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Vikings Pop Warner football: playoff games

 

Submitted by Adam Greenlow of Menlo Park, a player on the Junior Midgets team and an eighth-grader at St. Raymond School.

The Menlo-Atherton Vikings of the Pop Warner football league played in the first round of the playoffs against numerous teams. The games were played on Oct. 30 and 31. All players named are with the Vikings.

Mitey Mites (8/9 year-olds): The Mitey Mites played the Coyote Creek Wildcats in Santa Clara. The Vikings played their best but sadly lost in their one game post season final for this age group. Darnell Ellis had a noteworthy 30-yard run. Cabel Medoza had numerous tackles including a few quarterback sacks. The final score was a 30-0 loss.

Junior Pee Wees (10/11 year-olds): The JPW played the Redwood City 49ers in Santa Cruz. The Vikings lost 18-12 in an exciting game that went into overtime. Early in the game, Tate Tussing scored on a punt return. This was followed by a pass reception by Floyd Gazaway from Blake Stenstrom for a touchdown. After a scoreless second half, the Junior Pee Wee teams entered overtime. The Vikings unfortunately could not hold the 49ers. Congratulations to the Vikings for a great 7-2 season. This season was made possible by the head coach Steve Stenstrom, a former 49ers and Stanford quarterback.

Junior Midgets (12/13 year-olds): The Junior Midgets played the Gilroy Browns at Gilroy High School. The Vikings won 22-6, and advance to the next round of the playoffs. The Vikings started early with a David Teu score on a 40-yard run. After Manupo Turituri ran the ball 50-yards to the 2-yard line, David Teu scored again. Robby Beardsley threw some critical passes including one to Alex Argente for a big gain. A notable play was Colin Kloezeman's interception to start a drive that ended with another David Teu touchdown.

Midgets (13/14 year-olds): The Midgets played the Morgan Hill Raiders at Morgan Hill. The Viking team had several players with 6-8 years of Pop Warner experience, along with experienced coaches who collaborated together to pull out every trick play they've used over the years. Many of them were successful, such as Skylar Taulapapa's pass completion on a fake punt, Nick Stoner's onside kicks, Matt Odell's "running snap" and Benjamin (Sunshine) Burr-Kirven's completion to Jayshawn Puckett out of the "swinging gate." The Vikings fought hard to keep it close for three quarters but Morgan Hill pulled away at the end, and the Vikings lost 27-0.

Coach Rob Gerner said: "The Vikings practiced hard, and in the last Pop Warner game for many of them, they came out fast, hit hard, and had fun. We are very proud of these young men and wish them the best in their high school careers at different schools including Menlo-Atherton, Palo Alto, Sacred Heart, St. Francis, Menlo and others."

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