South Tahoe football falls at Spring Creek 51-21 for first loss of season, Cefalu injures hand
SPRING CREEK, Nev. — It took the South Tahoe football team eight hours to arrive at the destination of its longest road trip of the regular season Friday, Sept. 2. Shortly after kickoff at Spring Creek, things quickly unraveled for the Vikings.
South Tahoe lost senior quarterback Tommy Cefalu to a hand injury on the third play of the game against the Spartans — and never recovered. The Vikings lost 51-21 at Spring Creek, suffering their first loss of the season in lopsided fashion.
On its first drive, South Tahoe (1-1 3A Northern) suffered a crippling blow when Cefalu was hit on a pass play. A Spring Creek defender drove Cefalu into the ground after he threw the ball, and the senior landed awkwardly on his throwing hand — he didn’t return to the game.
“It was a shock,” Vikings coach Louis Franklin said. “The kids look up to [Tommy] so much, and it freaked everyone out.”
The Vikings were stunned, and Spring Creek (2-0) took advantage. The Spartans raced out to a 30-point lead, and held a 44-14 advantage at halftime — an even second half did nothing to put the outcome in doubt.
Junior Peyton Galli took the reins at quarterback for South Tahoe, and performed well after making his debut in the closing minutes of the team’s season opener a week earlier. Galli finished 16-for-26 passing with 236 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions.
“He took control and he’s a leader,” Franklin said. “He came in and made the right reads, and the mistakes he had were mostly coach-related — we had been asking him do some things he hadn’t really practiced.”
Galli will start at quarterback while Cefalu is out. Prior to this season, his only high school football experience came as a freshman at Whittell in 2014.
“He throws an extremely good ball and he has good velocity,” Franklin said. “He knows we have good weapons, so he distributed the ball very evenly.”
Junior McCallan Castles caught a team-high 10 passes for 170 yards and two touchdowns for South Tahoe in the loss. Senior Noah Jackson added two catches for 35 yards and a score, and senior Tyler Bernal led the running game with 34 yards on 12 carries.
Spring Creek finished with 459 yards of offense, and did most of its damage with short passes. Quarterback Jon Jund was 18-of-21 with 359 yards, six touchdowns and one interception — five of his passing touchdowns came on screen passes.
“It was very disappointing defensively,” Franklin said. “We were not reading our keys, and we were not as aggressive as they were — they blocked us more than we would block disrupt.”
South Tahoe returns to action Friday, Sept. 9, against Fernley (2-0) at Viking Stadium. Kickoff for the Vikings’ home opener is scheduled for 7 p.m.
“It’s exciting to get in front of the home crowd,” Franklin said. “These next two games are really important for us, and we’re focusing on Fernley.”