KENT — The Snohomish County Vikings had their chances against the defending champion King County Jaguars.
But the Snohomish County offense didn’t take advantage of them and King County prevailed 16-3 in the season opener for both teams June 17 at French Field.
The Vikings took a 3-0 lead in the first quarter on a 40-yard field goal by Larry Moody. Snohomish County moved the 65 yards on 13 plays before stalling at the Jaguars’ 23-yard line.
Unfortunately for Snohomish County, their first drive was the only time of the game when the offense was able to consistently move the ball.
Snohomish County defensive backs Brian Carter and Jason Carter had interceptions in the second and third quarters, respectively. But the Vikings’ offense was unable to convert the turnovers into points.
“I wish we would have taken advantage of our opportunities,” Snohomish County head coach Wes Fischer said.
King County took a 7-3 lead on a 4-yard touchdown run by Nathan Proctor at the 5:44 mark of the second quarter.
Snohomish County caught a break later in the second quarter when a King County pass interference call gave the Vikings the ball inside the Jaguars’ 10.
Snohomish County moved the ball to the 3 before having to settle for a 20-yard field goal attempt that was unsuccessful.
In the third quarter, King County tacked on a 32-yard field goal by Nathan Hale and then Proctor closed out the scoring with a 41-yard touchdown run.
The ground game that was so effective on the Vikings’ opening drive sputtered against a more aggressive King County defense.
“At first it was just run, just run, just run,” Fischer said. “We were confident we could continue doing that and when they managed to stop that by putting 10 in the box you have to throw the ball. So that’s what we did.”
Snohomish County’s passing attack, however, also struggled against King County.
“Our offense has got to be better because our defense can play really good,” Fischer said. “We really did shut down most everything they did.”
Part of the problem was that the Vikings were without some starting offensive linemen.
“We need to get the rest of our guys in camp,” Fischer said. “We’re missing some O-line. If we get them in camp it will make a difference … that first series we were moving the ball. We moved it real well and then later we were missing some assignments and weren’t getting many yards and we weren’t throwing very well.”
Snohomish County also had a punt blocked and for the most part was not able to execute its punt returns as well as Fischer would have liked. As a result, the Vikings lost the field position game.
“That would have made a big difference,” Fischer said.
Snohomish County looks to rebound against the Washington Cavaliers at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 24, in its home opener at Edmonds Stadium.
Washington defeated the Willamette Valley Raiders 16-3.