It's not every day a 230-pound middle linebacker outruns an entire football team for a 73-yard touchdown sprint.
Cale Backinger willed his team to a win Friday, and his fourth quarter touchdown, putting South Tahoe ahead 14-10 was the tipping point. Behind Backinger and two touchdowns from Kyle Moreno, the Vikings extended their win streak to five games with a 21-17 win against Spring Creek at home.
Backinger was a big part of that, offensively and defensively.
"He was a beast," head coach Kevin Hennessee said. "He did everything he could for this team to win tonight."
It was a loss-of-yards hit in the second to force a punt, and then again key hits in the third and fourth. Backinger kept the pressure on the Spartans.
He wasn't alone though. The entire Vikings team came together to shut down Spring Creek's running game.
"This team had 200-plus yards against Fallon so the fact that we held them to 17 means we were doing our job," Hennessee said.
Moreno put the Vikings on the board first, hauling in a 12-yard pass from quarterback John Cefalu with less than two minutes until half. The touchdown cut Spring Creek's lead to 10-7 and kept the win within reach.
But Spring Creek's impressive kicker Colby Patton and running back Josh Hull kept the Spartans ahead, until Backinger's touchdown edged them out in the fourth.
A pitch to Hull in the fourth pushed the Spartans ahead 17-14 with time running out.
Moreno and the Vikings got the final word, however.
Cefalu hit Moreno with another 20-yard pass that took him to the outskirts of Spring Creek's end zone to cement the win for the Vikings.
The Vikings improved to 5-3 and will host Truckee in their final home game of the season Friday at 7 p.m.