With standout sophomore Jerry Higgins out with a shoulder injury, Villa Angela-St. Joseph coach John Storey knew the Vikings would have to rise up and rally as a team around their fallen teammate.
That message was driven home in a chapel meeting on Friday before VASJ hosted Trinity in an NCL White matchup.
The Vikings didn’t need divine intervention on Oct. 16 at Sparky DiBiasio Stadium, just the inspired play of several key members of the team to get a much-needed victory over the Trojans.
VASJ rallied from a halftime deficit behind a pair of touchdown runs by LaRon Jones to defeat Trinity, 22-15.
“We talked to the guys in chapel and said we need the team as a whole, led by the seniors, to step up with one of our guys down with injury,” Storey said. “We didn’t play real well in the first half, but played much better in the second half. I am proud of these guys for hanging in there against a quality team like Trinity.”
Jones finished with 60 yards rushing on eight carries, two touchdowns and a 2-point conversion for the Vikings (5-3, 2-1 NCL). Malik Calloway got VASJ on the board in the third quarter with a 36-yard TD run, and an Aubrey Shabazz to Jacob Stauffer 2-point conversion pass tied the game at 8.
Jones scored a pair of touchdowns 67 seconds apart in the fourth quarter to give his team the lead for good.
“LaRon was very good and he came back after battling an ankle injury so it was great to see him step up,” Storey said.
“Aubrey was able to set his feet and make some good throws, and the defense has been pretty steady all year. Just a very nice win against a good opponent.”
Danny McGarry caught two passes for 113 yards for VASJ, which outgained Trinity, 349-274.