Cougars add another victim
Vikings can’t get going against rising Spanish Springs program
By Steve Yingling
Tribune sports editor
Spanish Springs hadn’t been victorious on the gridiron since 2005 until last week. Now the Cougars have won two in a row.
The Cougars held the Vikings to 35 yards of offense in the first half and parlayed two touchdowns just before intermission to pull away to a 42-7 nonleague victory Saturday in South Lake Tahoe.
Spanish Springs (2-1) neutralized a Vikings’ attack built around the Eidam brothers, Chris and Thompas. Thomas had 14 yards rushing on eight carries, while Chris was on the receiving end of Tony Stagnaro’s only three completions in the opening 24 minutes.
The Cougars diversified attack included two short touchdown runs by Jake Lawrence and a pair of touchdown passes by Robbie Hanna.
The Vikings’ best offensive series came midway through the first quarter when they drove from their 40 to the Spanish Springs 31. Two receptions by Chris Eidam highlighted the series, but Justin Fronberg’s quarterback sack for a 12-yard loss took the Vikings out of field goal range.
South Tahoe shelved a three-receiver scheme for the I formation for much of the half. The scheme gave Stagnaro more time to throw and helped the Vikings limit the number of quarterback sacks.
Hanna’s 28-yard strike to Drew Shimkowski on a flag route gave Spanish Springs a 14-0 lead with 1 minute, 39 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Shimkowski delivered another big play before the half expired, tipping a 30-yard pass over a defensive back to himself on the Viking 4. One play later, Lawrence powered up the middle for a 4-yard touchdown run with 3:04 left in the half.
After the Vikings were unable to move the ball on their next series, Spanish Springs struck for its fourth score. A 29-yard reception by Mike Smalski moved the Cougars to the Viking 11. On the next play, Hanna flung a scoring pass to Mitch McLane, making the score 28-0.
Hanna passed for 128 yards in the first half. Fumble recoveries by Noble Lau and Garrett Tinlin, and the tackling of Cesar Ortega, Mike Burns and Matt Yuen kept the deficit from being larger.
The Vikings (0-3) open Sierra Division play on Friday at Hug.