VCSU's Louis Quinones carries the ball Saturday against Waldorf. (Morgan Nalley/VCSU)
The Valley City State football team put up 26 first-half points Saturday as the Vikings rolled to a 36-7 victory in their conference opener against Waldorf University.
The Vikings scored two touchdowns in the first five minutes and never looked back as they led 26-0 at halftime and 36-0 in the fourth quarter in front of a large VCSU Homecoming crowd.
Valley City State improves to 2-2 overall and 1-0 in the North Star Athletic Association. Waldorf University drops to 1-4 overall and 0-1 in NSAA play.
VCSU racked up 416 total yards in the contest, including 205 on the ground and 211 through the air. Waldorf gained 225 total yards – 76 rushing and 149 passing.
The Vikings took their first offensive possession 65 yards in seven plays, capping it with a powering touchdown run by Darius Graves – who normally plays defensive line. On Waldorf's next series, VCSU's Gavin Kolden recovered a bad snap in the end zone to put the Vikings up 14-0 with 10:18 left in the first quarter.
Harrison Hammel added two field goals for the Vikings, and Louis Quinones capped the big first half with a 34-yard touchdown run.
The Vikings extended the lead with a third quarter touchdown pass from Kurtis Walls to Jake Peterson, and Hammel capped VCSU's scoring with a 27-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.
Waldorf pushed across a late touchdown on a 1-yard pass from Hilton Joseph to Khalil Walker.
Quinones rushed for 90 yards and a score to lead a 205-yard rushing day by the Vikings. Anthony Logan gained 44 yards on 12 carries, and Walls picked up 30 yards. Walls finished 19-for-28 passing for 193 yards and a score. Tayler Lentz had four catches for 60 yards. Colby Lum, Zackary Schmidt and Joshua Tovar each had three catches.
Nicholas McBeain – who leads the nation in tackles per game – led the Vikings with 17 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss on Saturday. Tanner Kessel recorded 11 tackles, and both Andre Peppers and Jawuan Pugh had seven tackles.
Neither team threw an interception but Waldorf lost three fumbles as VCSU won the turnover battle, 3-0.
Waldorf's Hilton Joseph went 18-for-33 passing for 149 yards and a touchdown. Malik Stephens gained 35 yards on 15 carries. Khalil Walker finished with four catches for 30 yards and a score.
Defensively, Waldorf was led by 14 tackles from Trent Jones and 10 by Rigo Verdin.
Up next: Valley City State (2-2, 1-0 NSAA) hosts Dickinson State for a conference game Saturday, Oct. 1 at 3 p.m. Dickinson State defeated VCSU 38-13 in a non-conference game earlier this season. Waldorf (1-4, 0-1 NSAA) will host Dakota State at 4 p.m. on Oct. 1.