Vikings knock off troublesome Warriors, head to State semifinal game
The Charlo Vikings went up against the Fairview Warriors on Saturday’s warm afternoon during a quarter-final match-up with intense energy from the hometown crowd.
Last season the same Warriors defeated the Vikings in quarterfinals, and in week one this season gave the Vikings their first and only loss. Charlo was seeking redemption, and the Viking fans were on board.
Grandma Nancy’s fry bread was served up with a purple huckleberry spread in support of her favorite team, purple balloons flew from the sidelines, and a small gray airplane flew close to the field a few times under a high afternoon sun.
In the first quarter, the two teams battled it out until the Vikings scored with two minutes left on the clock when Brady Fryberger caught a pass from Landers Smith. Smith and Fryberger scored again with 35 seconds on the clock. The Warriors jumped in with 1 second left to score and the quarter ended, 14-6. The Vikings didn’t let the points go easily. Zane Hafliger caught a pass intended for the Vikings and turned it over, but the Warriors picked up another touchdown to tie up the score at halftime, 14-14.
Viking Sabin Perry wasn’t worried.
“I think we want it more,” he said during the game. “We are better conditioned, and I think we will outlast them.”
In the third quarter, Jared Doty broke the tie with a fast 30-yard run after picking up a pass from Smith, putting Charlo ahead 22- 14. Hafliger later caught a pass from Smith and went 29 yards to score another touchdown, increasing the Viking’s lead to 30-14.
But the Warriors came back to score a touchdown with a 2-point conversion, closing the gap at 30-22.
Doty caught a high ball from a kickoff and fired down the field for a fast 69-yard run.
“I ‘gotta’ make this,” he said of his thoughts as he ran through the defense. He scored again several minutes later on a 4-yard run.
The Warriors came back again to score in a back-and-forth third quarter in favor of the Vikings. Tyson Petticrew scored the final third quarter touchdown with a 23- yard run after a pass from Smith to increase Charlo’s lead to 52-30.
“It’s been a great season,” Hafliger said during the game. “We’ve been taking it day after day, and we’ve been looking for this game for awhile.”
The Warriors scored again at the top of the fourth quarter, but the Vikings answered with a 17-yard touchdown from Petticrew, and Trent Dennison caught a pass intended for the Warriors and scored the last touchdown for his team. The Warriors scored three more touchdowns, but the Vikings finished the game 64-52 in the State C semi-final match-up with high fives and plenty of loud cheers.
Head Coach Mike Krahn was proud of his team.
“We got tested, we had a few get hurt, but they showed heart, and I’m proud of them,” he said.
Krahn said he told his team they get to play at home one more time this year if they make one more win in the semifinal game at Belt on Saturday, Nov. 12.
“All the teams are tough at this point,” he said. “Belt is out of the north and they have speed similar to ours so we will see what happens.”
Although Belt is undefeated, they are currently ranked sixth in the state behind Charlo, ranked fourth. The winner of Saturday’s semifinal game will play either Wibaux or Ennis for the state championship. Goliath win Story and photos by Karen Peterson Valley Journal