Unbeaten Marauders stop Jr. Peewees in title game | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Unbeaten Marauders stop Jr. Peewees in title game

Steve Yingling

REDWOOD CITY – Qualifying for the West Coast Division III Regional Championship was the easy part for the South Lake Tahoe Junior Peewees.

Their assignment in Saturday’s championship was the Mountain View Marauders, a Bay Area team that hadn’t lost in the three years they have played organized football together.

That Pop Warner unbeaten streak remained in tact as the Marauders defeated South Lake Tahoe 28-0 at Woodside High School.

“They definitely had our number,” said South Lake Tahoe coach Shawn Miller. “They definitely have a lot to choose from down here and a lot to work with, and their coaching staff is unreal. They are really dedicated, that’s the kind of stuff we need to work on up at the lake.”

Thomas Muldrew rushed for a pair of first-half touchdowns and the Marauders’ defense took care of the rest, repeatedly disrupting the Junior Vikings’ attack by getting off the ball quicker.

“We play to the whistle and we’re also real high on discipline and technique. They just play real well together,” said Mountain View coach Mark Hischbek.

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Mountain View scored on its initial possession as Muldrew ran 11 yards for the first of his two touchdowns. Grant Vermeer’s balancing act made it 14-0 late in the first quarter. Vermeer took a handoff at his 32 and when he wasn’t ruled down at the 10, he continued into the end zone.

Muldrew 24-yard touchdown run to open the second quarter put the Junior Vikings in a 21-0 hole.

“They were just really well-disciplined.They outworked us and outplayed us,” said South Lake Tahoe’s Craig Kondoff.

Occasional short runs by Kondoff and Erik Edwards were negated by Mountain View’s ability to put continuous pressure on South Lake Tahoe quarterback Tanner Burghard.

Skylar Sheldon picked off a Mountain View pass with 19.4 seconds left in the half and returned it to his 49. But South Lake Tahoe didn’t have time to capitalize on the field position.

The Junior Vikings tried to make something happen by opening the second half with an onside kick, but the Marauders’ Caleb Gomez recovered at the South Lake Tahoe 45.

Despite being flagged twice, the Marauders marched in for their fourth score. A.J. Villalobos brought down Vermeer on a 16-yard halfback option pass at the 10. On the next play, quarterback Mark Hischbek hooked up with Cole Wisecarver on a touchdown.

Although their kids trailed 28-0 entering the final period, Junior Vikings’ parents gave their team a standing ovation. The team responded as Michael Nanzig had an 8-yard rush and the defense kept the Marauders out of the end zone.

“After 28-0 we were just trying to have some fun,” Kondoff said.

Compiling an 8-3 record and a Sagebrush Division III title was more than the Junior Peewees could have asked for back when practice began in August.

“To win the Snow Bowl was awesome. We were proud to be here to represent,” said South Lake Tahoe assistant coach Scott Rogers. “We had a lot of young players, we did the best we could and we’ll be back together. These kids are learning and getting better all of the time.”