2008-09-11 / Sports

Vikings Drop Season Grid Opener, 21-6, To Commodores

By Jerry Del Priore

Viking defenders Dorwane Brown and Winston Palmer sack Bayside quarterback in first quarter.
Phil Robinson Viking defenders Dorwane Brown and Winston Palmer sack Bayside quarterback in first quarter. Phil Robinson It didn't take South Shore High School's varsity football team long to fall behind in the season opener at home last Saturday. Hosting Bayside High School, the Commodores had 13 points midway through the first quarter. Fortunately for South Shore, its de-fense clamped down and didn't allow Bayside an-other score in the first half.

However, the Vikings failed to muster any scoring threat in the first three periods and looked every bit the inexperienced team they are, as penalties and poor execution plagued their offense all day long.

In the fourth quarter, Bayside marched down the field and capped the drive on a rushing touchdown by senior Evan Hamilton, then converted the two-point conversion to increase its lead to 21-0 late in the game. The Vikings finally got on the board when freshman quarterback Jamel Craig, who only completed four of 13 passes, connected with senior Steven Al-tine on an eighteen-yard screen pass to avoid the shutout.

South Shore attempted an onside kick, but the pigskin went out of bounds before the kicking team recovered it. The Commodores managed the remaining time left on the clock to seal the 21-6 defeat for the Vikings.

The Viking offense totaled a dismal 117 yards — 73 in the air and 44 on the ground. But the defense, which allowed 196 yards, forced four turnovers, to keep the game within reach for most of the afternoon.

South Shore head coach Tommy Salvato is aware that this season could be an uphill battle as his coaching staff is attempting to rebuild the squad. Salvato, who is in his 15th season, was, however, pleased with the effort that his team put forth.

"We're an inexperienced team — and we're rebuilding the program," Salvato told the Courier. "But we're trying hard, and we will regroup next week."

Although Salvato's squad lacks depth, he's optimistic as he still has more kids coming out this year than a year ago and feels his boys will get better as the season progresses.

"If we get kids, we'll be alright," the veteran coach said. "I have a number of kids coming in. I have some big freshman coming in."

The Vikings host the Tottenville Pirates Saturday at 11 a.m.

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