Home » Conference Previews » North Star Athletic Association » Valley City University

<- Back Overview

Valley City University

Valley City State has developed a winning mentality on the northern plains where they are expected to reload instead of rebuild, but with the loss of their starting quarterback and several offensive linemen to go along with a brutal early schedule, Valley City State could take a step back this season.  With their quarterback situation unsettled, I would expect the Vikings will rely heavily on Sr. running back Derek Elliot to make explosive plays to get the offense going, a challenge he may very well be up to after scoring 15 touchdowns running, receiving, and returning kicks last season .  The Vikings also have an experienced group of receivers, including So. Colby Lum, Sr. James Gaynor, and So. Zach Johnson to help ease the development of whoever gets the quarterback job.  The offensive line is anchored by Jr. All-Conference linemen George Trujillo and Sr. Taylor Carvalho, but will have to develop new blood to make it as easy as possible on whoever wins the quarterback competition.

The Viking defense is coming off an impressive 2012 where they pitched three shutouts and gave up an average of 13.4 points per game against Jamestown, Mayville St., and Dakota State; all of whom are members of the North Star Athletic Conference.  I don’t expect the defense to take much of a step back depth has been a strength the last two seasons for Valley City St.  Senior defensive back Jake Thurston was a two time all conference performer in the DAC before it folded and recorded 56 tackles for VCU in last seasons conference-less effort.  Also watch out for Jr.  defensive back Pathen Asuncion, Sr. defensive linemen Matt Craft, and Sr. defensive end Dwanye Fearon.

We’ve mentioned Derek Elliot in the kick return game, but Valley City St. also has one of the better kickers in the conference.  So. Thomas Cortez was 31 of 33 on PAT’s and 11 of 13 on field goals.  If the Vikings defense can keep games close while the offense develops, he could be the difference in close games.

If the North Star Athletic Association had existed the last two season, the Vikings would be the cream of the crop with a record of 9-1 vs current conference teams.  This year their overall success will be tough to repeat.  They open up the season with back to back road games vs conference favorite Jamestown College followed by a visit to Sioux City to play last year’s national runner-up Morningside College.  With a visit to NCAA Division II SD School of Mines in Rapid City, the Vikings could easily lose three of their first four games!  In my eyes, the best-case scenario for VCSU involves losses to Morningside and SD School of Mines and beating the rest of the schedule, including a sweep of Jamestown to end up 8-2.  Worst-case scenario: They lose to Jamestown twice and pick up another surprise loss to finish at 5-5.  For my official prediction, I think they split with the Jimmies and pick up a surprise conference loss early to finish at 6-4 and second in the conference.