The No. 2-ranked Grand View University football team is playing in the spring after the NAIA postponed its postseason season due to COVID-19.
It was a little weird at first, but starting quarterback and Clinton High School graduate Johnny Sullivan said the Vikings are getting used to it.
“It definitely was at first, but I feel like now, we’re all in the swing of football season and it feels pretty normal now to me,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan led the Vikings (7-0) to a NAIA FCS Opening Round win over No. 18-ranked Dordt, 38-10 on April 17 at home in Des Moines. On Saturday, the Vikings will face the Northwestern College Red Raiders (9-1) in a quarterfinal game, also at home, with a noon kickoff.
“They’re a good team,” Sullivan said of Northwestern. “They’ve got a really good quarterback, a good offense and defense, so it should be a really good game.”
The team had to get back into the swing of things after a five-month layoff between the regular season and the playoffs.
“I think we feel pretty good,” Sullivan said. “We knocked a little bit of the rust off the first half of last game — it was 10-10, then we put things together. We’re feeling pretty good. We’ve had great practices so far, so we’re feeling pretty confident.
“It was a little slow start by our offense, but our defense did well all day. We came together, pulled through and took over in that second half.”
Sullivan went 20-for-28 with 190 yards and two touchdowns, as well as one rushing touchdown against Dordt.
The Vikings will need another strong performance out of Sullivan to beat Northwestern College, but they aren’t changing anything about their routine — Sullivan said they’re keeping it simple.
“We’re working through our base stuff,” Sullivan said. “We haven’t changed the formula of practice because it’s worked. We’ve been doing practice as usual. Same time, same method, same everything — we’re just preparing for the game.
“We’ve just got to take it one game at a time. It’s kind of a cliche statement, but it’s true, though. We can’t get too far ahead of ourselves and we’ve just got to look at this game as it is. It’s the most important game because it’s the next one.”
For a live video broadcast and live stats for the game Saturday, go too gvvikings.com.