Pop Warner teams open with tight games | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Pop Warner teams open with tight games

South Lake Tahoe’s Pop Warner football teams kicked off their seasons last weekend, and the squads provided some exciting finishes.

The Junior Vikings Peewee squad took the Reno Patriots to three overtimes before falling 20-13 last Saturday at South Tahoe High School.

The Vikings put down the hammer early behind strong running of Cale Quistgard, who amassed 100 yards rushing in the opening quarter. Quistgard finished with 160 rushing yards, including a spectacular 54-yard touchdown scamper.

The South Lake Tahoe defense was also stellar, holding the Patriots scoreless until late in the second quarter behind great efforts from R.J. Aqui and Kolby Eymann.

The second half turned into a defensive struggle with neither team driving into the red zone. Huge defensive stops on third and short yardage by Cameron Montanari and Quistgard and an interception by Dakota Lynch helped the Vikings to a 7-7 tie at the end of regulation.

Before Reno pushed across the deciding score in the third overtime, Lynch delivered a nine-yard touchdown run to keep the game going. “It was tough to be on the losing end of such a hard-fought game, but we learned a lot about ourselves and we will improve,” said coach Eric Quistgard.

The Junior Viking Peewees team travels to Sparks to take on the Steelers today at 8 p.m.

Providing the first win among the locals teams were the South Lake Tahoe Mighty Mites, who defeated the Sparks Cardinals 18-6 Saturday in South Lake Tahoe.

In their successful season opener, the Junior Viking Mighty Mites used a ball-control offense to subdue the Cardinals.

Sparks couldn’t stop the ground attack of Nick Durham, Matt Cain, Emiliano Villalobos, Cody Griffis, Tyler Wattanachinda and Denver Orr.

On the opposite side of the ball, a rock-solid defense was led by James Knudson, Kai Poletti, Caleb Moretti and Tucker Leonard. The Junior Viking Mighty Mites face the Reno Patriots tonight in Reno at Mira Loma Park.

Although team scores aren’t kept at the tiny mite level, the Junior Vikings’ youngest squad left Fallon like winners last Saturday.

Malachi Womack scored three touchdowns, including two runs in excess of 40 yards, and defensive lineman Zach Pexa became a fixture in the Fallon backfield.

South Lake Tahoe’s Daniel Barnhard provided one of the more memorable plays of the day, running down a Fallon halfback during a 45-yard run to make a touchdown-saving tackle at the three-yard line.

“They are learning the game of football,” said coach Shane Davis. “We still have things we need to work on, but all in all it was a great start to the 2009 football season.”

Local football fans can get their first look at the youngest talent on the football ladder on Saturday at South Tahoe High. The Junior Viking Tiny Mites are scheduled to play the Sparks Cardinals at 10 a.m.

Also last week, the South Lake Tahoe Junior Midgets lost a tough 19-13 verdict to Sparks as the Wolfpack scored the decisive TD in the final 30 seconds, and the Junior Viking Midgets were beaten 24-6 by Douglas.

The Junior Viking Junior Midgets play host to the Carson City Senators at 2 p.m. Saturday in their home opener, and the midgets will have a bye.

The Junior Viking Junior Peewees are also scheduled to play at home on Saturday. They will tangle with the Sparks Cardinals at noon.

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