East County Sports

Vikings make Patriots’ night forgettable

2021 EAST COUNTY PREP FOOTBALL

LA JOLLA 37, CHRISTIAN 7

 

EastCountySports.com staff report

 

EL CAJON – It was a forgettable night of football in more ways than one at Valley Stadium on Saturday night.

The seventh-ranked La Jolla Vikings kept things rolling in a 37-7 win over the host Christian Patriots.

At least it was Senior Night for the hosts, and the worthy upperclassmen were acknowledged for their hard work, especially over the last year.

La Jolla scored a couple of first-quarter touchdowns and appeared to be on their way to another high-caliber performance but the officials changed the landscape of the game.

The Vikings talented started quarterback was ejected from the game after a pair of personal foul penalties, reportedly for foul language.

The Patriots were then able to get on the scoreboard and make the super Vikings consider whether the departure of one of the county’s top passers – Jackson Stratton – would affect La Jolla’s ability to sustain its usual offensive output.

It took a while to get the ship back downwind, but in the end, it still was about this winning trajectory of the LJHS program.

La Jolla scored early on a pair of touchdown pass from Stratton to star receiver Diego Solis.

A 9-yard score opened the scoring, then with 5:39 left in the first quarter, the Vikings took a 14-0 lead on a 4-yard scoring connection.

Christian’s Jack St. Fleur, believed to have been lost for the season due to a broken ankle just three weeks ago, made a surprising return to the lineup.

Talk about tough. He looked to be certainly at near-full speed playing on both sides of the ball.

St. Fleur scored a touchdown on a 2-yard run with 7:59 left in the first half that brought Christian back to within a touchdown.

It was St. Fleur and the Patriot bench that appeared to engage and enrage Stratton, causing the quarterback to receive his ejection prior to the Pats’ score. Stratton had already received a personal foul earlier in the quarter.

Northern Colorado-bound kicker Davin Bale knocked in three field goals, including one in the second quarter as La Jolla led just 17-7 at halftime. He had successful boots of 36 and 38 yards in the third quarter.

La Jolla’s underrated defense stymied the Pats’ offense in the third quarter.

Max Raulston caught a 48-yard touchdown pass just a little more than five minutes into the second half to extend the lead to 27-7.

Star Max Smith capped the scoring with a 2-yard TD run in the fourth quarter.

But it’s not all about offense with the top team in the Eastern League – despite a 50-point-per-game average – but the Viking defense is quite the gem, as well.

Christian High passed for 120 yards but had just 38 yards on the ground on 25 carries.

Even with a huge lead, La Jolla coaches were obviously upset with the officiating, even late in the contest.

The Vikings improved to 4-0 and are nearing the top five in the local poll in this historical run.

Christian (2-2) is scheduled to travel to face Mission Bay (1-2) next Friday.

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