Vikings stage comeback to beat Carlton

Brian Larsen


With Ethan Sporn on the outside ready to hit someone and Sam O’Phelan putting a nice block on the Carlton defender, Josh Prom carried for a big gain on this play early in the first quarter of the Vikings’ thrilling 20-16 win over the Carlton Bulldogs. The Vikings' record is now 1-1 while Carlton is now 0-2 on the season. 
Staff photos/Laurie Johnson With Ethan Sporn on the outside ready to hit someone and Sam O’Phelan putting a nice block on the Carlton defender, Josh Prom carried for a big gain on this play early in the first quarter of the Vikings’ thrilling 20-16 win over the Carlton Bulldogs. The Vikings' record is now 1-1 while Carlton is now 0-2 on the season. Staff photos/Laurie Johnson Connor Somnis caught a Hail Mary pass from Josh Prom and ran it in for a touchdown with 1:41 to play in the Vikings’ first home game of the season against the Carlton Bulldogs.

The two sophomores hooked up on a 68-yard reception that gave the Vikings a 20-16 lead with time winding down, but Carlton almost stole the game back, taking the Vikings’ kick-off at its 40 yard line and running four plays to bring the ball to the Vikings’ five yard line with time enough to run two errant, heart-stopping passing plays before the clock finally hit zero.

The Vikings took the first lead late in the first quarter after sophomore running back Ethan Sporn carried the ball across the goal line from about 8 yards out. Prom’s two-point conversion pass to sophomore Dyami Blackwell was successful and the Vikings were up 8-0.


Above: Dillon Sjogren used his cat-like quickness to reach out and tackle the Carlton ball carrier and hold him to almost no gain. Right: Colton Furlong (No. 2) put his shoulder into the tackle to stop the ball carrier dead in his tracks. Above: Dillon Sjogren used his cat-like quickness to reach out and tackle the Carlton ball carrier and hold him to almost no gain. Right: Colton Furlong (No. 2) put his shoulder into the tackle to stop the ball carrier dead in his tracks. Carlton quarterback Jackson Mickle completed a touchdown pass in the second quarter and then ran in the two-point conversion to tie the score 8-8. Sam O’Phelan made a nice interception late in the second quarter to end a Carlton drive and the two teams went into half time tied.

Early in the third quarter the field went dark because a breaker blew inside the school. It took about 30 minutes to get the lights cooled off and warmed up again before play on the field could be resumed.

With a light rain falling the Vikings marched down the field and Prom scampered in from about seven yards for the touchdown. The Vikings’ two-point conversion try failed and the Vikings were up 14-8.

Early in the fourth quarter Carlton’s workhorse, Jason Mickle, took the snap from center and ran around the end past Viking defenders and scored on a 45-yard run. Carlton’s two-point conversion was successful and the Bulldogs took a 16-14 lead. From that point on both teams played tight defense, running three plays and then punting. Unable to move the ball, it looked like the Vikings would lose until the long distance Promto Somnis connection, a fortuitous long bomb for a touchdown, and then they held on for dear life to take the team’s first win of the season.

After the game Viking Head Coach Mitch Dorr talked about the play of several of his players.

“Ethan Sporn really played well on both sides of the football. He was vital to our defense and made many key tackles throughout the game.

“Connor Somnis had the play of the game as he changed his route when Josh was flushed out of the pocket catching a 68-yard touchdown pass. After the catch he made numerous Carlton defenders miss. It could not have happened to a nicer young man.

“Our defense was the story of the game. They bent, but didn’t break, holding Carlton to just two scores. While our offense hasn’t found its groove yet, the defense played well.

“This is a tough group of young men filled with character. I was proud of the way they battled,” said Coach Dorr.

Next up for the Vikings is a road trip to play a neutral non-conference game on Friday, September 16 against Frederic High School in Superior, Wisconsin. Following that game they travel the next Friday to play Ely and then come home on Friday, September 30 to play Mountain Iron-Buhl. Come out and cheer on your Vikings!


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