It’s time for Vikings to run over Colts
Put off the children’s visit to the barber shop for a week, tape the Oklahoma-Notre Dame football game and delay that weekly mountain bike ride, because your cheering services are needed Saturday at Wooster High School in Reno.
For the first time since 1991, the Viking football team has a legitimate chance of hosting a postseason game. To accomplish that irregular feat, the Vikings must beat Wooster for the first time ever during the regular season.
“By stepping up and winning this Saturday we would make history for this program, and it would be great to do that with the support of the community right down there with us,” said Viking coach Tim Jaureguito, whose only victory over the Colts was a heart-stopping 19-17 comeback win in the 1991 zone finals.
First place in Nevada 4A Division II will be on the line when the Colts and Vikings square off at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in Reno.
The Colts carry a 2-0 division mark into the first-place matchup, compared to the Vikings’ 2-1 record. The winner will likely win the division, and that’s critical since the division champ and runner-up will host first-round playoff games. After Wooster, South Tahoe’s remaining division games are against struggling Carson and Fallon, which are each winless.
There is reason to believe that this will be the year the Colts leave the field with their heads bowed. South Tahoe definitely got the best of the Colts during their annual preseason scrimmage in August, but the Vikings limp into the game with several key injuries. Although quarterback Tim Sprinkles is expected to play in his second game since recovering from a partially torn MCL, senior defensive end Ian Price and senior running back James Fabrizio are sidelined with damaged knees. Fabrizio is out for the season, while Price probably won’t play until the middle of October.
The Colts look vulnerable now that Joe Sellers is no longer overseeing the Northern Nevada dynasty. But Sprinkles, running back Jake Hurwitz and receiver Immanuel Williams must continue to make big plays behind their rapidly developing young line. More importantly, the Vikings must contain the “James Gang” of quarterback John James and running back Josh James – especially on sweeps, where Hug capitalized Sept. 18 in its 18-17 upset win.
Just a hunch, but it’s time for the Vikings to taste victory against the Colts. When the Vikings are through swarming on defense and striking with the big play, the scoreboard will read, South Tahoe 28, Wooster 17.
It’s not too early to start the 1,000-yard watch for junior back Hurwitz. Hurwitz, who shouldered the offense while Sprinkles was recovering from his knee injury, only needs 273 yards to reach the coveted mark. His 727 yards through five games have been impressive since opponents know that he’s the only Viking that carries the ball.
If the Viking offense doesn’t strike enough fear into opponent when Sprinkles is healthy, why not give senior defensive back Chris Seals a few more opportunities on offense. His 14- and 10-yard rushes against Hug in the closing minutes were exciting to watch, and he proved that he has a nice touch on the halfback option pass.
Hope you had the patience to watch the 4-hour and 30-minute three-overtime thriller between Oregon and USC on Saturday night. But the game should be a lesson to younger players about the foolishness of on-field celebrations.
Oregon All-America kicker Nathan Villegas injured his kicking knee after successfully converting a 26-yard field goal to tie the score at 23 in the final seconds of regulation play. Holder Joey Harrington awkwardly bent Villegas during their celebration, and the 5-foot-9 kicker spent the rest of the game on sitting on the sideline with a ice bag on his knee. Oregon finally won the game 33-30 on third-string kicker Josh Frankel’s 27-yard field goal in the third overtime.
Losing just isn’t in the South Tahoe High varsity soccer programs’ vocabulary this fall. The Viking girls and boys teams have lost only one game between them.
Joe Winters’ undefeated boys are 11-0-3, while Julia Peyser’s girls are 3-1-5. With the kind of season those teams are having, I’m sure their eight combined ties have felt like losses.
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