In a close battle against the Spartan squad, the Malverne Vikings ended their season this morning with a 6-6 tie.
In was a frigid day as the Vikings, which represent Howard T. Herber Middle School in Malverne, took on Valley Stream North's seventh and eighth grade team at Malverne High School. The Vikings team, which is comprised of 35 seventh and eighth grade students from Herber, including one female, went into Saturday's game with a record of 2-3.
"We went into the game on the other side of the eight ball," said Vikings head coach Lorenzo Jenkins, who explained that their first string quarterback had been suspended from school the day before, making him ineligible to play in today's game.
Malverne started the game with their B team quarterback, but shortly after the first quarter kicked off around 9 a.m., the Vikings offense took another big hit. Their second string quarterback went down and needed to be taken out of the game.
"We played most of the game with two 7th grade quarterbacks," Jenkins said.
Even without their first and second string quarterbacks, Malverne was the first team to put up points, with a touchdown from Chris Hackett. They held the 6-0 lead for most of the game, but with just over seven minutes left in the final quarter, Valley Stream answered back, tying the game at 6-6.
The Vikings were able to block the kick for the extra point to prevent the Spartans from taking the lead. Malverne fought back, trying to score once more with what little time remained in the game. With less than 20 seconds on the clock, the Vikings were less than 10 yards away from Valley Stream's endzone, but could not break through the Spartan defense. On fourth down, Malverne through an interception and Valley Stream took control of the ball on their 5-yard line with only 3 seconds left. The game ended in a tie, 6-6, bringing the Vikings season to an end with a record of 2-3-1.
"The season started and ended on a positive note, " Jenkins said. He said they started with 47 players and retained 35, the most he has seen in the three years that he has coached the team. In the past, the team had lost more players during its season, who failed to maintain the academic requirements the school sets forth for its student-athletes.
'The kids were focused and doing their work this year," Jenkins added.