The Venice Vikings Pop Warner teams continue to put on impressive performances as the season moves into Week 4, with the teams going 4-1 this past Saturday.

Defense has been the key to success so far this year, and the Vikings continued that trend into Week 3 — posting three shutout efforts. Check the sports pages each Wednesday to see how far the Vikings teams make it this season.

6U Danes

In Week 3, the Danes traveled down the road to face off against North Fort Myers. The boys played lights-out from whistle-to-whistle, pulling out a 30-0 win over the Knights.

Throughout the game, the Danes defense showed up big, allowing one first down the entire game. Matthew Vanover started off strong with a tackle for loss on the first play of the game.

That play was followed by non-stop hustle and dominance by every player on the Danes defense. Rylan Bannan, Major Bell, Blake Hayes and Eli Wright all racked up multiple tackles. Maverick Smith switched positions and played like a heat-seeking missile at safety, tracking every play.

Offensively, the Danes could not have played any better, scoring on every drive. Scoring was spread out as four Danes found their way into the end zone.

The Danes’ longest offensive drive took four plays, with Nicholas Stough scoring on a fourth and two from his own 38-yard line. While Abel Seed had the joys of scoring his first TD on a beautiful run, he spent the other half of the game imposing fear on the defensive line. Kade Swafford picked up right where he left off from last week by not only putting another score on the board, but by playing solid defense and being the lead blocker on two of his teammates’ touchdowns. Then, there was the dynamic play of Colton (Mighty Mouse) McCord. Mighty Mouse put on a show with two touchdown runs and multiple tackles on the defensive side of the ball.

The Danes look to carry on their winning ways as they face the Naples Bears at home this Saturday.

8U Kings

The Kings traveled to North Fort Myers to take on the Knights on Saturday morning, coming away with a 36-0 blowout victory.

The Knights drove the ball 40 yards down the field in 14 plays which resulted in a turnover on downs on the first series of the game.

On the Kings’ very first play, Bryce Bigelow scored on a toss sweep for an 80-yard touchdown run. Defensively, the Kings defense shut the Knights offense down for the rest of the game, forcing two fumbles and allowing no first downs.

Noah Wireman and Gavin Murphree both had fumble recoveries that were forced by Bryce Bigelow. Kendrick Murray, Austin Bowman and AJ Yaniero all had tackles for loss.

Offensively, Wireman had a touchdown run, passing touchdown and two extra point kicks to on the day. Bryce Palmer had a 30-yard touchdown run and Bigelow had three total touchdowns — one on a punt return.

Zander Moore, AJ Yaniero, Gavin Murphree, Jack Hackney and Brady Jernigan had a great day blocking.

The Kings are now 3-0 for the season and will face off against the Naples Bears at home this Saturday. The Bears are the only other team in the conference that is undefeated.

10U Knights

The Venice Knights beat the North Fort Myers Knights, 28-0, on Saturday using a strong defense and great blocking by the offense.

Venice held North Fort Myers on the first possession before scoring on a 60-yard romp up the middle by Nico Brasco. Opening the hole on the play were Colton Vanover, Graham Cassani, Zeke Settles, Colin Gilkerson, Anthony Beckom, Troy Morgan and Daniel Crane.

Venice’s second score came on a strip of the ball and a 35-yard touchdown run by Landon Stubbs. Stubbs would then record his second defensive touchdown of the game on another fumble recovery — this one for 20 yards. A big hit on the quarterback by Aidan Gartley forced the fumble.

The final touchdown of the game came on a 26-yard scamper around the right end by running back Hank Krom, who also kicked two extra points on the day.

Venice’s defense was stout all day behind the tackling of Russell McCord, Elijah Gooden, Christian Medina, Landon Stubbs, Stephen Testa, Malachi Montgomery, Noah Lefrancois, Tristen Neely and Robert Corrigan.

The Knights host the Naples Bears on Saturday at Letson Stadium at 1 p.m.

12U Lancers

The Lancers traveled to North Fort Myers this past Saturday, suffering a 32-12 loss at the hands of the Knights.

In the first quarter of the game, the Lancers offense couldn’t get a drive to last long enough to put points on the board. The Knights, however, managed to score a touchdown on a long drive that took five minutes.

The Lancers found themselves down 6-0 for the first time all season. In the second quarter, the Lancers offense scored a touchdown on a quarterback sneak by Wes Bigelow, which was set up by a 50-yard run by quarterback Gianni Badagliacco.

On the next drive, the Knights came out passing on offense and found numerous targets, eventually turning into points, and stretching their lead to 13-6 at the half.

In the third quarter of the game, the Lancers mistakes hurt them with three turnovers that the Knights turned into touchdowns.

The Lancers scored a late touchdown in the fourth quarter with a pass to tight end Malik Chieffo, but the deficit was too much to overcome by then.

The Lancers look to bounce back next week as they take on the Naples Bears at 3 p.m. at Letson Stadium.

14U Crusaders

The Crusaders took the field on Saturday night under the lights to take on the Fort Myers Firecats in what turned out to be a nail-biting 8-7 win.

The Firecats struck first with a tipped pass that resulted in a touchdown over the middle of the defense, taking a quick 7-0 lead.

Big defensive tackles by Andrew Wozniak, Matthew Peavley, T.J. Wallace, Jordon Joseph and Darius Cook kept the Firecats in check the rest of the night.

The first Crusaders score was a pick-6 by Eli Seed, however it was nullified by a penalty and the first half ended with the Firecats still leading, 7-0.

The defensive battle continued into the second half. With only minutes left in the fourth quarter, quarterback Alvin Johnson took over and punched in the first Crusaders touchdown of the day to bring the team within one.

With the game on the line, the Crusaders coaches decided to kick the two-point conversion for the win. A perfect snap by Ryley Myer and a sure foot from kicker Chad Flemming sealed the deal to give Venice its first win.

Next week, the Crusaders will look to keep winning as they take on Cape Junior.


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