Railroaders hold off Vikes | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Railroaders hold off Vikes

Steve Yingling

A year after losing to Sparks by 27 points, the South Tahoe High football team made the Railroaders sweat it out until the final second ticked off the scoreboard Saturday.

The Vikings drove to the Sparks 10 in the final 30 seconds but Sparks survived three final pass attempts by Willy Ervin to escape with a 34-27 season-opening football win in South Lake Tahoe.

Chris Klug leaped high to gather in a 34-yard pass from Ervin as the Vikings reached the Sparks 10 with 27 seconds remaining. But Ervin’s next two passes fell incomplete, and an out pass to Klug lost a yard, and the clock elapsed as the Vikings hurried to line up for a final shot at the end zone.

“It was a tough, tough loss, because we had them,” said STHS coach Chris Morgan. “At times they were ready to fold, and we let them back in the game.

“The kids did play hard and wanted to win. They could feel proud of their effort.”

Klug, a senior, shredded the Railroaders’ secondary for six catches, 188 yards and two touchdowns. His scoring receptions from Ervin covered 51 and 69 yards.

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“We expect Chris to make plays because he’s probably our best athlete. When we need plays, we are going to try and get him the ball,” Morgan said. “When it’s a one-on-one situation, we’re going to say that our guys is better than your guy.”

Klug was among eight Vikings who started the game by playing offensive and defensive positions.

“Sparks is a good team, but to tell you the truth, I think we are better team-wise,” Klug said. “I saw a lot of positive things out there. In a first game, everyone makes mental mistakes. We just have to bounce back from it. That’s just the first game. Now it’s time to play some football.”

Junior tight end Garrett Tinlin chipped in five catches for 63 yards and a score. Irvin was sacked four times but completed 11-of-27 attempts for 250 yards and three scores.

The Vikings struggled to establish a rushing attack and lost two fumbles. Nathan Pedrajita, filling in for injured Tyler Lastiri, led the Vikings with 21 yards and a score. The team finished with a net total of 10 yards.

Sparks’ Angel Guillen gave the STHS defense fits, rushing for 150 yards, including 121 after intermission, and one TD. He also caught four passes for 85 yards and two touchdowns.

STHS senior Noble Lau led the defense with two fumble recoveries. Tinlin and Jonathan Fago’t also recovered fumbles for the Vikings.

South Tahoe (0-1) continues its nonleague slate at Hug on Friday night.