By David Pan Weekly Herald sports editor
The Snohomish County Vikings put together their best performance of the season.
The reward was a hard-fought 27-20 victory over the South King County Colts in a Pacific Football League game June 9 at Snohomish High School.
“We played more like a team,” said Snohomish County coach Wes Fischer. “Everybody was working well together. We ended up scoring first, which was the first time this season.”
Quarterback Jacob Howard connected on touchdown passes of 17 and 28 yards to wide receiver Patrick Sullivan before South King County responded with a 1-yard TD run by Rabbit Vasa to cut the deficit to 14-7 in the first quarter.
A 30-yard field goal by Mike Astley cut the lead to 14-10 before the Vikings defense came up with a huge play.
Linebacker Erik Emme picked off a Colts’ pass and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown as Snohomish County took a 20-10 lead into halftime.
Unfortunately, Howard was knocked out of the game late in the first half with a bad ankle sprain. Howard completed 5 of 8 passes for 53 yards and two touchdowns.
Backup quarterback Charlie Combs came in to lead the Vikings.
“He handled the offense really well,” Fischer said. “He’s a big, strong kid. He can run the ball if he needs to.”
Combs also plays wide receiver and had two receptions for 11 yards.
“He’s all heart,” Fischer said. “He’s very valuable.”
South King County cut the deficit to 20-17 on a 18-yard touchdown pass from Vas to Robbie Delgardo in the third quarter.
Snohomish County then extended its lead to 27-17 early in the fourth quarter on a 64-yard touchdown run by Markiese Smith. Astley booted a 27-yard field goal to close out the scoring.
“One of Emme’s blocks sprung Markiese Smith for that long touchdown,” Fischer noted.”Emme was very influential on both sides of the ball.”
The Vikings ended up rushing the ball for 94 yards in the second half, many of which were in the fourth quarter when they were protecting their lead. Snohomish County ended up with 153 total yards on the ground.
Smith rushed for 122 yards on 12 carries.
South King County actually outgained Snohomish County 246 to 243 and had 19 first downs to the Vikings’ 7.
The Vikings defense forced six turnovers.
“The guys were doing the things we talked about,” Fischer said. “The first guy makes sure of the tackle and the second guy tries to strip the ball. They were gang-tackling. We had a lot of people getting to the ball. When you have a lot of contact, you never know what is going to happen.”
Snohomish County (2-4 overall) has a bye this week and then hosts the Yakima Mavericks at 6 p.m., June 23 at Edmonds Stadium. The Mavericks beat the Vikings 35-26 last year. Yakima lost to the Grays Harbor Bearcats 28-21 in a June 8 contest.
The Vikings plan to collect canned food for local food banks. Anyone who brings three cans of food will receive $2 off an adult ticket.
Fischer said he hopes Snohomish County can build on the momentum of the team’s second victory.
“It was about as much fun for us as it was for the fans,” Fischer said. “It was just a total team effort.”