OT Riley Norman, Offensive Line Open Up Gaps as Cadillac Runs to Victory

By David Garrett

The Cadillac Vikings brought an unstoppable running game this week when they traveled to play the Petoskey Northmen. Petoskey is a team that the Vikings have had little success against recently, but behind that big offensive line being anchored by Riley Norman and Jack Ford, they totaled 352 yards rushing.

Cadillac drove the ball early in the 1st quarter, but when the offense faltered, their senior kicker, Nick Paquet, who just came back from a shoulder injury, kicked a 43-yard field goal. It was good and gave them the 3-0 lead. Cadillac’s quarterback Jalen Brooks rushed in his first touchdown of the night from 10 yards out. The Northmen got on the board with a touchdown of their own, making it 10-7.

The second quarter became the Brooks show. He scored four rushing touchdowns of 1, 7, 11, and 15 yards. At the half, the score was 37-14.

The 3rd quarter saw Brooks rush for his final touchdown of the night, this time for 49 yards. There would be no more scoring in the rest of the game and the final score would be 44-14.

Cadillac was clicking on all sides of the ball in this game. I thought they would have to if they wanted to win and they did much more than I thought. Their offense didn’t even need to throw it when Brooks was as successful as he was running the ball. His stats were 27 carries for 294 yards and 6 rushing touchdowns. He was completely amazing but you need to give credit to the line for creating holes for him. Norman and Ford both need some credit along with Brooks.

The defense needs a lot of credit here as well. They not only held this strong Petoskey team to 14 points, but they also shut down their running game, which is their bread and butter. They were held to only 58 yards rushing. They did throw for 138 yards passing, but a lot of that came from two big passes that went for touchdowns. The turnovers were also a big help to the Viking defense.

This Cadillac team continues to roll and if this offensive line can continue to dominate like they have, this team could go really far. Brooks is a strong runner and puts a lot of pressure on the defense with his abilities. I think with that dimension to the game, it will open up the pass when it is needed. If they continue to rush for 300 yards a game, they will continue to win by controlling the clock and the ball.

Next game will have the 3-0 (1-0) Vikings continuing in conference play as host to the 0-3 (0-1) Gaylord Blue Devils. Gaylord played against the Traverse City West Titans and were defeated handily by a score of 48-14.

The 2-1 (1-1) Northmen will stay in conference as they will travel to play 2-1 (1-0) Traverse City Central Trojans. The Trojans played at home against the Alpena Wildcats and won by a score of 47-6.

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