With about four days of QB practice under his belt, Jared Fajman did more than should be expected Friday night.
Fajman, a receiver up until this week, stepped up as South Tahoe’s quarterback when regular starting QB Corey McCarthy was sidelined with an injury. But Fernley’s stonewall defense didn’t make the new gig easy to adjust to.
The Vaqueros’ defense held South Tahoe to 80 yards rushing, 28 in the second half, and 127 yards receiving en route to a 46-13 league win at South Tahoe High School on Friday.
Fernley set the pace in the first quarter.
Quarterback Skylar Williams connected with Kevin Montgomery for a 16-yard pass that landed the Vaqueros on South Tahoe’s 20. Two plays later, Williams snuck in the ball from 15 yards out, 6-0 Fernley with less than three minutes in the first.
Fernley then forced a three and out, and Justin Whitney’s 31-yard punt reception put the Vaqueros back in striking distance. Williams took advantage. He found Montgomery again with a 30-yard touchdown pass. The score ticked 13-0 Fernley as the PAT flew straight and the first quarter whistle blew.
The Vikings started to make progress in the second quarter. Fajman and running back Tylor Nicholson took turns muscling their way through Fernley’s defense. Yard-by-yard the Vikings made it to Fernley’s 12, but the drive was cut short with a fumble and Fernley recovery.
Williams started connecting with Montgomery again. Montgomery hauled in a 24-yard pass to take Fernley half the distance. Williams then ran the ball another 16 before hitting Montgomery with a 32-yard touchdown pass on two-and-15. A two point conversion put Fernley up 21-0 with two minute remaining in the half.
After another three and out, the Vikings were looking for some kind of spark, and they got it when Fernley fumbled the punt.
South Tahoe recovered and Fajman found receiver Brandon Erickson on the next play for a 37-yard touchdown pass. The Vikings were on the board and the PAT was good with 38 seconds in the half.
But 21 seconds was all Fernley needed to answer back and deliver a huge momentum blow heading into halftime. The Williams-Montgomery combination connected again for a 59-yard touchdown pass. The score was 27-7 at halftime.
Fernley added two more touchdowns in the first four minutes of the third quarter. Williams ran in a 65-yard touchdown and then ran in a 74-yard touchdown to make the score 40-7.
Montgomery added a final Fernley touchdown in the fourth on a 17-yard run.
The Vikings now trailed 7-46 halfway through the fourth. Erickson took one back when he broke through Fernley’s defense for a 64-yard touchdown. But the excitement was brief. The touchdown was retracted as a penalty for celebrating after the touchdown.
The Vikings were sent back to the 15-yard line without Erickson’s touchdown, but Fajman made good on the situation. He spun and then just muscled his way to the 3-yard line and punched the ball through on the next play.
UP NEXT: The Vikings are now 0-2 overall and 0-1 in league. They will host Fallon on Friday at home with a 7 p.m. kickoff time.