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Football: Vikings are 7-0 for first time since 1998 thanks to 52-40 win over Chaffey

Sophomore Darren Johnson ran for 268 yards and three touchdowns in the Vikings' win over Chaffey. (File photo by John Fajardo)
Sophomore Darren Johnson ran for 268 yards and three touchdowns in the Vikings' win over Chaffey. (File photo by John Fajardo)

Sophomore Darren Johnson (Cabrillo HS) rushed for a career-high 268 yards while the Long Beach City College offense totaled a season-best 536 yards as the Vikings rolled to a 52-40 SCFA National Central League win over visiting Chaffey College on Saturday at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

With the victory, Long Beach improved to 7-0 overall for the first time since 1998 while the Vikings remain on top of the NCL standings at 3-0.

The Vikings, who had early-season success with the running game, started relying heavily on the pass over their last two games and had rushing totals of -28 yards and one yard in wins over Mt. San Antonio and Allan Hancock. But Saturday marked the return to the rush as LBCC ran wild for 309 yards thanks to Johnson's incredible effort. He ran for touchdowns of eight and two yards, while his impressive 91-yard TD run on the Vikings' second drive of the third quarter sparked a 17-0 run by Long Beach that turned a close 28-26 halftime lead into a 45-26 blowout in the fourth quarter.

Chaffey cut the Long Beach lead to two touchdowns after a 27-yard TD reception by Marquis Wimberly from quarterback Levi Plante to make the score 45-33 with 7:27 left in the game.

But Long Beach followed with a nine-play, 64-yard drive that was capped by a one-yard touchdown run by sophomore Deonte Dixon (Paramount HS) with just 2:48 left to play.

The LBCC defense also came alive in the second half. On Chaffey's ensuing drive, sophomore London Iakopo (Mater Dei HS) picked off Plante's pass at the 50-yard line and ran it back 29 yards to the Chaffey 21-yard line. Iakopo also had his biggest game of the season as he led all with 11 tackles and two sacks.  

Sophomore Mat Boesen (West Torrance HS/Boise State) was also a menace on defense for the second straight week. He totaled 6.5 tackles and forced a pair of fumbles to halt potential Chaffey scoring drives. Freshman J'Quan Hawkins (Wilson HS) had a 7.5 tackles, contributed a sack towards the five by the Vikings on the night, recovered a fumble, and blocked an extra point kick.

Freshman wide receiver Mike Wilson (Washington Preparatory) had a pair of touchdown receptions to give him a team-high 10 on the season. He caught TDs of 29 and 19 yards from freshman quarterback Jack Lowary (Mater Dei HS) as part of a 227 yards passing effort. Lowary completed 16 of 30 passes with three touchdowns and one interception. He added an 18-yard TD to freshman Jerin Scroggins (Cabrillo HS) in the second quarter.

Long Beach will have next week off with a bye before its national showdown at Riverside City College (5-1, 2-0 NCL) on October 31. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at RCC's Wheelock Stadium in a contest that will likely have major postseason implications.