Offense leads Vikings on postseason charge
October 12, 2012
Their record may not be the best in state, but their quarterback is.
Led by No. 1 Nevada quarterback John Cefalu, and a stellar receiving squad of Kyante Wilson, Cale Backinger and Kyle Moreno, the Vikings are riding a three-game win streak as they continue their push for postseason. Tonight the guys travel to Sparks with an offense that is on fire.
Cefalu is a smart quarterback. He reads the defense and adjusts under pressure. With his accurate short passes and quick arm, Cefalu is steadily pushing the Vikings toward the fourth and final playoff spot. Don’t discount Cefalu on the long pass either. He can easily bullet the ball deep downfield just when defenses think they have him figured out.
“We all knew what he was capable of. He’s very intelligent and he’s got a good arm,” head coach Kevin Hennessee said.
Just how good is Cefalu? Among quarterbacks, he is currently ranked No. 1 in Nevada, No. 4 in California and No. 18 in the nation. In addition to his 2,241 yards, Cefalu is 137-for-226 with a 60 percent completion rate, 20 touchdowns and a measly three interception.
Not bad, especially considering South Tahoe struggled with its offensive line in the beginning of the season while Cefalu still managed to put up impressive numbers. Last week, Cefalu turned in a season best, throwing for 443 yards against Elko.
He’s not doing it alone. The Vikings receivers are giving Cefalu support and putting up impressive numbers of their own. Cefalu, along with Kyle Moreno, were named the top passer and receiver in the league for the week. Cefalu had his 400-plus yards while Moreno hauled in 154 yards against Elko.
Moreno is ranked No. 16 in Nevada and owns 23 receptions, 442 yards, four touchdowns.
Leading the offensive onslaught, however, is a receiver named Kyante Wilson, who is killing the game in his first year on varsity. Wilson is currently ranked No. 2 in Nevada and No. 40 in the nation with 865 receiving yards.
“He’s big. He’s over 200 pounds,” Hennessee said. “Someone who can be that quick and that big is a rare commodity.”
And Wilson can move. Double coverage doesn’t seem to derail the Vikings’ receiver. He simply knows where to be and when to be there. Wilson a big part of the VIking’s defense. He has recorded seven touchdowns and averages 123 yards per game.
But Wilson’s standout performance is just one of the many on the VIkings’ offense.
“Yes, Kyante has the lion’s share of those yards but the other guys have a lot of catches. It’s not just like we’re just one kid. We’re spreading it out to everybody,” Hennessee said. “I think if you take one person away we just find a way to get to another guy and that’s a credit to coach (Todd) McIntyre.”
Cale Backinger and Brandon Cramer are two of those guys.
Backinger, who is ranked No. 18 in Nevada, brings fiery intensity to the field every game. He’s earned every inch of his 432 yard this season. It usually takes more than one defensive player to bring Backinger down. He’s snagged 30 receptions and five touchdowns this season.
Cramer usually sneaks by the spotlight, but he’s quietly been amassing 392 yards this season to earn a No. 23 ranking in Nevada. He has 24 receptions and three touchdowns to his name.
“I think once everyone sees their stats or sees them on film they’re going to open some eyes up,” Hennessee said.
The numbers tell the story of the Vikings’ leaders, but like Hennessee said, South Tahoe’s long-coming success is a true team effort. When one guy is under coverage, another will simply step up to fill the void.
The Vikings are ridiculously outnumbered every Friday, but they could not care less. It will be nothing new tonight when they suit up 17 against a big Sparks program. This is a team that is conditioned to play both offense and defense, and as Backinger would say it all comes down to the best 11 on any given Friday night.