GALLANT VIKINGS HEAD TO STATE CAPITAL
The battle-tested DVC football team will make its sixth bowl appearance in the past seven years against Sacramento City in the State Center Bowl Saturday.
Kickoff is at 1 p.m. at Hughes Stadium in Sacramento, in what could be soggy conditions.
A beat-up Vikings squad (5-5) has been plugging holes on the offensive line, at quarterback, and in key defensive positions.
But DVC coach Mike Darr has been impressed with the team's collective effort and resolve. He expects a tenacious defensive battle against Sac City (5-5).
Last week, DVC threw a bit of a scare into touted College of San Mateo, ranked fourth in the Northern California-National Division, in a 33-17 loss to conclude the Bay 6 season. The Vikings trailed the Bay 6 champs by one score with one and a half minutes left in the fourth quarter.
"I was proud of how the team responded," Darr said of the dogfight with the Bulldogs.
DVC recently lost its two leading tacklers Kory Lamberts and Brenton Allen to injuries. Starting quarterback Jadon Brisendine is out after suffering a separated shoulder in a loss to Santa Rosa Oct. 29.
But there has been some bright spots.
Bookends and all-league picks Ville Valasti and Dylan Gilfoy have been ranked in the state's top five in sacks for much of the season. They are currently are in the top 10, Gilfoy with 11 sacks and Valasti with 10.5.
Marquese Surrell is ranked 11th in the state in receptions with 54, averaging 90.7 yards a game.
Fill-in quarterback Gary Chapeta, in his comeback season, is doing his best during a demanding stretch of games. The Vikings' potentially potent run game has been effectively hamstrung by all the shuffling at the guard and center positions.
The Vikings had seven all-Bay 6 selections. In addition to Valasti, the runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year, and Gilfoy, all-conference picks included safety Marcus de la Pena, unanimous pick OL John Vaka, Surrell, RB Miles Harrison, and DB Ryan Payne. Payne and T Jason Dickson (6-7, 310), who has received interest from Alabama, will be two of the Viking's top recruits next season.
DVC was not picked for a bowl game last year after advancing to the postseason five straight seasons.
Follow the game with live streaming at: http://sportsnetusa.net/#!event_2016_11_19_1_59_1_Sac+City+Football
-- Matt Schwab