Football Stays Undefeated: Hostile Opponent Doesn’t Slow Down Vikings

Bobby Colla

Sports Editor

The Hudson Valley football team improved to 8-0 on Saturday with a 34-7 win over Globe Institute of Technology Knights. The Vikings now have a chance to set the record for wins by a Hudson Valley football team by winning their last game of the regular season next week and possibly get a tenth in a bowl game.

Tempers flared throughout the game as the Viking’s character was tested in a game with numerous personal foul and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.

In the second quarter, Hudson Valley’s sophomore wide receiver Chris Osterman caught a screen pass from sophomore quarterback Nick Casale, and was hit helmet to helmet immediately after the catch by Knights defensive back Edwin Lubin.

Lubin was ejected, and the Knights were penalized for 15 yards.

Osterman lay on the field for another five minutes and was treated and escorted off the field by the Hudson Valley training staff. He did not return to the game.

This incident and others would spark tempers on both sides and continue to affect the game. The crowd was a part of these antics well, by yelling to the referees players and coaches.

“We tried to keep our players calm. We told them to play our brand of football because that won us the seven games prior, and it won us this game,” said Hudson Valley football head coach Mike Muehling.

“Our players kept their heads. They would have been justified in getting upset, but I was proud of them for keeping their composure,” he added.

Immediately following the game itself, players from both teams were separated by coaches and campus security, ending the match without the traditional end-of-game handshake.

“It was a real chippy game.” said Muehling.

Most of the penalties were on the Knights and one was against their head coach when he yelled at the referee..

In the fourth quarter, the head referee for the game began reciting penalties wrong. He said this was because of the amount of penalties.

“Their penalties were to our benefit. We played a really clean game,” said Muehling.

“[Globe] lacked discipline,” said Muehling. “We preach discipline on our team and I think that was a large reason why we won,” he added.

With the loss of some players to midterm grades, Vikings also turned to players that had not seen the field much this season.

“We ran a lot of guys into the game. We kept guys fresh by doing so, and I think that is part of why we won,” said Muehling.

The Vikings also ran the ball with four different backs including sophomores Elijah Udoh, K’Vounte Smith, and Tyler Gagnon, and freshman Shatiek Lewis. The backs combined for 4 touchdowns.

“We had a great day on the ground. Our backs did a great job running the ball, but it was really a testament to our offensive line,” said Muehling.

Tyler Gagnon also said all of the Vikings yards were to the credit of their offensive line. “The whole team did great. We all did our part,” he said.

Gagnon scored one touchdown and nearly had a second but it was called back on a holding penalty in the third quarter.

“The team won this one. One more and we’ll hopefully find ourselves in a bowl game,” said Gagnon.

“We’re 8-0,” said Vikings middle linebacker Kevin Melder. “Can’t complain,” he added.

“Our offense moved the ball well,” said Melder, “and other than one play we held them on defense,” referring to a touchdown pass from Knights quarterback Gerard Noel III to receiver …

The Vikings started off slow offensively, with a punt and a Red-Zone turnover in the first quarter.

“We started off tough. The first half was a real struggle,” said Muehling.

In the second quarter, Hudson Valley sophomore Chase Knight returned a punt down to the 5 yard-line and set up a K’Vounte Smith touchdown.

By this time, Muehling had already made it clear to the referees that he wasn’t happy with the demeanor of the Knights players. Muehling said to the referees that several Knights players were saying they wanted to “knock a Vikings player out of the game.”

On the ensuing possession of the touchdown, Vikings defensive back Hashim Sesay intercepted a pass in Knights Territory and set up another Vikings touchdown, this time scored by Shatiek Lewis, giving the Vikings a 14-0 lead.

“The interception was big,” said Muehling, “but we had a lot of big plays go our way in this game.”

With just over a minute left in the half, the Vikings were lining up to punt for the third time in the game. A botched punt was blocked and recovered by the Knights. A couple of plays later, the Knights scored their only touchdown.

14-7 was the halftime score.

To start the second half, the Vikings defense made a stop and forced a punt. The following drive for the Vikings offense went all the way down the field and ended with an Elijah Udoh touchdown.

“We came out in the second half and did what we needed to do.” said Muehling. “We pretty much dominated after halftime,” he added.

The Vikings scored two more touchdowns in the remaining time. The first of the touchdowns was a receiving touchdown by Antoin Montgomery, and the last was a rushing touchdown by Tyler Gagnon.

“We finished the game how we wanted. Now our goal is to get that ninth win,” said Muehling.

Muehling was already adamant about winning on Saturday, Nov. 1 at Navy Prep in Rhode Island. “They’re a tough opponent. They have some things in their arsenal that we have not seen yet, like the triple option,” said Muehling.

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