Pop Warner: Vikings battle Santa Clara County foesSmoke from nearby Lick wildfires shrouded the western hills as the Menlo-Atherton Vikings battled the Gilroy Browns on Sept. 8 in a series of Pop Warner football contests at Gilroy High School.
Further north, two other Vikings teams met competition from the powerful Oak Grove Pop Warner program at San Jose City College.
Here are details of the September 8 games:
Tiny Mites: In a non-scoring contest for 5- and 6-year-old players, Menlo-Atherton dominated Gilroy's beginning gridders on both sides of the ball. Prominent for the Vikings was Floyd Gazaway III, who bolted for long touchdowns as Menlo-Atherton smothered the Browns' offense at the line of scrimmage. Lucas Andrighetto and Willie Taggart Jr. provided key blocking for Gazaway and fellow running backs Keyshawn Ashford and Curtis Francis Jr. Defensive heroics were provided by P.J. Lopez and Dominic Cacchione.
Mitey Mites: Lavelle Gates broke open a tight defensive contest with 4:26 remaining in the game as he ripped off a 37-yard touchdown run for a 6-0 Vikings victory. Defensive star Tre'soan Bishop foiled Gilroy's bid for a third-quarter lead with a 40-yard return of an intercepted pass. Kailen Kershner and Jack Posthauer helped neutralize the Gilroy attack, and coaches commended offensive linemen Simon Koeten, James Kiraly, Nikolai Tarran, Ramsey Baty and Michael Landolfi for powerful blocking.
Junior Pee Wees: Falling behind 14-0 at the half, the Vikings were unable to untrack their offense, and took a 20-0 pasting from the Browns. Among the few bright moments were spectacular runs by Isiah Nash and a sparkling pass reception by Peyton Uphoff. Adam Greenlow and David Teu turned in outstanding defensive games for Menlo-Atherton.
Pee Wees: Despite a series of critical penalties that nullified two touchdowns and stifled several drives, the Vikings hung a 14-6 defeat on the Browns for their first win of the season. Khalil (Lil) James threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Talaiasi Teu, and Landon Baty scored on a 15-yard keeper. Teu kicked a two-point conversion. Jack Heneghan riddled the Gilroy attack from his defensive end position, and opened impressive holes from his right tackle spot. Ryan Blocker and Cole Wisecarver were opportunistic on defense.
Junior Midgets: A relentless blitz that overwhelmed the Oak Grove South passing attack sparked a 12-0 Vikings victory at San Jose City College. Eleno Figueroa, Wyman Boyd, Jake Britschgi and Keenan Gates stormed the Oak Grove backfield throughout the game. Gates scored on a 25-yard run set up by a Patrick Bruni-Markus Franklin pass, and Sean Barrett took a 12-yard scoring pass from Bruni.
Midgets: Shocked at the outset by two onside kicks recovered by their opponents, the Vikings dropped a 28-6 verdict to Oak Grove South, one of the region's Midget powers. Joe Vea plunged three yards for the Vikings touchdown, and Joseph Rosales was termed M-A's top player with a courageous two-way performance. Other commended Vikings were David Mapa and Giovanni Lucciani.
— Report by Jim Gallagher of Vikings Boosters