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Falcons shut down Vikings

August 25, 2012
By TIM CLEVELAND - Tribune Chronicle ( , Underthelights

LEAVITTSBURG - LaBrae's running game wasn't working on Friday night against the Jefferson Falcons, so the Vikings had to turn to their star quarterback, Petyon Aldridge.

Being forced to throw the ball, Aldridge aired it out 41 times in the game - resulting in four interceptions and a 21-13 loss for the Vikings.

LaBrae rushed 12 times for minus-12 yards in the game, while Aldridge threw for 236 yards.

Article Photos

Tribune Chronicle / Michael Taylor
LaBrae’s Carl Brown, left, is pulled down by Jefferson’s Troy Stitt for a short gain during the second quarter of their game Friday night.

"We just do what we do. We ran our 4-3," Jefferson coach Jim Henson said. "We didn't do anything really special; we weren't really stunting or anything. We just lined up and played football and the kids did a real nice job of it."

LaBrae coach Bill Bohren said Jefferson's run defense took the Vikings out of their game.

"We went to our empty (backfield) package because they were having only a three-man rush, so we thought doing that would allow us to move the ball better," he said. "At the line of scrimmage, they were just doing a better job than we were of blocking. It's as simple as that."

The Vikings took a 7-0 lead with 19 seconds left in the first quarter as Nate Middleton recovered a blocked punt in the end zone.

Jefferson (1-0, 1-0 All-American Conference National) started the subsequent drive at its own 29 and drove 71 yards in 4:31, culminating in Tony Chiacchiero's 20-yard scoring pass to Cole Erdel.

After LaBrae's next drive ended with an Aldridge interception, the Falcons drove 86 yards to take a 14-7 lead. Scott Davidson had a 3-yard touchdown to end the drive that lasted 4:30.

During one stretch, Chiacchiero completed 11 consecutive passes and ended the game 16-of-21 overall for 178 yards.

"I did not know that," Henson said of his quarterback's streak. "We were just calling plays. We were trying to mix it up run and pass. They seemed to be really packing the box in. When they do that, we've got to get out and throw it. I knew we threw the ball well."

Jefferson put the game away in the third quarter. Facing a third-and-25 from its own 27, Chiacchiero completed a 24-yard pass to Jacob Hamilton and Davidson rushed for 6 yards on the next play for the first down.

Chiacchiero ended the drive with a 15-yard TD run on the first play of the fourth quarter for a 21-7 lead, concluding a 12-play drive that lasted 4:53.

"I just thought we were doing really good running our routes," Chiacchiero said. "We just got on a roll. We just had to get the line all ready and pumped up. Start making better blocks."

LaBrae (0-1, 0-1) had three more drives after that, ending in a turnover on downs, an interception, and on the game's final play, a 25-yard touchdown pass from Aldridge to Steve Jurasin.

"I think we've got some breaks. They had a couple chances," Henson said. "We've got to clean that up. I thought overall we played pretty well defensively. We made the adjustments when they went to their empty (backfield)."

LaBrae visits John F. Kennedy on Friday. Bohren said improvement is definitely needed to avoid an 0-2 start.

"We didn't play very well on either side of the ball," he said. "We really need to get a lot better, because we play Kennedy next week, and I know they're an excellent football team."