Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Vikings are road warriors in impressive win at Genoa

A young team isn’t supposed to go on the road in Week 1 and beat a quality opponent after facing early adversity.

Villa Angela-St. Joseph apparently didn’t get that memo.

The Vikings, who lost a stellar senior class to graduation after a second straight playoff appearance last fall, started 2015 off with a bang by defeating host Genoa, 33-7, on Aug. 28.

Jerry Higgins rushed for three touchdowns, Aubrey Shabazz threw for a score and Howard Hill put the win away with a 45-yard TD run late in the fourth quarter for VASJ.

Genoa scored in the first 2 minutes of the game set up by a blocked punt, but the Vikings shut out the Comets the remainder of the night.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable bus ride home late Friday night from Northwest Ohio for Coach John Storey and company.

“This is a huge confidence builder and gives us a lot of momentum for a young team to build on,” Storey said. “You look up and less than 2 minutes into the game we are down 7-0. But, starting with our senior leadership, I was very pleased with the way they all reacted. It was almost as if they said, ‘Who cares. Big deal. We are fine.’”

Storey saw maturity and poise from a young group with several new starters, including Higgins who might be as talented a sophomore as there is in the area.

“Higgins got off to a great start to the year, and the experience of the offensive line in front of him paid off and they got better and better as the game wore on,” Storey said. “He had a punt return called back and scored three times. He is a talented young man.”

Tim Hatchett caught the touchdown pass from Shabazz to help the Vikings pull away from the Comets after falling behind early in the first quarter.

VASJ returns home to host John Adams at Sparky DiBiasio Stadium on Sept. 4.

Steve Harehttp://www.ohiovarsity.com
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes OhioVarsity.com, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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