HAYWARD -- For the past four years, the Valley Christian High football team has been looking for a way to topple rival Salesian. The answer came in Vikings running back Howard Wikle, who ran for 370 yards and five touchdowns in a 41-33 Tri-County Rock League victory over the Pride on Friday night at Chabot College.
"This was a big game for our program," Wikle said. "Everything was working and my offensive line was blocking and making huge holes. I just had to sprint through them."
Valley Christian (8-2, 4-2 TCAL Rock) rebounded from a 27-14 halftime deficit, largely thanks to Wikle. After the Vikings recovered the opening kickoff of the second half, Wikle scored his second touchdown of the night on an 18-yard run. Later in the third quarter, Wikle scored from 31 yards out to tie the game.
Early in the fourth quarter, Wikle reached paydirt from 63 yards out, giving Valley Christian a 34-27 lead.
Salesian (8-2, 4-2) looked poised to tie it up on the next drive, as De'Angelo Hernandez scored on a 17-yard touchdown run. However, the Vikings held the lead after a Pride point-after attempt failed. Wikle added one more touchdown -- his fifth -- a couple minutes later on a 65-yard sprint. Four of Wikle's touchdown runs were longer than 30 yards.
Salesian received solid efforts from running back Michael Page and quarterback Zach Boyett, but the Pride couldn't stop the Vikings' second-half momentum.
The speedy Page finished with
Valley Christian 41, Salesian 33
Valley Christian 6 8 13 14-- 41
Salesian 7 20 0 6-- 33
VC -- Wikle 77 run (run failed)
S -- Page 62 run (Stern kick)
S -- Page 71 pass from Boyett (Stern kick)
S -- Page 38 pass from Boyett (kick failed)
VC -- Volpatti 75 kick return (Blackwell pass from Volpatti)
S -- Hayes 29 pass from Boyett (Stern kick)
VC -- Wikle 18 run (Marco kick)
VC -- Wikle 31 run (Kick failed)
VC -- Wikle 63 run (Marco kick)
S -- Hernandez 17 run (Kick failed)
VC -- Wikle 65 run (Marco kick)
Rushing: VC -- Wikle 34-370, Harris 11-49, Volpatti 6-24, Harris 1-(-1). Totals 52-442. S -- Page 11-118, Hernandez 11-76. Totals 22-194. Passing: VC -- Volpatti 0-7-0 0. S -- Boyett 9-25-2 202. Receiving: S -- Page 4-122, Hayes 3-62, Morgan 1-19, Hernandez 1-(1). Fumbles/lost: Valley Christian 1/0; Salesian 0/0. Records: Valley Christian 8-2, 4-2 TCAL-Rock; Salesian 8-2, 4-2.