Norland loses third straight, 26-7

Jackson pulls an upset

Akilah Laster | 9/19/2013, 9 a.m.
With the worst start in Norland’s last four years, the question is what will the Vikings do? The Vikings “program” ...
Jackson receiveres set to face Norland. Photo by Akilah Laster

With the worst start in Norland’s last four years, the question is what will the Vikings do?

The Vikings “program” has struggled to keep its state championship momentum consistent over the last season. Yes, a season ago they made the playoffs after placing first in their 16-5A district, only to be defeated by their district rival Jackson in the second round.

But last Wednesday’s 26-7 loss at Curtis Park again to the Generals indicated this may be a more difficult run than anyone anticipated for the Vikings.

With Norland (0-3) moving up to district 16-6A with the likes of Homestead (2-1)— who they play Friday, Carol City (1-2), Northwestern (1-1) and of course the behemoth Central (2-1),

Norland head coach, Daryle Heidelburg

Norland head coach, Daryle Heidelburg

the non-district games that the Vikings needed to gain some momentum and confidence before district play did just the opposite.

“We need a win,” said Norland head coach, Daryle Heidelburg. “We got some guys pressing, trying to make a spectacular play instead of doing the simple things.”

Heidelburg has not lost the first three games of a season since 2009 — his last season at Edison when his team went 1-9.

Norland was plagued by early penalties-earning 50 before the half and a dramatic moment on the last play going into halftime when senior quarterback Taron James was carried out o a stretcher with a stinger-like injury.

James was the only beacon of hope the Vikings had all night with his 84-yard touchdown pass to senior Zaquan Tyson within the first two minutes of the game.

But that was the only glint they’d have for the remainder of the game.

Jackson’s defense held their own, stymying the running game of the Vikings and holding them to negative yardage. They sparked the offensive onslaught that took place at the hands of heralded senior quarterback Quinton “Winkie” Flowers, who finished with four touchdowns, three of which he ran in, including a 55-yard run late in the second quarter. Flowers looked more like a running back, finishing with 134 rushing yards and only 72 passing.

While Jackson may have sealed the nail in their rivalry with Norland, their undefeated start will probably end, when they face Booker T. Washington (3-0). But fortunately for the Generals that expected demolition will not hinder their hopes for post season play, as a loss to Central would mean for Norland.

“It was a very emotional win,” said Jackson head coach, Antonio “DeLa” Brown. “It’s always special to play a team like Norland where there’s a rivalry.”