Just about everything that could go wrong went wrong for Snohomish County in last week’s Northwest Football League opener against Pierce County.
A nasty flu bug that had been making the rounds at practice resulted in a few linemen missing the game. The Vikings starting center also was unable to play.
But perhaps the most significant blow was when starting cornerback Duane Bowen was injured in the second half while defending a pass in the end zone.
As a result of his absence, the Bengals went to the air in the fourth quarter and turned what was a close game into a rout, defeating Snohomish County 40-13 June 12 at Lakewood Stadium.
The Vikings only trailed 7-3 at halftime and were only down 13-6 at the end of the third quarter. Kyle Duffy scored Snohomish County’s lone touchdown in the fourth quarter.
“They started throwing some long (passes) and they started connecting,” Vikings coach Wes Fischer said. “It was long passes … Duane just shut down a whole bunch of their attempts. When he got hurt that was it.”
The Viking defense kept Pierce County’s rushing attack in check for most of the game.
“They were not able to run on us,” Fischer said. “They’ve got some heavy duty running backs. We shut down most of their runs.”
Bowen is expected back for tomorrow’s home opener against the Willamette Valley Raiders. Game time is set for 6 p.m. at Edmonds Stadium.
Snohomish County will try to put more pressure on the quarterback, Fischer said.
“We want to intensify our rush and pressure from our defensive linemen,” he said. “We’ll see if we can get more penetration, a few more blitzes and trying to disrupt what the quarterback is trying to do.”
The Viking offense moved the ball well but struggled in the first quarter with penalties.
Fischer estimated that Snohomish County committed eight penalties in its first 10-12 plays.
After the first-game jitters went away, the Vikings settled down.
“We were moving the ball very well,” Fischer said. “(Running back) Steve Casino was phenomenal. They had to gang tackle him to get him down.”
The Vikings, however, turned the ball over six times, while taking the ball away from the Bengals four times.
“They won the turnover battle,” Fischer said. “We shut down drives deep in their (territory).”