By Jerry Del Priore
The South Shore Vikings varsity football team have assumed the role of the cardiac kids this season.
Three of the five games they’ve won this year have come via comebacks, including Friday night’s 24-18 PSAL City Conference home victory over Flushing (2-4). It was the Vikings fifth consecutive win.
After trailing the Red Devils, 18-16, South Shore quarterback Jason Martin threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to senior Deron Gordon with 5:34 remaining in the fourth quarter to put the team ahead. A successful two-point trick pass play by senior Barrington Clarke to receiver Giovanni Denard capped the scoring.
The Viking defense clamped down late in the affair, and their offense ran out the clock to seal the victory.
Though grateful South Shore continued its winning ways, head coach Matt Ciquera said he would breathed a lot easier if his boys weren’t putting themselves in the position to come from behind so often.
“It feels good to be 5-1. I would just say the way we played tonight, doesn’t feel so great,” Ciquera explained. “I think we could’ve beat this team a little bit easier than we made it, having to score on a last minute, fourth quarter drive again.
“We’ve been lucky to pull the rabbit out of the hat,” he continued. “Thankfully, they’ve been resilient, but I would be happier if we kind of handle our business and didn’t put ourselves in that situation.”
The Vikings came out flat in the first half, falling behind, 12-8, going into the locker room. South Shore’s coaching staff, though, made the necessary adjustments during halftime, and the squad surged ahead, 16-12, midway through the third period.
The Red Devils struck quickly on a wide receiver screen touchdown pass to reclaim the lead at 18-16 early in the fourth quarter.
Not to be outdone, however, Martin shined when it mattered most, helping to complete yet another thrilling comeback.
The senior dual-threat signal caller rang up three TDs—two in the air to go with a total of 115 passing yards and one on the ground. Sophomore Frankie Cullum paced the Vikings’ running game with 62 yards on 13 carries while Gordon and Clarke each pulled down a TD reception.
Sophomore Hubert Simon and senior Matthew McGill led the Viking defense with seven and six tackles, respectively, and registered two sacks apiece.
The third place Vikings host ninth ranked Tottenville Friday night at 7:00 p.m.