sideline and Amad Robinson caught two for 34 yards, and the Vikings were poised to score. With two seconds left, Wiser hit Brown from 15 yards out and the Vikings were on the board. After a missed extra-point kick, the Viks made halftime down 14-6 to a team that won the Silicon Valley Classic Bowl last New Year퀌_s Eve.
Fresno State, specifically running back Dwayne Wright, went to work in the second half. The Bulldogs ran Wright down the Vikings퀌_ throats, and back-up running back Bryson Sumlin scored one of his three touchdowns.
The Vikings Eric Azorr made it 21-9 with a 33-yard field goal, but then the Bulldogs were off. Ryan Fuqua notched the Vikings퀌_ last seven points with a 3-yard run in the fourth quarter to make it 28-16, but the Vikings were done, and a few late turnovers helped Fresno State pile it on. Bulldog wide receiver Jaron Fairman, whose father had died during a visit with him earlier that day, ran one in on an end-around to finish off the scoring.
Next up, the Vikings play their second of three-straight on the road as they head to Nacogdoches, Texas to battle Steven F. Austin, another non-conference foe that, like the Vikings, got votes in the 1-AA poll but is not ranked. The Vikings퀌_ next home game is against Sacremento State on October 18, at 6:05 p.m. in PGE Park.