Vikings win big over Horsemen, remain undefeated

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CHARLO VIKINGS quarterback Landers Smith runs past the Plains Horsemen defender during Saturday afternoon’s game at Plains High School. (photo courtesy of Erin Jusseaume/Special to the Leader)

The Charlo High School football team solidified and secured its number one spot in the western division with their 50-14 victory over Plains Saturday night at Plains High School.

Vikings’ coach Mike Krahn said the victory allowed his team to reach their first goal en route to achieving their final goal of a Class C, 8-man football title as they head into the regular season finale against Troy Friday night at Troy High School.

“We kind of reached our first goal which was to win the north and defeating Plains was a big victory in retrospect,” Krahn said. “(Winning the championship) was big and really solidifies our place in the north district of the western division of the bracket. We will be playing in two weeks and looking to play against Flint Creek for the first and second portion of that division. It’s nice to clinch something a little early and that takes the pressure off in a way. We can just focus on getting better, obviously.”

Though Charlo defeated the Horsemen handily, Krahn said the victory wasn’t as easy as the scoreboard indicated.

“Plains was a tough team, it was a tough game and we knew that just watching them play on film that they would have a big physical line,” Krahn said. “They added another big lineman, who was out of town, and that just added one more big boy to their group. We’ve played some hard, physical football games and we had to play tough and kind of weather some storms during Saturday’s contest.”

In the early portion of the contest with the Horsemen, Charlo took the early lead. Vikings quarterback Landers Smith scored on a 28-yard touchdown run and after Smith successfully converted the 2-point conversion attempt, it made it 8-0 in the first quarter. Smith then completed a pass 26-yard pass to Toby Odom for a touchdown that increased the Vikes’ lead to 14-0.

Charlo didn’t stop its offensive onslaught.

With 4:16 left in the first quarter Smith completed a 6-yard pass to Sabin Perry and Smith converted a successful 2-point conversion attempt to give them a commanding 22-0 lead.

The Horsemen stopped Charlo’s momentum and briefly climbed back into the contest. Running back Tanner Ovitt scored on a 2-yard run and Kyle Weeks had a successful 2-point conversion when he connected with Jubal Ryan to make the score 22-8.

On the ensuing kickoff, Vikings’ return specialist Dominic Marquez fumbled and Kyle Weeks recovered the fumble to run it back to the end zone and make the contest close at 22-14.

After that score from Weeks, Charlo would dominate.

Smith again scored in the second quarter on a 26-yard run and after connecting with Perry, they took the lead into halftime 30-14.

Smith scored another three touchdowns to give Charlo the 36-point victory. The victory should secure the Vikings position to fight for the top-seed in the Class C, 8-man playoffs against powerhouse Flint Creek.

“We were kind of rolling and all of a sudden, they are down one score and those scores came pretty quickly,” Krahn said. “In those games you need to be battle tested and that tested us because it was a hard, physical game. That was the best offensive line we have seen as a whole. They really came after us and played a physical brand of football. Next week, they will play Mission and are still in the playoff hunt.”

After the Vikings host Troy for senior night, they will have the “play in” game against Troy to determine who will have a number one and number two seed in the playoffs. Though Krahn admits he doesn’t like looking ahead in contests, he knows the match up will be “difficult.”

“You kind of have to look at the schedule and it’s all new with splitting the divisions up,” Krahn said. “We have had many battles with Flint Creek over the years and they have a good program. There is a pretty good chance that it looks like they might win the division title. We’ve been watching their games and I am sure they’ve been watching ours. We will be able to scout each other. We give each other a hard time when we see each other and hosting Flint Creek will be a nice victory to have at home.”

When Krahn was asked if he would rest his starters against winless Troy, the answer was “no,” because he wants players to get more repitition and remain in sync offensively and defensively.

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