Vikings football crush Pirates’ hope for a win

Arjun Srivatsa, Contributing Writer

Palatine High School and its football team desired to get a win at its homecoming game on Sept. 22, but the Vikings crushed that hope, defeating the Pirates 35-14. The Vikings’ offense was ready to go from its first possession and despite the Viking’s defense having certain issues with Palatine’s offense, they were still able to make big plays when needed.

Sophomore quarterback Ryan Saxe describes the team’s overall offense.

“We have a pounded and explosive offense which really likes to run the ball a lot,” Saxe said.

Sophomore offensive lineman Jack Walsh deconstructs the Viking’s offensive strategy.

“Just run it down their throats, and then once we ran the ball a couple of times, we throw the ball down the field, and score,” Walsh said. This strategy was definitely present in the game, as the Vikings ran the ball 38 times and only threw the ball six times.

But this game was not won by the running game alone; it had the help of the passing game. Saxe had an efficient game, completing four out of six passes for a total of 177 yards and no interceptions.  

The first half ended with the Vikings up 14-0. The Pirates’ offense progressed very quickly up and down the field. They had numerous opportunities to score in the first half, but fortunately Fremd’s defense was able to pull their act together and stop Palatine’s offense from scoring. The Vikings first scored with only 3 minutes left in the first quarter. Luke Bilek scored from two yards away and Anthony Piasecki made the extra point. The Pirates offense was able to cruise deep into Vikings territory where they were halted by the Vikings defense. With only one minute and 38 seconds to go Saxe was able to connect with receiver Jack Hipchen for a 93-yard touchdown, the highlight of the game, which increased the lead of the Vikings to 14.

The Fremd defense had a difficult time with the Pirates quarterback, Zac Garnmeister, who was very quick in the pocket and gave little time for the Vikings defensive line to sack him. Though the defense had some issues, they still had a great performance overall. They had one interception, one sack, and one fumble recovery.

Senior Luke Bilek goes into more detail about the specific issues which his defense faced.

“Probably getting started in the first quarter, we came out pretty slow. We played a little soft,” Bilek said. “We weren’t really prepared for a couple of things they ran, but we adjusted and had it down during the second half.”

The second half was a complete game changer as the Pirates came into the game with a burst of energy. The Pirates scored and put up seven points, but the Vikings replied with a 58-yard pass from Saxe to receiver Will Ferry to put the Vikings at 21 points. Early in the fourth quarter, Bilek scored a two yard touchdown which increased the Viking’s lead from 21 to 28. The Pirates responded by scoring their own touchdown which left the Vikings eight minutes to score again. But that was too much of time, as the Vikings were able to score in less than four minutes as they were already in Pirate’s territory due to an attempted onside kick by the Pirates.

Head coach Lou Sponsel helps breaks down the Viking’s overall performance.

“They played disciplined football and stayed within their responsibilities, and I think in the end, that is what got them the victory,” Sponsel said.

Despite the impressive win, Sponsel still sees room for improvement.

“We just got to play more sound defensively, and we got to make plays when they are on defense,” Sponsel said.

The Vikings played a great game on both sides of the field, and they will be looking to get their next win at Barrington on Saturday, September 29 at 1:00 P.M.