South Tahoe loses to Dayton |

South Tahoe loses to Dayton

Rob Renaud
Tribune News Service

DAYTON, Nev. – Dayton High turned in a complete game against the South Tahoe Vikings in a 49-20 win in a key Northern 3A football game Friday night.

The Dayton offense racked up big numbers while the defense did a credible job of holding the high-scoring Vikings in check.

Senior running back Tyler Firestone gained 269 yards on 13 carries and scored twice. Eddy Morales scored twice in a 73-second span during the first quarter. Cody Yeater also scored twice for the Dust Devils, running for 117 yards.

The Dayton defense, meanwhile, held South Tahoe’s Jacob Stowell to 171 yards on 30 carries. While that’s a lot of yards, Stowell rushed for 441 and three scores last week against Wooster. The defense stopped South Tahoe on downs twice inside it’s own 10-yard and blocked four kicks – including a punt return for a touchdown, a field goal attempt, and a PAT effort.

In a calculated surprise, the Vikings came out throwing, gaining nine on its first play, a short out route. Then the Vikings started to hand the ball off to Stowell and the Dayton ‘D’ held firm, forcing a punt. South Tahoe was able to pin Dayton deep, downing the ball on the Dust Devils’ 1-yard line.

The Dust Devils couldn’t move the line of scrimmage and had to punt as well. Stowell fielded the punt at the Dayton 40 and broke to his left, returning the kick to Dayton’s 7-yard line. The Dust Devil defense held firm, forcing a field goal attempt. Yeater broke through the South Tahoe line to block the kick.

After runs of six and 19 yards by Firestone, Morales broke free for a 58-yard touchdown.

Morales would score again after South Tahoe’s next possession – after a three and out, Dayton blocked the punt and Morales scooped it up and sauntered into the endzone.

The Vikings didn’t take long to respond though, as Stowell returned the kick-off 66 yards to the Dayton 14. Three plays later, Stowell scored on a 5-yard run to pull South Tahoe back to within one score.

Dayton wasted no time in its response.

Firestone carried the load, gaining 65 yards on five carries to set up Yeater’s 25-yard score which came a split second before the end of the quarter. Adan Gomez’s kick was good, giving Dayton a 21-7 after one.

The Dust Devils were able to score again on their next possession. After the Vikings turned the ball over on downs inside the Dust Devils’ 10, Dayton drove the length of the field for a score. Yeater had a 46-yard run and Austin Fletcher gained 34. Fletcher, a sophomore eventually scored on a 7-yard run giving Dayton a 28-7 lead with 1:19 left in the half.

Firestone broke the game wide open early in the third quarter, taking the first snap 90 yards for a score. After the Dust Devil defense held firm, Firestone broke free for 87 yards giving Dayton a 42-7 lead.

Yeater put up the final Dayton score with a 38 yard run with 10:43 remaining in the game.

“That’s huge,” Dayton coach Rob Turner said of Firestone’s night. “He is such a key part of what we do. We beat him to death. We expect a lot of things out of him and he never stops delivering for us.

“I tell you what, our offensive line tonight. We got stuck deep in the first quarter, couldn’t run at all, it’s going to be a long night, but we made the adjustments, the kids got around the adjustments and we made it work.”

Dayton 3-2, 2-2 in league hosts Wooster at 7 p.m. Friday.

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