The North Tahoe football team improved to 2-0 after earning a 53-40 win at Whittell this past Friday.
The game remained exciting and close throughout between the lakeside rivals, both of whom are playing eight-man football for the first year. North Tahoe is playing an independent schedule while Whittell dropped from the Division III to the Division IV in the offseason.
North Tahoe senior receiver and return man Alex Bourriague was a one-man wrecking crew for the Lakers, scoring four touchdowns on the night. Junior quarterback Brandon Hayakawa also accounted for three touchdowns — one rushing, one on a kickoff return and the other on a long pass play to Bourriague.
“We are very pleased with the level of play in games and work ethic showed at practice,” said North Tahoe coach Scott Everist. “It payed off against Whittell.”
Hayakawa initiated the Lakers’ scoring with a 25-yard touchdown run early. Bourriague scored next on a 1-yard run, while senior Jordy Holst scooped up a botch snap by the Warriors and ran it in for North Tahoe’s third score, which gave North Tahoe a 21-18 lead entering the half.
Bourriague broke off a 50-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and Hayakawa scored his second TD on an 80-yard kickoff return. The pair then hooked up on a 50-yard pass play before Bourriague scored his fourth touchdown of the night on a 38-yard run.
Senior Jeremie Peart rounded out the Lakers’ scoring when he recovered a fumble and returned it to the house in the fourth quarter.
The Warriors rushed for 469 yards in the game, led by Max Primo’s 165 yards and three touchdowns and Alex Barnes’ 125 yards and two TDs. Whittell quarterback Jake Sharp, who completed 10 of his 13 passes for 125 yards, with one interception, also rushed for 105 yards and a score. North Tahoe stats were not available.
“They are starting to believe in themselves as a team and as individuals,” Everist said of his Lakers. “As this happens other things will start to fall into place. We continue to improve although we are short in numbers. Coleville will be a serious test on Saturday.”
North Tahoe is scheduled to play at traditional Division III power Coleville on Saturday at 1 p.m.