By Laurence Dow
For Media News Group
King of Prussia>> The Upper Merion Vikings fell 48-20 in their season opener against the Conwell-Egan Eagles on Friday night in front of a raucous home crowd. The Vikings are in their second season under head coach David Chubb and were looking to start the season with a victory.
The game started off shakily for the Vikings after the Eagles forced a turnover on a sack-fumble of starting senior quarterback Zayd Etheridge. They would score one play later with a run through the heart of the Vikings’ defense. This would be a theme for the game with the Vikings quarterback under constant duress on most pass attempts, and the Eagles rushing attack finding constant success.
Yet, the Vikings responded early in the game with an impressive five-play drive ending in a touchdown pass from Etheridge to senior tight end Preston Thomas. The Vikings defense was impressive to start the game forcing a field-goal miss, interception and crucial stops in the early stages of the game.
That touchdown from Thomas would be the last offensive Viking score for more than two quarters putting heavy pressure on their defense.
The Eagles’ offense, however, would continue to soar scoring 27 unanswered points to compile a 34-7 lead. The Vikings had success on drives that they could not capitalize on with points.
“We had some momentum shifts, we shot ourselves in the foot with penalties, and that’s something we have to clean up,” said Chubb “ It just seemed like they just kept pounding and we couldn’t move the ball tonight.”
The Vikings struggled to move the ball mainly due to a ferocious defensive performance from the Eagles’ defensive line which dominated the game from opening to closing whistle. Etheridge was constantly on th;e run and struggled to get the time to find receivers when they did find success against the Eagles secondary.
The Vikings rush attack was similarly muted for most of the game with holes either closing quickly or never opening up, though in the second half the rush attack did start to find some success. Most notably, when senior wide receiver Qwyne Seals filled in at running back.
“I felt like our line wanted it more being down by that much,” said Seal “ That drive we had a little bit of juice as a team.”
Seals ended that drive gashing the Eagles for a long touchdown run in the most successful offensive play of the day for the Vikings. who despite their deficit refused to quit.
The Vikings motto coming into this season was “finish the job,” and while they were down big in the third and fourth quarters their head coach was proud of the fight they displayed.
“But I’m happy with the guys, they didn’t quit tonight, we try to finish everything for the most part I felt we did that,” said Chubb “ it’s important for us to always keep going no matter what the score is.”
The Vikings are already looking ahead to next week’s game, where they’re looking to secure their first victory of the season. The Vikings play next Friday at 7 pm against the Norristown Eagles in an away game.
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