The Delhi High Hawks set out with a goal to play with authority Friday night against the Johansen High Vikings, and they did just that in their 54-0 victory.
“Our plan was to play powerful all game long,” said offensive coordinator Erik Martinez.
Any chance at a successful offensive game by the Vikings was crushed in the very first play of the game, as Delhi’s Jesse Flores charged in for a sack. Johansen’s quarterback was taken down once again by a group of Hawks to force a punt, giving Delhi their first possession of the game.
In Delhi’s first drive, Flores got things started with an 18-yard run on third and 10 for a first down, setting himself up for another run – this time, for 28 yards – into the end zone with six minutes left in the first quarter, making the score 7-0. The Hawks took over on downs on the Vikings’ next possession, with Scorpio Castorena making the stop as Johansen attempted to reach the first down marker on fourth down with one yard to go.
Flores took charge again when the Hawks got the ball back, running a combined 35 yards on three plays to score another touchdown, making the score 14-0 with just under two minutes in the first quarter.
The Vikings attempted to battle back at the beginning of the second quarter, with Johansen’s Ivan James returning the kick to the 47-yard line. The Hawks were able to stop the Vikings’ drive before they could even reach the 50-yard line, forcing a punt.
“We hit them as hard as we could,” said Flores, who shined on defense as well with nine tackles and two assists. “We made sure they didn’t want to get back up and take another hit.”
On their next possession, Flores completed a 26-yard run for a first down followed by a 51-yard run by Alecxis Miranda to bring the Hawks inside of the Vikings’ 20-yard line. Castorena then completed a 19-yard run into the end zone, bringing the score to 21-0 with nine minutes left in the half. Just one minute later, the Hawks forced another Vikings punt, leading to a scoring drive capitalized by a 49-yard run by Fabian Garcia and a three-yard touchdown run by Flores to give the Hawks a 27-0 lead.
It was Flores’ third touchdown of the night, and the fullback finished the night with 136 rushing yards.
“I can’t really say it was all me,” said Flores. “My line did a lot of work…they had a goal and we set after it. We took it forward and did what we had to do.”
The Hawks defense failed to give up a first down to the Vikings until the latter portion of the first half. The momentum seemed to shift for a moment in the final six minutes of the half, as Johansen completed three consecutive first downs, but a sack from Flores stopped the Vikings in their tracks.
In the final minutes of the first half, the Hawks drove 80 yards down the field, thanks in part to a 40-yard pass from Rocha to Raymond Figueroa. From inside the Viking’s five-yard line, Garcia completed a three-yard run for the final touchdown of the first half to make the score 34-0.
The offensive onslaught continued with the opening play of the second half. Miranda received Johansen’s kickoff at the 30-yard line, running the ball back for a 70-yard touchdown and bringing the score to 41-0.
“I just hit the hole and used my speed to go,” said Miranda.
The Hawks went on to score twice more in the game, with touchdowns by Garcia and Daniel Saucedo. All 54 points scored by the Hawks came by way of rushing, which Martinez explained was the plan all along.
“After watching Johansen’s film, they fell exactly into our game plan tonight,” he said.
Flores said that the Hawks will continue to capitalize on their powerful running game in the coming weeks.
“We’re going to rely on the running,” he explained. “If we need to adjust, we’ll adjust, but for now we’ll stick with what works.”
The Hawks are 2-0 on the season so far, and will travel to Big Valley Christian High School next week to challenge the Lions.