Vikings defense struggles again in defeat

Published 2:13 am Saturday, September 18, 2004

By By ADAM FISHER / Niles Daily Star
While Niles head coach Dave Janicki said his team played harder than in its previous three loses, the effort wasn't enough to keep the Vikings from falling to 0-4 with a loss at Battle Creek Lakeview.
Niles struck first in the contest, going up 7-0 early in the first quarter. The Vikings defense, however, couldn't keep Lakeview's powerful offense from scoring often.
Lakeview scored in its first possession of the game. On its second possession, Niles had the team stopped, but Lakeview turned a fake punt into a 40-yard touchdown pass to swing the games' momentum its way.
Janicki said the Vikings' poor performance snowballed from there, as Lakeview racked up 48 points.
Offensively, running backs Otis West and Alex Robinson and quarterback Nick Etzcorn scored touchdowns for Niles.
Janicki said the Vikings' offense couldn't get going, leaving the defense under pressure to stop Lakeview.
Despite the loss, Janicki said he saw a few bright spots Friday. Paul Bella's play at running back was one.
Janicki said he saw signs from Bella of becoming Niles' go-to running back.
As a whole, Janicki said the offense did a better job running the ball against Lakeview. He also said the Vikings did a better job playing as a team.
Now, at 0-4, Janicki said Niles is going to have to regroup and step up in order to get that first victory of the season.