Vikings look for second straight win
Published 5:34 am Thursday, October 21, 2004
By By ADAM FISHER / Niles Daily Star
Niles head coach Dave Janicki is a firm believer that how you practice is how you play.
The adage proved true for him last week. After what Janicki called a great week of practice, the Vikings put together their most complete game and most solid showing of the year in a 39-0 romp over rival Dowagiac.
If practice thus far this week is an indicator, Janicki said his team should have another good showing Friday against St. Joseph.
Janicki is looking for his team to follow up on its dominating performance from last week. The Vikings finally got their running game going against Dowagiac, rushing for 252 yards.
The Vikings have struggled all year to have a potent rushing attack, and they found it Friday. Janicki credits the offensive line, who he said did a great job staying on their blocks at the line of scrimmage.
Niles' defense also performed well. After giving up an average of 34 points a game in their first six games, the Vikings shut out Dowagiac and limitd the Chieftain's to 95 yards of offense.
After the stellar performance, Janicki said there is potential for Niles to let down in its final game. Since they are eliminated from the playoffs, the Vikings have nothing left to play for but pride and staying out of last-place in the division.
Janicki said two great all-around performances in a row, and two straight victories, would give him and his players a better taste in their mouths after a somewhat disappointing season.
Although he admits the Vikings haven't played up to their potential, Janicki said the season' outcome could have easily been different. Niles played very tough competition, he said, and lost games by six, seven and nine points.
Friday is Senior Night for the Vikings, their last home game and the last time the seniors will play at Niles. Janicki also sees the final game of the season as an opportunity for the younger players to gain some experience for next season.
Though Niles has just two victories, the Vikings still have a chance to finish the season at .500 in the SMAC West Division. Niles lost to Lakeshore and Benton Harbor, but beat Dowagiac. A victory over St. Joseph would put the Vikings at 2-2.
Niles has enjoyed the mos success in its programs' history against Division school the past five years. From 1985-99, the Vikings went 6-46 against the West. From 2000-2004, they are 11-8 against the same schools.
Niles went just 1-14 against St. Joseph from 1985-99, but has gone 2-2 against the Bears the past four seasons.