Despite the pouring rain, Vikings football was triumphant once again with a win not only against the elements but also their nemesis, the Montana Grizzlies, on the scariest of all days—Halloween.
At Providence Park, the Vikings prevailed with 30-yard touchdown plays and a solid defense that the Grizzlies could not penetrate.
According to the Oregonian, Saturday was the wettest day in four years, but that didn’t deter fans from showing their support for the Vikings. According to GoViks.com, Saturday’s game was PSU’s “best attendance [11,075] since 2008.”
The rain did not bother even quarterback Alex Kuresa.
“We live in Portland and we are going to play in the rain once in a while, so we are not worried about that and [Montana] had to play in it too,” Kuresa said at a press conference.
The Vikings showed their enthusiasm during Saturday’s rainy game and, to boot, demonstrated a tight cohesiveness that was the key to their knockout victory against the Grizzlies.
The Vikings went with a nickel defense throughout the game, and safety Patrick Onwuasor had three interceptions.
The offensive team showcased good running and passing plays with Kuresa scoring four touchdowns—a perfect storm of offense and defense.
“We felt [Montana was] bigger and stronger than us up front, with their offense versus our defense but I thought our defense was quicker,” said Head Coach Bruce Barnum. “We also had a couple good runs and even our quarterback had a few.”
Although the offense predominately relied on running the ball—Kuresa giving the ball to running back David Jones for most plays—the biggest play during the game was at the beginning when Kuresa made a 30-yard touchdown pass.
Kuresa said that for an “explosive play” like that to be successful, the offense and defense have to be on the same page in order to gain momentum and win the game.
“To get those momentum swings is huge and it carries over to our defense and I think that’s what contributed to our defense having some success too. It‘s working both ways,” Kuresa said. “You have the defense making good plays and we are making good plays. We are feeding off each other.”
Confidence was a major factor in Saturday’s win. They have been on cloud nine since their 38-35 win against Cal Poly on Saturday, Oct. 24. At a press conference, Coach Bruce Barnum said he first noticed the team feeling very confident during their last play against the Cal Poly Mustangs.
“I saw at their last drive that they were laughing in the huddle, and I almost stopped them because they were kind of joking around, but I let it go because that is how they were acting,” Barnum said. “They were enjoying the game.”
This game was an important win for the Vikings because it was a Big Sky conference game. The Vikings are ever closer to obtaining the Big Sky title. According to GoViks.com, they are 3—1 in the Big Sky and are currently riding a three-game winning streak.
As of Saturday the Vikings are tied with the Grizzlies for third in the Big Sky standings behind Southern Utah at 5—2 and Eastern Washington at 4—0.
The Vikings are scheduled to play Saturday, Nov. 7, against Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado. The next home game is Saturday, Nov. 14, against Southern Utah at Providence Park.