By Alex A. Gonzalez
Covina: The Northview Vikings faced two 14-point deficits against crosstown rival Covina Friday night, and both times, they managed to come back and defeat the Colts 37-35.
With a muffed punt by Covina that resulted in a safety, breaking a 28-28 tie with 10:15 in the fourth quarter, and four rushing touchdowns by running back Angel Barraza, Northview notched Marcel Perez’s 100th career win as head football coach.
“We all have heart. We just have to believe in one another, and once we believe, no one can stop us,” said Barraza after the game. “We got too many guys, it’s crazy.”
The matchup between the two schools from Covina lived up to the expectations. The Colts jumped to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
Following a shanked punt by Northview, Quarterback Jake Duronslet found Abraham Perez for a 31-yard touchdown two plays later, giving his team an early lead with 6:36 in the opening quarter. On their ensuing offensive possession, Covina extended their lead after Joaquin Barragan bulldozed his way into the endzone from five yards out.
The Vikings had to wait until the middle of the second quarter to tie the ball game up at 14. Barraza’s rushing touchdowns of 22 and 27 yards erased Covina’s lead with 3:46 remaining in the first half.
Just like in the first half, Northview fell behind 14 once again. Barragan was responsible for a 34-yard touchdown run on their first possession of the third quarter. On Northview’s ensuing drive, Barragan stripped the ball away from the Vikings and set up the Colts in Viking territory.
Duronslet threw his second touchdown of the night, this time to Adrian Rachal, extending their lead to 14 points with 7:29 remaining in the third quarter.
Northview was able to close the gap thanks to Barraza once again. His 45-yard touchdown run put the score at 28-20 after they could not convert on the extra point attempt.
The Vikings were able to tie the ball game up again after Thompson hauled in a 31-yard reception from Erik Jimenez. And with a successful 2-point conversion, Covina’s lead evaporated.
Northview took the lead for the first time of the night when they forced the Colts to punt early in the fourth quarter. However, the snap was muffed and ultimately rolled through the back of the endzone, resulting in a safety.
The Vikings were able to capitalize on the mistake, and on their next offensive possession, Barraza reached the endzone for the final time of the night with 3:07 remaining in regulation.
“My line is amazing. All I see is big holes and good blocks,” commented Barraza on his offensive line. “Once I get to the second level, it’s either I’m going to run through you, or I’m going to stiff-arm you, or make a move, and that’s what I did. I can’t thank my O-line enough.”
The Colts were able to respond when Duronslet scrambled out of the pocket and rushed for the touchdown, making the score 35-37.
However, they could not recover the onside kick, and Northview was able to run the clock down to zero.