Story and Photos by Brennan Waldorf —
The Broadwater Vikings defeated Kenston Forest from Blackstone, Va., last weekend, March 20, in Exmore. Senior Day for the Vikings honored 10 seniors who found the end zone eight times in the game. Seniors Tucker Arcos, Brant Bloxom, Cole Celli, Caleb Floyd, Jonathan Graham, Gunnar Gustafson, Miles Mclntyre, Reade Nicolls, Cain Taylor, and Clay Wardius have been playing football together for seven years and have completed their final game in Exmore victorious. The large senior class is one of the factors that had the Vikings switch to the eight-man league. With 24 players on the roster, the most players the program has had in recent years, the roster will be cut almost in half as the 2021 class departs.
Four of the Viking seniors are coming off Broadwater’s first boys basketball metro conference championship and have helped guide the Vikings to a 3-0 start. All-state player Gunnar Gustafson leads a team that averages almost 50 points a game with 16 total touchdowns. He set a season record Saturday running, catching, and throwing the ball for the Vikings, finishing the game with six touchdowns.
The Vikings opened a high-scoring first quarter with Brant Bloxom putting the ball right in the cradle of Gustafson’s arms for a 31-yard touchdown pass. Their 2-point attempt fell short and the Vikings took the lead 6-0. The Kavaliers quickly responded with a touchdown of their own after a missed tackle allowed a quarterback keep to go for a 26-yard score. Quinton Hawkins then ran the 2-point conversion giving the Kavaliers the lead 8-6. Broadwater then responded with a senior-to-senior connection when Bloxom hit all-state Clay Wardius for a 51-yard catch and run to the house. The two teams then traded touchdowns throughout the first quarter as offense efficiency was high before a shift to defense in the second quarter.
Defenses began to pick up in the second with Bloxom throwing two interceptions and Kenston Forest leading most of the quarter. The senior redeemed himself toward the end of the half on defense picking off Kendall Thorne deep in Kavalier territory to set up Gustafson’s 10-yard touchdown carry that gave the Vikings the lead 36-32, at the half.
Senior Day brought out the best in the Vikings’ seniors as they strung together a tremendous second half both offensively and defensively. The Vikings’ special teams began the half recording a turnover on the opening kickoff. Broadwater then converted defense into offense with another 5-yard rushing touchdown from Gustafson. Senior Reade Nicolls name came up frequently by the game announcers as Nicolls powered through the Kavaliers’ offensive line, making contact and applying pressure to the backfield. The Vikings’ defense was firing on all pistons as it wrapped up and tackled in numbers taking away all the Kavaliers’ momentum in the half.
Broadwater would find the end zone two more times with a Cole Celli 14-yard touchdown reception and another Gustafson rushing touchdown. The Vikings allowed only one more touchdown and outscored the Kavaliers 20-8 as Broadwater cruised to a 56-40 win, giving the Kenston Forest its first loss of the season. The Vikings will be on the road for their last game of the season as they travel to Powhatan March 27 for a 2 p.m. kickoff against Blessed Sacrament-Huguenot.