Vikings Quiet Thunder, 14-8, To End 14-Year Jinx
By Askia Amon-Ra
What neighborhood football rivalry?
After years of playing second fiddle in local high school varsity football competition, the South Shore High School Vikings broke a 14-year jinx last Saturday by defeating their cross-neighborhood opponents, Canarsie High School.
The Vikings, sparked by sophomore running back Anthony Self, who scored the winning touchdown with just 80 seconds left in the game, earned a 14-8 win. South Shore, which has won four straight, is now 4-3 on the season with high hopes for a postseason PSAL playoff spot.
Canarsie, which has compiled a dismal 1-6 record this year, doesn’t seem to be living up to its new name, Thunder, which replaced the politically incorrect Chiefs at the start of the season following a ruling from the New York State Board of Education
What home field advantage?
Canarsie, which has dominated PSAL opponents for the last decade on their home turf, dubbed "The House of Pain," has had a dreadful season. This was certainly confirmed during Saturday’s loss to their supposed cross-town rivals, While the Thunder did not ever appear to be outplayed, they simply seemed disoriented and disinterested, as if the overcast skies affected the teams mood and they would rather be elsewhere doing just about anything else.
The Vikings defense held the Thunder scoreless until late in the third quarter when senior, Curtis St. Rose snared a pass in the end zone for Canarsie’s only touchdown.
"Defense came up big all day today," gushed winning head coach Tommy Salvato, after an apparent emotional win. "It was a huge day for the defense and the offense did what they had to do when they had to do it. I’m proud of my kids, they played hard!"
As for the Vikings offense, they simply went to Self. The talented running back who, after rushing for 324 yards and five TDs the previous week in the Vikings’ 34-7 win over Lincoln, continued his offensive assault. Self side-stepped and knifed his way through the Canarsie defense for 170 of his team’s 205 total offensive yardage as he slogged through the damp artificial turf scoring the Vikings’ two touchdowns.
Self has averaged nearly 7 yards per carry, amassing a total of 886 yards in the first seven games. He is currently ranked 16th in total yardage for the regular season, which ends this Saturday.
"He’s a great back." Salvato continued. "He’s doing a great job for us the last few weeks. He’s on a roll and we’re really excited about him."
Coach Salvato noted the importance of this weekend’s game crystal clear. "We got Tilden next and we have to win that game to guarantee us a spot in the playoffs."