The Valhalla Norsemen have been kicking around the middle of the San Diego Section Division IV power rankings and just maybe a playoff berth could be their pot of gold at the end of the regular season rainbow.
The host Norsemen defeated the El Cajon Valley Braves, 41-25, last Friday to pick up their first Grossmont Valley League win of the 2021 fall season in front of a festive homecoming crowd.
Both teams are now 1-2 in league play and 2-5 overall with three games each to play in the regular season.
Valhalla entered the week No. 6 in the section’s Division IV power rankings; El Cajon Valley is No. 13 in Division V.
Twelve teams in Division I through Division V qualify for the playoffs. The power rankings, released at midseason, will serve as a guide. However, because of some teams not being able to complete a full schedule to COVID-19 protocols, the section selection committee may take additional input into account to determine the final seeding.
For the moment, the Norseman can hold their heads high.
Senior quarterback Tommy Logan rushed for three touchdowns and passed for two more to lead Valhalla to its most productive point-output of the season.
Junior receiver A.J. Cornthwaite caught both TD passes — both long-range for 44 and 63 yards.
Senior linebacker Randall Shamoun keyed the Orange Nation defense with two forced fumbles and one sack.
The Braves scored first on a 31-yard interception return by senior Ruben Cosio. The visitors doubled their lead to 12-0 on a one-yard run by senior quarterback Daniel Jacobs.
El Cajon Valley led 18-7 after the first period as the teams then traded touchdowns. Isaac Casas scored on a six-yard run for Valhalla while Jacobs connected with sophomore Shane Hopson on a 43-yard scoring pass.
The remainder of the contest generally belonged to the Norsemen though the Braves challenged at the end.
Valhalla reeled off four unanswered touchdowns — three in the second quarter and another in the third quarter — to take a 34-18 lead.
Logan scored the first of the five touchdowns he was involved with in the game on a one-yard run, followed by a 44-yard scoring pass to Cornthwaite and another one-yard dash into the end zone to place the hosts ahead 28-18 at halftime.
Cornthwaite caught the 62-yard score in the third quarter to boost the Norsemen ahead 34-18.
The Braves narrowed the score to nine points at 34-25 on a two-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Paris Dixon.
El Cajon Valley had two more chances to score but turned the ball over on downs each time —once at the one-yard line.
Jacobs passed for 106 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in the loss. Junior Kal-el Gordon keyed the Braves with 230 rushing yards, though he was held out of the end zone.
Dixon and Cosio both had interceptions while sophomore Omar Jaimes led the team with nine tackles and recovered one fumble.
Valhalla will enjoy a bye this week before resuming league play Oct. 15 at El Capitan (2-0 in league, 5-1 overall).
El Cajon Valley will host unbeaten West Hills (2-0 in league, 6-0 overall) this Friday.