Vikings End Football Season and Two-Game Losing Skid With Victory at Home Against San Joaquin Delta


Quarterback Dylan Graham (12) and teammates Isaias Sierra (61), and Jeloni Brown (23) pregame before the matchup against San Joaquin Delta. Photo by DVC Athletics Instagram page.

Ammar Khan, Staff

The Diablo Valley College Vikings ended a two-game losing streak with a statement defeat of the visiting San Joaquin Delta Mustangs by a score of 52-27. The Nov. 12 matchup in Pleasant Hill marked the final regular season home game for the Vikings.

Following the resounding victory over the Mustangs, the Vikings ended their 2021 regular season with a final record of  6-4. The Vikings headed into the matchup with a two-game losing streak after suffering consecutive blowout losses to the San Mateo Bulldogs and the San Francisco Rams.

“I think the Vikings have earned a spot in a bowl game, even during this up and down season,”said Max Agress, a former Vikings Offensive lineman and current play-by-play commentator for Vikings Sports Network. Vikings Sports Network is the Diablo Valley College broadcast network that streams all of the Vikings sports games.

The Vikings offense looked to put its two previous losing performances behind from the get-go. Freshman Quarterback Joey Aguilar, who had struggled in his previous matchups, finished the game 9 for 16 in passes completed. He threw 111 total yards, one touchdown pass, and one interception. Aguilar’s  longest completion of the night was a 37-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter to wide receiver John Giagiari on a seam route.

The Vikings run game also helped run up the scoreboard, even without Jaysn Wade, who was sidelined during the middle of the first quarter after he appeared to roll his ankle on a 3rd and goal situation during the Vikings’ first drive. Wade was later seen stretching and working with trainers on the sideline, where he remained for the rest of the game.

But backup running back Eric Hunter put on a spectacular performance that helped ease the loss of Wade. With his ability to burst to the second level while simultaneously shifting pass defenders, the fast and elusive Hunter finished the game with 3 touchdowns, 145 yards and an 8.1 yards-per-carry average in just 18 rushing attempts.

Hunter’s three touchdowns represent a career high at Diablo Valley College. He delivered his first touchdown, which pushed the Vikings to a 14-7 lead, with a 21-yard inside zone run in the first quarter at the four-minute mark. After a 22-yard run yielded his second touchdown, Hunter scored his last touchdown of the game in the third quarter on another stretch run for 11 yards, which gave the Vikings a commanding 38-13 lead.

The aggressive and fast style of defense that head coach Mike Darr and the Vikings began the season with also seemed to get back on track in this matchup. After giving up 41 points a week before to City College of San Francisco, the Vikings defense held the Mustangs to 27 points, the majority coming after second string defenders were substituted into the game.

The Vikings defensive unit held the Mustangs to just 190 yards of total offense, 37 rushing yards on 32 attempts, and a 24 percent third down conversion rate (4 of 17).

The defensive unit also compiled seven sacks, one interception, and a fumble recovery on the night.

The defensive line, led by lineman Rondell Lee Thomas, forced 2 total sacks and a fumble. The linebacker group led by the hard-hitting duo of Sammy Von Feldon and Jack Lacy also put on a great performance. Each found their way to the Mustangs’ quarterback; Von Feldon ended the night with two sacks and Lacy with one.

The secondary also proved vital to the Vikings’ win. Defensive back Roman Rashada led the charge with two sacks. His fellow defensive backs – Jeloni Brown, Dieontae Malan, Antoine Tanner, Rasheed Reason and Malachi Ward – each took the deep ball away from San Joaquin with pass break ups. Defensive back Jabril White also came away with an interception.

The Vikings are now preparing for a Dec. 2 playoff matchup, known as “The Grizzly Bowl,” against the Modesto Junior College Pirates in Modesto, Calif.