Warriors take Lakers’ best shot | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Warriors take Lakers’ best shot

Steve Yingling

David Atherton doesn’t have very good memories of football games at North Tahoe High School.

So when North Tahoe rallied to within two scores of the Warriors in front of a riled up Lakers’ homecoming crowd on Saturday, Atherton began to think of the worst.

“Every time I go to that field, I feel like it is my curse. This is the field that has brought me such hard emotions,” said Atherton, who recalled the Lakers ending Whittell’s playoff chances on that field when he was a Warriors’ running back in 1995.

But Cody Nelson and the Warriors put the “curse” to rest. Nelson followed up a morale-boosting hard hit with a 40-yard touchdown run as Whittell rolled past North Tahoe 50-28 in a Northern 2A League football game in Tahoe City.

“It was a moment of clarity,” Atherton said. “We regret certain things and wish we could go back to that moment and change some things. On Saturday, I was glad to walk off the field with that monkey off my back.”

Whittell built a 26-6 halftime lead, but the Lakers closed to within 34-20 after their quarterback was taken off the field on a stretcher for precautionary reasons. Nelson, who delivered an unintentional helmet-to-helmet blow that sent the Lakers’ QB to the hospital, was also responsible for the hit that stemmed North Tahoe’s comeback attempt. As a North Tahoe back made a spin move to slip a Whittell tackle, Nelson pounced on the Laker, forcing a fumble.

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“Cody was not trying to play dirty football. He was telling them, “I’m here to play football,'” Atherton said.

Atherton didn’t hesitate to call Nelson’s number after the fumble recovery, and he responded with a tide-turning 40-yard touchdown run.

“It was a battle,” Atherton said. “I applaud North Tahoe. Their team fought for four quarters.

“We felt didn’t play that good of game, but we won 50-28. It was very important that our defense got scored on to remind us that there is no reason to not go 100 percent on every play.”

Nelson led the Warriors with 143 rushing yards on 13 carries. He scored once on the ground and a second time off a pass from Roberto Concha-Foley. Senior receiver Rio DeLucia also scored twice as he caught five passes for 44 yards.

Junior running back Philip Gielow complement Nelson by rushing for 100 yards on nine carries and turned a simple screen pass into a 50-yard score.

Warriors’ senior quarterback Roberto Concha-Foley passed for 175 yards and four touchdowns.

Whittell, 4-2 in league and overall, plays host to Independence in its annual homecoming game on Friday. Game time has been moved up to 6:30 p.m.

Injuries take toll on Vikings

The first-place Bishop Manogue Miners did more than hand the South Tahoe Vikings their second Sierra Division loss on Saturday.

Manogue (5-1 overall, 3-0 division) injured three of the Vikings’ key players in a 33-7 victory in Reno. South Tahoe potentially lost Jon Fago’t (possible broken leg), Matt Olivares (mild concussion) and Thomas Eidam (midsection) to season-ending injuries. Eidam remained hospitalized on Sunday.

“Right now, the consensus is to not try and get any guys back. Their long term is more important,” said STHS coach Chris Morgan. “This is devastating to a team already low in numbers and experience.”

A pair of miscues put the Vikings in a serious hole in the first quarter. South Tahoe’s turnovers at its 5- and 30-yard lines as the Miners built a 20-0 halftime lead.

“Once we settled down, we shut them down,” Morgan said.

The Vikings got on the board in the final quarter on a touchdown pass from Willy Ervin to Garrett Tinlin. Tinlin also led the Vikings with five or six catches and two quarterback sacks, according to Morgan.

“We didn’t have the opportunity to get the ball to (Chris) Klug, and Willy went to Garrett. They have created a nice combo there,” Morgan said.

South Tahoe (1-5 overall, 1-2 division) plays at Galena (1-5, 1-2) on Friday night.

Jordan Yingling led the South Tahoe High boys’ cross country team at the Clovis Invitational on Saturday in Fresno.

Yingling placed 44th in the small school division with his 5K time of 17 minutes, 11 seconds at Woodward Park. The Vikings placed 13th in the team scoring, with Woodward Christian taking first.

South Tahoe juniors Erich Baumann and Kyle Wilkinson and sophomore Nick Downer finished among the top 80 competitors in a field of 199. Baumann was 57th in 17:25, Wilkinson 73rd in 17:41 and Downer 78th in 17:47.

Junior Austin Pierce capped the Vikings’ scoring by placing 109th in 18:27. Sophomore Justin Dalton was 116th in 18:35 and senior Rand Norberg was 132nd in 18:56.

The Vikings’ JV team was 10th behind the 30th-place performance of junior Zildijan Borromeo (18:25). Also for the Vikings, Christian Pielaet was 58th (19:31), David Wise 63rd (19:42), Ben Sullivan 75th (19:55), Will Caglia 88th (20:32), Ram Sa-Onoy 102nd (21:22) and Adam Kern 111th (21:51).

The Sierra Division-leading STHS girls’ didn’t compete at Clovis.

The cold weather in Winnemucca on Friday probably had nothing to do with it, but the Whittell High cross country reaped the benefits of running in a tight pack.

Whittell’s top four boys’ participants finished in a 31-second span as the Warriors placed fourth in the Lowry Invitational.

Junior Adam Kingman was 11th in the 5K race at 19 minutes, 11 seconds, while sophomore John Robinson was 12th at 19:14. Junior Adam Laub was 24th at 19:41 and Chris Crawford 25th at 19:42. Freshman Zach Welch came in 43rd in 20:55 to complete Whittell’s scoring. Also, Mikey George was timed in 21:01 and Allen McLeod in 21:17.

Sierra Lutheran won the 20-school meet, with Dayton second, Lowry third and Whittell fourth.

“I was really pleased,” said Whittell coach Lindsey Wines. “It was our last time until zone to compete against these teams, and it was good for us to have a good showing.”

In the girls’ race, Whittell’s Beth Garcia was 14th in 24:06, Morgan King 24th in 26:02 and Erica Schmidt was timed in 26:23.

In a snowy JV race, Whittell’s Sean Sullivan was 22nd (24:22), Matt Schorr 24th (24:49), Rob Caliger 25th (24:50) and Travis Hisken 33rd (28:59).

The Warriors will compete at the Bella Vista Invitational on Saturday in Folsom.

Whittell won a pair of Northern 2A League volleyball matches at Battle Mountain on Saturday.

The Warriors used a lengthy 30-28 win in the third game of the first match to deflate the Longhorns, who gathered a large throng to root against the defending state champions. Whittell won the other games, 25-16, 25-11.

“The kids played superbly. They are really getting it,” said Whittell coach Tony Fathergill. “I’m so impressed with their heart, desire and togetherness.”

The serving and digging of Lupe Martinez and Dyisha Daniels gave Whittell a lift in the opening match.

The momentum of the thrilling third-game win carried into the second match as Whittell swept the Longhorns, 25-7, 25-16, 25-20. Fathergill said Austyn Herrera and Lauren Andrew, who is averaging three kills per game, did a great job setting the team and controlling the court. He was also pleased with the attacking of Emily Scherer.

The Warriors, who improved to 7-1 in league play and 14-11, travel to Silver Stage on Tuesday.