BRIDGEPORT - It wasn't their best effort of the season, nonetheless, the Mabton High School Vikings knocked off the Bridgeport football team last Friday, 35-6.
The Central Washington 'B' League victory improves Mabton's conference record to 3-0, 4-0 overall.
The Vikes will face a much sterner test this coming Friday at home against the Kittitas Coyotes, the only other team besides themselves unbeaten in league play.
"Kittitas has a lot of juniors and seniors on their team who played as freshmen and sophomores," said Mabton Coach D.J. Search. "They're experienced, and they're well coached.
"It's going to be a tough game for us," he added.
Unfortunately, Mabton might very well have to take on the Coyotes without one of its top linemen-senior Alex Balli, who injured his hamstring. Search said Balli will probably sit out practice Monday and Tuesday of this week, with an evaluation scheduled for Wednesday.
"He'll probably want to go, but a hamstring injury isn't one you come back from very quickly," Search said.
If the Vikes are to successfully defend their home field this coming Friday, they'll probably have to play better than they did against Bridgeport.
"We made a lot of mental mistakes (against Bridgeport)," said Search. "Mental stuff, doing the fundamentals right, the type of stuff that's forgotten after a four-hour bus trip. We played down to Bridgeport's level...at least in the first quarter.
"After that it got better. It wasn't our best effort, but it got the job done," Search said.
Mabton took the early lead on Bridgeport with a first quarter 6-yard scoring run by senior Pablo Sanchez, the Yakima Valley's second leading rusher thus far this season. Bridgeport tied the game at 6-all later in the period on a 2-yard plunge by Joey Sanon, who finished as Bridgeport's leading rusher in the game with 45 yards on 14 carries.
Still in the first quarter, the Vikes responded with a 6-yard TD run by sophomore Eli Perez. It was one of only two carries Perez had in the game, the other being a 3-yard tote. On the ensuing extra point kick, Luis Quintero missed his second straight PAT.
Mabton added a second quarter score, an 11-yard TD run by Sanchez. Coupled with quarterback Alex Zavala's 2-point conversion run, the Vikes took a 20-6 lead into the half.
Any doubt as to the outcome of the game went by the wayside when Sanchez scored his third touchdown of the contest in the third quarter, that coming on a 4-yard scamper. Sanchez finished as the leading rusher Friday night, picking up 135 yards on 11 carries. Mabton added an insurance score just before the fourth quarter got underway to account for the final 35-6 score. The Vikes scored the last TD of the night on a 10-yard pass from Zavala to Moises Gutierrez.
Zavala's offensive output for the game included 74 aerial yards on 4-of-10 passing and 63 rushing yards on seven carries.