It was a festive atmosphere at Curtis Viking Stadium under threatening skies on Friday, Oct. 30. It was to be the final football game for the Viking seniors, a non-league matchup against an upstart Stadium squad, and all the while, Curtis’ playoff chances were in the hands of another team playing down in Spanaway.
After the Vikings took care of Stadium with a 49-16 victory, it would be the Graham-Kapowsin game that put the cherry on top of the night for Curtis. The Vikings needed a Bethel loss to settle a three-way tie between Puyallup, Bethel and Curtis for the remaining two spots in the 4A playoffs. Graham-Kapowsin delivered with a 27-6 win, sealing a second seed slot for the Vikings.
As the second seed, the Vikings (7-2) will meet Bellarmine (6-3), the second seed from the 4A Narrows, on Saturday, Nov. 7 at Mt. Tahoma Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. The playoff matchup immediately looks to be one of the most entertaining and hard-nosed affairs in the first weekend of post-season football.
On Senior Night, it was Stadium that found itself on the wrong side of a Viking offense that seemed to be running downhill all night long. As the skies began to open up with the wet stuff in University Place, the Viking offense was open for business from the start against the Tigers as they scored touchdowns on all six possessions in the first half.
After stopping the Tigers on their first drive, Curtis began chewing up yards with a variety of run plays up the middle and around the end of the Stadium defense. The first drive culminated in a four-yard scamper over the right side by senior running back Donnell Diego. A kick by junior
Cole Littrell gave Curtis a 7-0 lead with 8:12 left in the first quarter.
The Viking defense bent a little on the next Stadium drive but held firm at midfield. Stadium went for it on fourth and three, but senior running back Eric Auelua was met at the line by sophomore defensive lineman Nolan Buchanan and dropped. Curtis would then put together a 10-play, 56-yard drive capped by a two yard blast through the right side by Diego. Littrell’s kick moved the score to 14-0 for Curtis with 2:35 left in the first quarter.
Following a three and out on the next possession by Stadium, Curtis took no time to add more points to the board. Junior Jackson Miller took a pitch from senior quarterback Gage Ferguson, beat the Tiger defense to the corner and turned up field for an electrifying 60-yard touchdown. Curtis now led 20-0 after a failed two-pointer with 10:31 left in the second quarter.
Again, Curtis would hold Stadium on defense and stopped the Tigers on a fourth-down attempt. The Vikings took over from the Stadium 33 yard line and wasted no time. On the second play, sophomore running back Izaiah Fields took a pitch and weaved his way through would-be tacklers up the sidelines for a touchdown. Curtis would lead 28-0 after a two-point run by Fields.
Before the half was over, Diego would add his third touchdown of the night on a 38-yard run, and a four-yard score by Fields would make it 42-0 at the half. The second half would be played under a running clock due to the “Mercy Rule” and the game moved quickly. Curtis sophomore Taj Moffit would add a 37-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to end the Viking scoring for the night.