Grand Island dropped its first football game of the season with a 22-16 loss to McKinley Saturday at Riverside High School.
The Vikings lost starting quarterback Quinn Corrao to an injury in the first half and played more than two quarters without anyone under center.
"We played hard the second half. We're down to no quarterbacks in that situation, and our backs stepped up and did a nice job," GI Coach Dean Santorio said, crediting running backs Paul Sukmanowski, Mitch Fachko and Anthony Zogaria with giving the Vikings a chance in the second half.
"We made too many critical, critical mistakes against a very athletic team," Santorio said. Corrao and Sukmanowski had rushing touchdowns, and Kurtis Johnson had a field goal. Stephon Johnson had two TDs, including a kickoff return for a score for the Macks, who erased a 7-0 GI lead.
"A couple botched punt catches, a couple kicks that we're not trying to kick to their deep man and we did and he returned one for a touchdown," Santorio said. "Those couple plays really hurt us."
GI will play at 7 p.m. on Friday night at Iroquois in the first round of the Section VI Federation football playoffs. The Vikings beat the Chiefs on the same field last year in the consolation playoffs. Both teams enter the game with records of 6-1.
"We've seen them a little bit," Santorio said of the Chiefs. "They're pretty balanced and throw the ball pretty well. They've got a really nice running back. We've played them the last two years in a row in the bowl games, so we're familiar with them. They've played really well this year, probably surprised some people, so it'll be a good ballgame."