Highlanders football tops Lakers for Lake Tahoe bragging rights
TAHOE CITY, Calif. — The Incline Highlanders football team gained Lake Tahoe bragging rights for another year.
The Highlanders pushed their way to a 28-0 victory Saturday afternoon over rival North Tahoe in Tahoe City.
The teams may be rivals, but it’s a friendly competition and both teams showed great sportsmanship.
Fans sat in the same bleachers with the host North Tahoe providing a special section of seating for Incline fans and the cheerleaders for both schools performed together at halftime.
The Highlanders may have won the game, but head coach Brian Martinez was completely satisfied with his team’s performance.
“We won so it went well,” Martinez said. “But the big thing I noticed was that we couldn’t shut the door.”
Incline won by four touchdowns, but it could’ve been more. The Highlanders turned the ball over and also missed a field goal, albeit a long try.
The Highlanders scored the lone touchdown in the first quarter.
Quarterback Dylan Cleary hit JT Page for a 40-yard touchdown for a 7-0 lead after the first 12 minutes.
The scoreboard was not working so officials kept the time on the field.
Brad Rye added the second score on a 2-yard plunge in the second quarter to make it 14-0 at halftime.
Through the first two quarters, Incline’s defense suffocated North Tahoe and didn’t allow the Lakers to get close to scoring.
Martinez said in the second half that the Lakers changed things around, put people into different positions and were much tougher to stop although they kept them out of the endzone..
“They made changes in the second half and really had a couple of powerhouse runners,” Martinez said.
Rye added a second touchdown in the third quarter on a 50-yard scamper and Gage Pierce finished the scoring with a 10-yard sweep.
Martinez is not getting too excited, the Highlanders (2-0, 1-0 2A Northern League) were in the exact same position last year after winning their first two games before they lost their final seven.
Incline will be tested Friday when they travel to Yerington for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
“I’m still cautiously optimistic,” Martinez said, “but we’re getting into the real meat of our schedule now.”