Throughout the spring and summer months, the Puyallup Vikings coaching staff claimed they were going to run the ball much more than they had in previous seasons.
The Vikings may have ran the ball more than usual in their season opener this past Saturday afternoon against the Beamer Titans, but their bread and butter continued to be its passing game combination between quarterback Brendan Illies and wide receiver Levi Jordan.
Jordan caught 9 passes for 257 yards and had three receiving touchdowns.
Jordan’s 73-yard touchdown catch on a seam route with 7:39 left in regulation gave the Vikings an insurmountable 34-21 lead.
The Vikings tacked on another three points when Brad Macdougall nailed a 31-yard field goal with 2:12 left in regulation, propelling the Vikings (1-0 overall) to a 37-21 victory in the season opener against Beamer.
Jordan caught two of his three touchdown passes in the first half. He made a shoestring 15-yard touchdown catch with 6:38 left in the second quarter, tying the game at 21-21.
Jordan credited the offensive line and Illies for the big plays attained in the passing game.
Illies threw for 400 yards and had four touchdown passes and two interceptions in the contest. He gave the Vikings the lead for good when he hooked up with Michael Fuller on a 9-yard touchdown pass with 3:08 left in the second quarter.
“We were basically trying to push the ball as fast as we can. Tempo is a big part of our offense. Brendan is so athletic in the pocket,” Jordan said. “He got me the ball and I did the rest for the team. It worked out pretty good.”
Puyallup head coach Gary Jeffers said Jordan, who has been a starting wide receiver with the Vikings since his sophomore season in 2011, is his team’s go-to-guy in the passing game.
“Levi Jordan is an incredible football player and is an incredible kid,” Jeffers said. “We’re just blessed to have him. He makes great adjustments when the ball is in the air. He is a freak athlete.”
Vikings’ senior running back Trevor Whitney rushed for 138 yards on 18 carries and scored on a 1-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.
Despite the offensive onslaught unleashed by Puyallup, the key to the game was the ferocious defense in the second half. Puyallup didn’t allow a single point after surrendering 21 points in the first two quarters of play. Beamer wide receiver Christian Stafford got behind the Puyallup secondary twice on touchdown receptions (75 yards and 21 yards) in the first half.
“We knew we needed to stop the big plays. The defense really stepped up for us big in the second half,” Jordan said.
Puyallup outside linebacker Zack Nixon finished with a team-high two sacks.
“We changed the intensity and stepped it up. It was all about our defense playing our game. That is how we got the ‘W’ today,” Nixon said.
The Vikings will host Spanaway Lake Sentinels in their home opener this Friday night at Sparks Stadium. Spanaway Lake lost to the Bethel Braves in overtime in their season opener. Jeffers said the Sentinels will be a formidable team.
“In the SPSL everybody has got somebody that can beat you. I have the utmost respect in the world for coach (John) Robak and what he is doing with that program,” Jeffers said. “We expect a dogfight. I expect those guys to be ready to play.”