HVCC’s Viking football team failed to break their losing streak last Saturday, bringing their record down to 0-3 against Dean Junior College in another home game. At first, it looked to be much the same as last game, with an early Dean touchdown and field goal giving them the lead within the first few minutes of play, but the Viking defensive line held fast for the remainder of the first quarter, even stopping the Bulldogs cold at the ten yard line for most of the final minutes. A literal last-minute field goal was the only scoring move HVCC let slip by heading into the second quarter.
As halftime drew closer, the game became a defensive stalemate. One touchdown from Dean broke through, and HVCC made a comeback attempt from an intercepted field goal immediately afterwards, but affairs ground down into a series of failed play after failed play as two strong defensive lines clashed. The Vikings’ offensive line showed little improvement from the game against Lackawanna, so while they were able to stop plays, they found themselves incapable of closing the gap against Dean. This was a source of frustration for some fans. “Get your hands up and catch the ball,” said one spectator during the second quarter.
Despite frustration at the lackluster offense, fans were optimistic heading into halftime. “It’s a pretty good game; the defense [is] going, they’ve got it there, but the offense just gotta get it clicking right now, before the game gets out of hand,” said Rasheed Oberton, a Business and Marketing major who played for Hudson Valley’s football team last year. “The quarter back has to throw the ball fast as he can, because the line [is] not gonna block for ever, give your receivers a chance and we will win this game… we are way better athletically than the other team.”
Steve Whitney, a former student and now professional math tutor at the Learning Assistance Center, was inclined to agree. “I feel like Hudson Valley has a lot of potential, and hopefully they’re going to come around and… Hudson Valley has a chance to definitely win this thing. They’ve had a couple bad breaks, and you know, it’s time to turn this thing around. I think they’re going to go, go, go,” he said. “They just have to stop making stupid mistakes… I think if they stopped making the mistakes, then they’ll win the game.”
This outlook didn’t last long. As the third quarter went on, Dean chipped away at HVCC’s defensive line, while the Vikings weren’t able to get close to scoring goals, rarely getting past the fifty yard line and often trying the same failed play over and over. People began losing interest, as one spectator said, “[It] doesn’t matter; we’re not going to score anyway.”
A seventy-four yard touchdown late in the quarter, and the following field goal, finally broke the Vikings’ defense. The fourth quarter came by without any progress for either team, but the Bulldogs’ victory was already secured, and much like in the game against Lackawanna, fans started leaving in the beginning of the quarter. “I don’t even know why I came over here,” said one in the crowd. The final score was 37-0, in favour of Dean Junior College.
Head Coach Michael Muehling was obviously unhappy with the game’s outcome. “It’s very frustrating losing a game like that… I just know this team is a lot better than we’ve performed, and I shoulder a lot of that responsibility because I haven’t done my job of preparing them, so I’m going to see what I can do this week to hopefully give us a better chance,” said Muehling.
Next week will be an away game, as the Vikings go to Buffalo to play against Erie Community College.