Turnovers proved costly as West dug itself a huge hole, losing its season opener 28-7 to Mission Oak on Thursday at Tulare’s Bob Mathias Stadium.
The Vikings were intercepted three times and fumbled twice — including the opening snap of their first drive — that led to a Mission Oak touchdown just 13 seconds into the game. West managed just 120 yards in total offense and trailed 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Senior quarterback Khaiden Dearmore cut the Hawks’ lead to 14-7 early in the second quarter on a 4-yard touchdown run, but Mission Oak put the game out of reach with 14 fourth-quarter points. Dearmore was just 5-of-14 passing for 36 yards and three interceptions.
"It was a tight game until early in the fourth quarter, " West head coach Derrick Dunham said. "Turnovers and penalties just took their toll the whole night."
West made three trips into the red zone but came up empty on the scoreboard on two of those drives. One possession ended on an interception and the other drive was thwarted when a fourth-down pass fell incomplete.
The Vikings’ Leauauna Laulu rushed for 88 yards on 19 carries in his first game since injuring his leg in Week 3 last season.
Jericho Sierra, who lost two early fumbles, accounted for most of the damage for the Hawks, rushing for 133 yards and a score on 19 carries. Mission Oak quarterback Matt Ordunez was 5-for-9 passing for 136 yards and two touchdowns. Four of his five completions were for more than 20 yards.