Win keeps Vikings on playoff path |

Win keeps Vikings on playoff path


Courtesy of Gary Gardner The Vikings line up against Sparks in front of quarterback John Cefalu at South Tahoe's away game Friday. Cefalu, who leads the state in passing, threw for 342 yards in the Vikings 50-14 win.

SPARKS, Nev. — A high school quarterback could hang his hat on the stellar season John Cefalu has already posted, but on Friday the senior proved the best is still to come. “He just keeps getting better that’s for sure,” head coach Kevin Hennessee said.Almost doesn’t seem possible, but the nationally ranked quarterback pushed further ahead of the pack Friday as he led the Vikings to 50-14 win in Sparks to keep South Tahoe in the postseason chase. South Tahoe is now riding a four-game win streak, something the team hasn’t seen in at least a decade. “John is operating at a higher level,” the athletic director, Doug Russell, said. “He’s seeing defenses. He’s moving guys to the right spot. Virtually every pass is on the money. He’s unreal right now.Cefalu, who is ranked No. 1 in Nevada, completed 20-of-38 passes for 342 yards, six touchdowns and one interception. The quarterback now owns 2,583 yards, 26 touchdowns and is 157-of-264 this season. He’s having the kind of season high school kids dream about, but it would mean nothing without offensive support. South Tahoe’s receivers are finding openings and making plays. Five different guys put up touchdowns Friday. Kyante Wilson and Kyle Moreno shared the majority of those, with two apiece. Wide receiver Wilson recorded five receptions for 86 yards and two touchdowns. Wilson, who is also ranked one of the top receivers in the nation, managed all this despite being under his usual double-team coverage. It was Wilson’s touchdown one minute before halftime on fourth down that knocked the wind out of Sparks. Wilson broke free of his two-man coverage to connect with a 27-yard pass and pull the Vikings 22 points ahead.Sophomore Dylan Gardner hammered the nail into Sparks during the second quarter with a rushing touchdown.“Dylan’s just put it away,” Hennessee said. Gardner carried the ball well for the Vikings all night, setting up key touchdowns. He’s figured it out. He knows how quickly he needs to move and the hits he needs to take and give out,” Russell said of Gardner. There are five key sophomores on the Vikings’ varsity roster. Gardner, Kirby David, Matt Herring, MC Cherry and Stone Merkley are all solid pieces in the Vikings’ winning puzzle. “It’s shocking really. We’ve got five guys who we didn’t even know would be on our team this year and they’re starting both ways,” Russell said.It was a senior, however, who set the pace for the Vikings with an explosive first half. Moreno put the Vikings on the board in the first two minutes. Not long after, the wide receiver gave a repeat performance hauling in 13-yard touchdown pass from Cefalu. Moreno came away with seven catches for 84 yards and two touchdowns. Brandon Cramer had five catches for 105 yards and one touchdown, and Jared Fajman had three catches for 63 yards and a touchdown.The offensive line was also a key ingredient for the Vikings. The line was something the Vikings struggled with earlier this season, but the linemen were the difference maker in the last four wins. Offensive linemen Herring, Rafel Guttierez, Dalton Lathrop, Kris Hurwitz, Jason Rogers and Crewe Goraliski are buying Cefalu the time he needs to keep the Viking momentum rolling. The final two playoff spots will come down to South Tahoe (4-3), Lowry (6-1) and Truckee (6-1). South Tahoe has two remaining home games. The Vikings will play Spring Creek Friday and Truckee Oct. 25. — Eric Lee Castillo of the Reno Gazette-Journal contributed to this report.

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