After opening the season with two tough losses, the Vikings are determined not to let their second league game slip between their fingers in Fallon tonight.
"They're looking to try to turn this thing around," Viking's coach Kevin Hennessee said. "We're going to try to slow them down and on our offense we're going to minimize the mistakes we had last weekend and see if we can't get some things going."
It's been a frustrating start for the Vikings. Their first two games were within reach, but late penalties and small mistakes narrowly cost them both games.
South Tahoe dropped its non-league opener 40-34 to El Dorado in double overtime after a game-tying touchdown was retracted in the final minutes. The Vikings then lost game two in similar fashion when a penalty killed their drive at the 15 in the final two minutes. The Vikings walked away from their first league game with a 10-6 loss to Fernley.
Tonight, the boys will attempt to erase their tough open against a tough team.
Last week, Fallon busted out of the gate led by junior quarterback Morgan Dirickson, who completed 13 of 18 passes for 207 yards. His favorite target, wide receiver Dylan Tedford, hauled in five receptions for 90 yards and a score. The Vikings will also have to watch out for Tyson Ernst and Trent Tarner, who are Fallon's top rushers.
"We'll slow their offense down if it's possible because they're explosive, they're fast, and they're big," Hennessee said.
Slowing Fallon down is no small task. The team is big and coming off a 42-0 season opening win against Wooster, but in the world of high school football the game is always up for grabs.
"They've got 50 guys we've got 25 guys," Hennessee said. "But most of the time it comes down to the kids and who wants to play harder."
The Vikings who will be playing harder tonight are Tyler Nickerson and Dylan Gardner, who will split time at running back. The team lost starting running back Kyle Miller to a knee injury when he was tackled after a 20-yard run in the second quarter of Fernley's game last week.
"Kirby David's going to see a little more time as lineback too and we're just going to keep going," Hennessee said.
The Viking's usual offensive crew of quarterback John Cefalu, Cale Backinger and Kyante Wilson is ready to roll. In their first game, Cefalu completed 15 of 30 passes for 330 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. -
"They are hungry for a win," Fallon coach Brooke Hill said of the Vikings. "This is our most important game and if we keep approaching it that way then we feel like we'll put ourselves in a good position."
The Vikings, however, are determination to put the block on Fallon's momentum and erase their own slow start.
"I think they're excited about putting last week aside and playing harder," Hennessee said.
- Steve Puterski contributed to this story.