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High School Football:
Vikings Win Offensive Battle Against Lenape

Friday, October 15, 1999

By Greg Alvord
SJSports Staff Writer

In the feature game of the week and living up to its high billing, the Eastern Vikings edged the Lenape Indians 36-32 as both teams treated the 5000 fans in attendance to a highly entertaining game. Lenape began the scoring on a 44-yard burst up the middle by Mike Ceroli (one of his 5 TD's on the night.) Eastern would come right back on their next possession to take a 7-6 lead. Adam Taliaferro took the option pitch and darted in from 13 yards out. A John Riggins-like one-handed catch out of the backfield sparked the drive by Taliaferro, which picked up a key first down.

Eastern began the second quarter with a methodical drive as quarterback Darryl Scott, fullback Ed Carter and Taliaferro all pitched in to make key plays during the drive. The highlight came on Taliaferro's field reversing, spinning 15-yard sweep. Taliaferro's (also 5 TD's on the night) 1 yard plunge behind blocking machine Justin Barton gave the Viking's a 14-6 lead. This is where Lenape had Eastern on the ropes. The Indians would score 3 TD's in a 4 minute span to take a 25-14 halftime lead. Like "Marvelous" Marvin landing his classic right-left combo, the Indians would stagger the Vikings. On a copycat burst of his first TD, Ceroli would again burst up the middle for a 30-yard TD. On the ensuing kickoff, the Indian special teams came up big. Eastern failed to cover the high bloop kick and the opportunistic Indians recovered. Lenape marched down to the 2-yard line in 3 plays and Ceroli scored from the two. Lenape held Eastern on the next drive. A fourth and 2 hold by the defense seemed to fire up the team. With 29 seconds left in the half, Lenape took advantage of Eastern's prevent defense. Ceroli picked up 10 yards and on the next play burst 55 yards for an exhilarating touchdown run. Lenape finally converted the point after to take a 25-14 halftime lead.

Eastern came out in the 3rd quarter against a psyched up Lenape "D". Lenape stuffed Eastern's first two plays and things were looking grim for the Vikings. However Taliaferro did a tremendous Gail Sayers impersonation and dashed 72 yards through the defense to score. A 2 point conversion made it 25-22 and had the Lenape team somewhat stunned. After holding Lenape, the tide turned for Eastern. A 45-yard burst by Carter and another score by Taliaferro gave Eastern a 29-25 lead. Lenape would refuse to go down. A nice drive marched the Indians down to the Eastern 1 yard line, where 'you know who' plunged it home to give Lenape the lead back at 32-29. Eastern would come right back with a haymaker of its own. Facing a 3rd and long, Scott rolled out right and heaved a bomb. The QB had Taliaferro streaking down the sideline. Jumping up against 2 defenders and coming down with the ball, Taliaferro would dance in the rest of the way to complete the 72-yard scoring play.

The final quarter saw both clubs drive only to miss out on scoring. Eastern missed a 36-yard field goal and Lenape saw the clock run out on them as they stood on the 15-yard line of Eastern. An exhuberant Viking team celebrated their victory as time ran out as this match-up between two great teams came to an end.

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