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Vikings pick up first league win

MABTON - Last Friday was the Hector Brambila show in Mabton.

The Viking running back rushed for a game-high 180 yards and scored four touchdowns in the 32-22 SCAC West win against the Highland Scotties. It was Mabton's first league win of the season.

The Vikings scored first in the opening quarter when Brambila scored on a 49-yard run. Lorenzo Sanchez kicked the extra point.

Highland tied things up in the same quarter when Scottie quarterback Tyler Hakala kept the ball himself and scored on a three-yard run. The extra point was good.

Brambila scored three times in the second quarter of play. He scored on runs of five yards and 69 yards. He also caught a 47-yard touchdown pass from Mabton quarterback Josh Sanchez.

All three point after attempts failed on the three scores and the Vikings led 25-7 going into halftime.

Up by more than two scores, Mabton Coach Brandon Harting told his team the game wasn't over yet and to keep playing hard.

"Highland came back from a 21-0 score against us last year and I told them we didn't want a repeat of that."

Noe Gutierrez made sure Mabton wouldn't let things slide when he scored in the third quarter on a 40-yard run. Brambila then replaced Sanchez at kicker and booted home his 25th point of the game to give Mabton a 32-7 lead.

The Scotties would get two more touchdowns in the game, one in the third and one in the final quarter, but never really came close to challenging the Vikings.

Hakala scored his second touchdown of the game in the third period on an eight-yard run and then Antonio Gonzalez hauled in a 32-yard touchdown pass from Hakala in the fourth.

The key to the game, besides Brambila's performance, was the five interceptions Mabton's defense was able to get off Hakala. Brambila managed to get two of those. Sanchez, Gutierrez and Jesus Cardenas also snagged interceptions.

"We were covering pretty well," Harting said. "We maintained our responsibility, in the end zone and in man (coverage)."

Sanchez completed 3-of-5 passes for 71 yards, and threw one touchdown and one interception. The Vikings put up 313 total yards of rushing. Brambila had 180 of those yards and Gutierrez added 127. Josh Strickland caught two passes for the Vikings for 24 yards.

Hakala went 9-for-25 on the day for 178 yards. He threw one touchdown but was tagged for five interceptions. Hakala also rushed for 104 yards on 19 carries. Highland wide receiver Forest Kopta caught 12 passes for 70 yards.

"We showed good discipline," Harting said. "We were able to mix things up a little bit."

Mabton (1-4, 2-5) will travel to Benton City on Friday, Oct. 23, for a 7 p.m. non-league contest with the Ki-Be Bears.

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