Story and photos by Darrell James/Staff writer/@darrelljames_

The Vikings conquered Pasadena Lancers, 41-14, in the teams’ season opener Saturday, Sept. 3, on a new turf field at renovated Veterans Stadium. According to the college’s athletic site LBCC is No.1 in the nation.

Sophmore linebacker Jared Utupo said, “We came out and played well, but we have to keep improving. Watching film, studying Saddleback and fixing simple mistakes from tonight is the focus now.”

LBCC freshman quarterback Jake Meier finished with five touchdown passes and 312 passing yards. Meier found freshman wide receiver Cedric Byrd for a touchdown early in the first quarter, then connected with sophomore wide receiver Jaylenn Watson for a 14-0 lead later in the quarter. Meier also finished with 27 rushing yards.

Freshman running back Rodedrick Ashford. had eight carries and rushed for 61 yards with his longest run reaching 23 yards. Ashford also caught four passes for 32 yards. Freshman running back Jason Floyd carried the ball eight times for 55 yards.

Ashford said, “We have a lot of great backs. We have just have to keep working with our line and get stronger as we go. If we can throw the ball we can also run it.”

On defense, freshman end Scotty Fao and sophomore lineman Marcus Reynolds each recorded a 10- yard sack. Freshman Elijah Bynum also sacked the Pasadena quarterback for a 17-yard loss. Abedayo Sorekum led the Vikings with six tackles, with one tackle resulting in a 2-yard loss.

Viking coach Brett Peabody said, “We did some good things tonight but we have to play a lot better as we continue the season. We have the talent it’s just our job to put it together now.”

The Vikings will visit Saddleback on Saturday, Sept. 10, at 6 p.m.