McQueen trounces Vikings, 52-3
As bad as the 52-3 football licking that McQueen administered to South Tahoe High on Saturday, the defeat could have been much worse, according to the Vikings’ top two defenders Garrett McIntyre and Justin Nixon.
“They would have beaten us 100-0 with last year’s team,” said Nixon, referring to MQueen’s undefeated state championship team.
“It’s hard, but there’s definitely some progress,” McIntyre said. “We’re getting better week to week, but we just went against McQueen, so it’s hard to say because they just overpowered our team.”
Replacing 19 starters from last year’s regional semifinalists, the Vikings are experiencing the varsity blues while players grasp new positions and a higher level of football. Consequently, blown assignments and turnovers are negating some of the good things South Tahoe is doing as it tackles one of the Northern Nevada 4A League’s toughest predivision schedules.
“We didn’t lose that game today. We lost it four years ago for the seniors and three years ago for the seniors,” said STHS coach Eric Beavers, referring to his players’ previous neglect in the weight room. “It’s because McQueen trains all the time, they don’t miss their weight workouts and they spend time in the weight room. That’s why they’re fast and strong, and that’s why we lost (Saturday).”
Three lost fumbles, including one on the second play from scrimmage, and several missed pass coverage assignments simplified McQueen’s 16th straight victory.
“We’re still a young team, so we’re still making a lot of mental mistakes,” McIntyre said.
McQueen needed six plays to cash in the Vikings’ first turnover as Kevin Suter rushed 7 yards for the score. The touchdown came after McIntyre tackled Suter for a 1-yard loss to set up fourth down and two.
Tight end Mohu Otuafi capitalized on the Vikings’ next mistake – a mixup in pass coverage – breaking clear along the sideline for a 51-yard touchdown reception from Jeff Rowe.
“We just had some breakdowns. It was nothing special,” Beavers said. “It wasn’t like their receivers were so good that we couldn’t cover them.”
That appeared to be the extent of McQueen’s first-quarter scoring. But receiver J.J. Myatt snared a pass over the middle on third and 14 and outraced the Vikings for a 63-yard score, giving the Lancers a 21-0 lead with 2:21 left in the opening period.
“I just ran and reacted to the ball and it just ended up in my hands,” Myatt said.
Twice in the first half the VIkings moved into scoring position but came away empty-handed. Nixon missed a 29-yard field goal after the Vikings reached the McQueen 10.
Nixon assumed the blame for the errant kick, saying he set up the tee incorrectly.
“The tee was backwards. The high side was the way I faced, so when I kicked the ball, I kicked it really high,” said Nixon, whose attempt fell just short of the mark.
The other drive stalled at the 29, where the Vikings turned the ball over on downs.
“We take great pride in our defense, first and foremost,” said McQueen coach Ken Dalton. “We don’t like to be scored on, we take it very personal and we work very hard.”
Nixon, however, did redeem himself in the fourth quarter, driving through a 27-yard field goal with 5:01 remaining.
South Tahoe’s best weapon against the Lancers’ swarming defense was McQueen’s overaggressiveness and lack of composure. The Lancers were whistled for 14 penalties for 158 yards, providing many of the Vikings’ 13 first downs.
Junior quarterback Brandon Tinlin passed for 59 yards and Larry Reynolds rushed for 10 yards as McQueen held the Vikings to 51 yards total offense.
Over the past decade, McQueen teams have dominated with defense and a strong running game. Dalton’s latest gang has one of his typical overpowering defenses, but vertical pass offense reminiscent of when former UNLV receiver Todd Floyd called the shots behind center in the early 1990s.
“We wanted to keep it balanced with running and passing this week, and it worked really good,” Myatt said. “I think we’ll throw it a little more because we have a good quarterback and we have the ability to throw it.”
Myatt also caught a 26-yard touchdown pass from Rowe in the third quarter and finished with nine receptions for 195 yards. Suter rushed for two scores, but the Vikings kept both of McQueen’s top backs under 70 yards.
“You don’t want to lose games, but these first two games don’t really count as far as our championship hope goes,” Beavers said. “Now it counts.”
South Tahoe (0-2) opens division play Friday at Reno.
As Dalton walked back to the McQueen locker room he had some kind words for Beavers and his program.
“Their best years are in front of them, and Eric will lead them there,” he said. “They have a lot of young kids out there, and I’m very impressed with their bodies.”
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