The Curtis Vikings’ sputtering offense that shot itself in the foot and the defense that gave up several big plays last week were nowhere to be found on Friday night at Art Crate Field.
In its place was a sharp, crisp team that looked like it was determined to turn things around.
After suffering a disappointing loss to SPSL South foe Graham-Kapowsin last week, the Vikings delivered a dominating 35-9 victory over Bethel, improving to 2-1 on the season.
“This was a nice turnaround from last week,” Curtis coach Clay Angle said. “We spent this week working on our execution and just tried to bounce back and get back on the horse.”
Halfback EJ Deveaux rushed for 141 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries, and quarterback Scott Wismer passed for a TD and ran for two scores as the Vikings piled up 230 yards on the ground.
“We just wanted to get revenge and come out strong,” Deveaux said.
The Vikings did that, as Deveaux got Curtis on the board first by taking an option pitch from Wismer and jetting 40 yards for a TD late in the first quarter.
Midway through the second quarter Curtis put together a 10-play, 59-yard drive. Wismer converted a 10-yard run on fourth-and-5 from the 14 yard line, and two plays later Deveaux snuck in for a 1-yard scoring run.
“The line was blocking pretty great and getting me the ball a lot,” said Deveaux, who is garnering interest from Washington State. “I just had to do what I had to do.”
After the Braves went three-and-out, they punted to the multitalented Deveaux, who returned it 48 yards to the Bethel 12-yard line. After Mitchell Hersey gained 9 yards on a run, Wismer scored on a 3-yard plunge on the next play, pushing the lead to 21-0 after the extra point with 3 minutes, 8 seconds left in the first half.
Bethel punted on its first four possessions, and turned the ball over on an interception on the fifth possession. Bethel’s lone points of the first half came on Ryan Smolko’s 34-yard field goal at the halftime buzzer.
The Curtis defense held Bethel halfback John Thompson to 49 yards rushing on 16 carries, and quarterback Connor Reopelle threw for just 59 yards in the first half.
Curtis added another score on its opening possession of the second half when Jason Williams got behind the defense and Wismer hit him with a 62-yard TD pass.
Wismer finished with 157 yards passing.
The Vikings added another score on their next possession on a 1-yard run from Wismer that stretched the lead to 35-3.
“Curtis outplayed us,” said Bethel coach Gavin Kralik, whose team fell to 2-1. “They did a better job coaching than us, and their players executed. I feel like they improved a ton from week two to week three, and we have to do the same this next week.”