On Friday, Aug. 25, the Vikings took on the Marquette Mustangs in a battle of two teams looking to bounce back from a first week loss against Parkway Central. A necessary part of the Vikings success in building momentum for the season and winning against the Mustangs 56-45 was wide receiver and defensive back Jason Hawkins.
Coach Bob Bunton stressed “jumping on top” against the Mustangs before the game and Hawkins took that to heart as he opened the game with a huge play. On the opening kickoff, Hawkins made his way down the field with a burst of speed weaving between defenders. He continued to haul his way down the field, and eventually made it to the end zone, scoring on a 85 yard return.
“Any time something like that happens, it gets everyone going, builds a lot of momentum, and spreads throughout the stands,” said senior Anthony Wilson, a teammate of Hawkins and one of the captains for the Vikings.
Hawkins scored four times that night. He had two special teams returns (punt and kickoff), an interception that he brought back for a touchdown, and a passing touchdown.That is something no one in school history has ever done.
Bunton referred to it as a “hitting for the cycle”, just like in baseball when a player hits a single, a double, a triple, and a homerun all in one game.
Going into the game, Hawkins said, “I just wanted to win” and wasn’t looking to put up those kind of numbers, but he wanted to do anything he could to help.
Although he might not have expected to have such an outstanding game, teammate Wilson knew it was coming. “I trained with him all summer and although he isn’t a captain, he is a spark and what our team needs,” he said.
Hawkins was recently announced STL Athlete of the Week by the St.Louis Post Dispatch. “It feels good, but I have even higher hopes going forward,” said Hawkins.
Hawkins’ impact may just be what the Vikings need to fulfill their motto, “Finish”, which was generated after a crushing lost in the State semi-final game last year against Harrisonville, and make it to State. The Vikings will continue their journey to State tonight, Sept. 1, against University City.
by Jayme Bertish, staff writer