STAMFORD, Conn. – King’s football team has taken care of its early-season schedule. Now, the Stamford school will see how it fares against a more challenging schedule.
The Vikings (4-0) play Hackley (5-0) Saturday in Tarrytown, N.Y., in a match-up between two of the top teams in the Fairchester Athletic Association. The contest is the first in a difficult closing stretch for King, which plays perennial FAA power Rye Country Day and undefeated archrival St. Luke’s (6-0) in its final two regular season games.
“I thought we had a chance to get to this point,’’ coach Danny Gouin said. “Now we have a chance to see just how good we are.”
The Vikings have breezed through their first four games, outscoring opponents 123-42. Last Saturday’s 42-21 win over Kingswood-Oxford was the first time this year King surrendered more than one touchdown.
“We’ve always been a very physical football team,’’ Gouin said. “But now we’re not making the mental mistakes that hurt us before.”
The Vikings are led offensively by dynamic quarterback Joey Santoro, who has rushed for 746 yards and nine touchdowns. Santoro rushed for 996 yards last year and caught 21 passes, including five for touchdowns. He moved to quarterback this year with the graduation of Kevin Peabody. “Joey has done everything we’ve asked him to do,’’ Gouin said. “He’s had a tremendous year.”
Brian Alebiuso has rushed for 436 yards and three touchdowns, while Zach Mulhern has rushed for 284 yards and two TDs. Nick Della Jacono (48 tackles), Bo Kane (36 tackles) and Alex Haendler (33 tackles) lead the defense. Anthony Spadaccini and Tyler LaVecchia have three sacks each. The Vikings have forced eight turnovers, led by Kane (two interceptions) and Jack Careccia (two fumble recoveries).
King will need to keep playing well as it enters the toughest part of its schedule. After going 4-4 the past two years, the Vikings have a chance to match the back-to-back 8-1 records of 2008 and 2009 when Silas Redd roamed King’s backfield.
“We’re taking a very simple approach,’’ Gouin said. “Even when we started weightlifting last year, it was one rep at a time, one set at a time, one play at a time. We’re not looking ahead to anybody. We’re focusing on the team that’s next on the schedule.”