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Paint Bucket Blues: Strong start leads Vikings past Jimmies

Valley City State's Anthony Logan nearly escapes Jamestown's Caleb Ellingson (32) and Latif Mahamadou Saturday at Rollie Greeno Field. John M. Steiner / The Sun1 / 3
Jamestown's Caleb Ellingson grabs onto Valley City State's Jalen Pfeifer before bringing him down Saturday at Rollie Greeno Field. John M. Steiner / The Sun2 / 3
Jamestown's Troy Stuard chases down Valley City State's Jake Peterson as he makes a catch and running it into the end zone. John M. Steiner / The Sun3 / 3

Louis Quinones and Valley City State University didn't waste any time Saturday at Rollie Greeno Field.

The sophomore running back returned the opening kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown in the 119th meeting between the Vikings and the University of Jamestown on the gridiron. Quinones ultimately came up just two yards short of a Vikings' record with 314 all-purpose yards, and Valley City State retained the Paint Bucket with a 40-14 win over the Jimmies.

"We really wanted to come out not letting the cold or the snow distract us," Quinones said. "We really just focused on being a team and making sure each of us do our job and get this win.

"Good things happen when everyone does their job."

Valley City State could do no wrong in the first quarter, scoring two touchdowns before its offense took the field. The Vikings' Dominic Kruse blocked a Chandlar Johnson punt in Jimmie territory on Jamestown's first offensive possession, which was scooped up and returned to the house by Hunter Olson.

Already trailing 13-0 less than 3 minutes in, Jamestown was stripped of the ball on its ensuing kickoff return, recovered by Kruse and returned to the Jimmies' 32-yard line.

"Execution," Jamestown head coach Josh Kittell said. "We have to find a way to execute, and I don't know if the score should even matter at that point.

"Yeah, they've got the momentum, but it's two minutes into the game. We gotta find a way to respond to adversity."

Quinones scored his first of three rushing touchdowns two plays later, and after a Jimmie three-and-out the Vikings again quickly found the end zone. VCSU freshman quarterback Jalen Pfeifer capped a three-play, 66-yard drive with a 15-yard rushing score.

The Vikings led 27-0 with 9 minutes, 5 seconds still remaining in the first quarter and after running five offensive plays.

"With the weather we had we kept talking about it, we needed a good start," Valley City State head coach Dennis McCulloch said. "You couldn't have designed it any better for us, and it's hard for Jamestown.

"We could see they can pound the rock, and they do a great job with the ground game. It's just hard when they have to come from behind."

Jimmie senior quarterback Dylan Klatt connected with freshman tight end James Hagen for a 61-yard touchdown pass and catch in the second quarter. Valley City led 34-7 at the half.

Freshman running back Allen Jevning scored a 4-yard TD on the ground late in the fourth quarter for the Jimmies. Quinones ended the afternoon with 171 rushing yards on 22 carries, to go along with 143 return yards.

Jamestown produced 317 yards of total offense but gave up two fumble recoveries and an interception to the Vikings. A young Valley City State team finished the season at 5-5.

"I've been telling people we're special," McCulloch said. "We've got a really good group of kids and hopefully they'll stay with us. But our young kids that are here? We're gonna be all right, despite the coaching."

The Jimmies (2-8) wrap up the season Saturday at Waldorf University (6-4).

"We've got to find a way to build some confidence going into the offseason, and try to send our seniors out the right way and finish off on a high note," Kittell said.

Valley City State 40, Jamestown 14

VC 27 7 0 6 -- 40

UJ 0 7 0 7 -- 14


First quarter

VC: Louis Quinones 87 kick return (kick failed), 14:47.

VC: Hunter Olson blocked punt return (Landon Arredondo kick), 12:23.

VC: Quinones 24 run (Arredondo kick), 11:38.

VC: Jalen Pfeifer 15 run (Arredondo kick), 9:05.

Second quarter

UJ: James Hagen 61 pass from Dylan Klatt (Chandler Johnson kick), 9:18.

VC: Quinones 8 run (Arredondo kick), 4:40.

Fourth quarter

VC: Quinones 23 run (kick failed), 7:42.

UJ: Allen Jevning 4 run (Johnson kick), 4:20.

TOTAL YARDS: VC 381 (100 passing); UJ 317 (158 passing).

Individual leaders

PASSING: VC, Pfeifer 9-19-0 100. J, Klatt 10-19-1 150, 1 TD, Jordan Mann 1-5-0 8.

RUSHING: VC, Quinones 22-171, Anthony Logan 13-77, Pfeifer 2-43. J, Jevning 14-51, Jimmy Hatch 9-39, Klatt 9-11, Mann 3-17, Justin Manson 1-11, Branden Edwards 1-10, Jackson He 5-7, Tyler Shurtz 1-2.

RECEIVING: VC, Jake Peterson 4-61, Eli Luna 4-39, Nick Groth 1-0. J, Hagen 1-61, Josh Verghis 3-29, Hatch 1-24, Zeb Taber 2-18, Pete Fehr 1-11, Nick Thompson 1-8, Edwards 2-7.

TACKLES: VC, Kendrick Lenzen 12, Jesus Munoz 10, Riley Fredrickson 10. J, Caleb Ellingson 16, Andrew Jensen 9, Bisherie Steward 6.

FUMBLE RECOVERIES: VC, Jerrod Williamson, Dominic Kruse.


RECORDS: Valley City State 5-5, 4-4 NSAA. Jamestown 2-8, 2-5 NSAA.

Michael Savaloja

Hometown: Churchs Ferry, N.D.; College: North Dakota

A recipient of the NDHSCA Award of Merit, Savaloja has been reporting sports for The Sun since 2008.

Follow on Twitter: @MichaelSavaloja

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