The North Boone Vikings won their fourth consecutive game when they picked up a week eight victory over Rockford Christian. The Vikings got off to a hot start with a big first quarter and they never looked back.

“We got off to a great start against Rockford Christian,” North Boone head coach Ryan Kelley said after the game. “We had a very focused week of practice, and the guys were locked in.” Kelley added.

Calling it a great start might be putting it lightly. Early in the first quarter, North Boone’s Chris Doetch put the Vikings on the scoreboard with a 62-yard touchdown run. Dylan Atkins drilled the extra point, and the Vikings went up 7-0.

After a quick start, it was Connor McKibben’s turn on the offense. McKibben took a 14-yard run to the house, but a missed extra point left North Boone with a 13-0 lead.

Although the offense had the big play ability, it was North Boone’s defense that stood out. Rockford Christian mustered just 14 rushing yards in the entire game. RC found better success through the air, but they were unable to sustain any lengthy drives. With that, the Vikings held the ball early and often, and they took advantage of their opportunities.

McKibben, especially, let nothing go to waste. Midway through the opening quarter, McKibben tallied his second score of the game with an eight-yard touchdown run. Atkins’ extra point put the Vikings up 20-0.

Another quick stop put the ball back in the Vikings’ hands and, before the end of the first, McKibben tallied the hat trick. This time it was a 74-yard scamper for McKibben as the RC defense had no answer for him. A successful two-point conversion put North Boone up 28-0.

Most weeks, two teams won’t even combine for 20-plus points in the opening quarter. In week eight, the Vikings put up 35 points all on their own in the first. Julian Rodriguez capped the first quarter off with an 8-yard touchdown run that gave North Boone a 35-0 lead. Blink and you might have missed it because the Vikings put this one out of reach in a hurry.

In the second quarter, North Boone quarterback, Jack Christensen, got on the board with a 4-yard touchdown run. After going up 42-0, the Vikings went to work on the clock. RC went on to score a pair of second half touchdowns, but it was too little, too late. North Boone held on for a 42-13 victory as they improved their overall record to 6-2 on the season.

North Boone had a big day in the ground game. The Vikings rushed for nearly 300 yards on the ground. McKibben led the way with 96 yards and a trio of touchdowns. Christensen put his legs on display with 92 yards and a score on nine carries. Doetch finished the day with 82 yards and a score, while Rodriguez added 35 yards and a score of his own.

Defensively, McKibben was electric, as well. With three tackles for loss and two sacks, McKibben finished the day with four total tackles. Rodriguez led the team in tackles with five, including a sack. Isaac MacMaster, Isiah Sims and Patrick McCarty each had tackles for loss, as well. Jimmy Ellsworth had a fumble recovery in the victory.

Kelley credited the team’s hot start to their excellent week of practice, and he’s hoping for the same in week nine. They are going to need to be running on all cylinders as they travel to face off with the Dixon Dukes on Friday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m.. It’s a tough matchup for the final week of the regular season as Dixon is one of the better teams around.

“I expect another week of similar practices again, this week.” Kelley shared, before adding that “Dixon is a tough opponent, and they are 7-1 for a reason. They are a great team on both sides of the ball.”

Kelley is hoping they can get things going quickly once again, saying, “We would love a similar start to last week in week nine, but we will need to execute and play with effort in order to do that.”

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