Murderous schedule doesn’t get any easier for Vikings
South Tahoe High sure could use an NFL schedule maker.
Teams that finish with the worst NFL records one year receive an easier schedule the next.
The Vikings finished 0-9 in 2001, but their schedule going into the fourth week of the ’02 season has to be one of the toughest in the state. Each week the Vikings have met an unbeaten team and this Friday is no different when they visit 2001 zone finalist Elko in Elko.
In previous weeks the Vikings have lost to Reno (3-0), McQueen (3-0) and Reed (2-1).
“It’s difficult to keep the kids up when they are 0-3, but we keep showing up and preparing them … breaking down film and trying to give them some advantages,” said STHS co-coach Rod Robison. “Considering they have to drive across the state and play against one of the top teams in Northern Nevada, it sounds like a common theme for the last couple weekends.”
But after playing Bob Milligan’s Elko Indians on Friday, the Vikings should be more competitive in the more manageable part of their schedule. They’ll play Carson on Oct. 4, North Valleys Oct. 12, Douglas Oct. 19 and Wooster Oct. 26 before closing the season with division title contender Hug Nov. 1.
“We’ve played the McQueens and Renos (early on), so hopefully that makes us better when we play the remainder of our schedule,” Robison said.
Last week, the Vikings did a superb job containing Reno’s all-everything Josh Barrett in a 42-3 division-opening defeat. They’ll need to shut down another all-purpose star — Rex Simpson — on Friday night. Simpson, a transfer from Carlin, returned the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown in a 47-12 victory over Reed last Friday. Simpson also returned an interception 70 yards for a score and rushed for 97 yards, with one of his nine carries going for a touchdown.
With Simpson now sharing carries with Dallas Boyer, the Indians’ rushing attack is beginning to look like a two-headed monster. Boyer rushed for 124 yards against Reed.
“We did some good things,” Milligan said. “Our running backs were real positive for us, but we still have a lot to work on.”
Reed simplified Elko’s victory with seven turnovers. STHS will have to be more careful with the football Friday after committing five turnovers against Reno.
“It’s all about performance and not trying to kill yourself,” Milligan said. “Many teams beat themselves rather than their opponents beating them.”
Robison would like the Vikings to revert to the character they showed in a season-opening 35-26 loss to Reed. STHS scored 19 unanswered points in the fourth period after falling behind 35-7.
“As coaches we’re still trying to get them where they can find in themselves to really fight back when they have adversities,” Robison said. “These guys have more experience with the wheels falling off and things just getting worse.”
The tripleheader begins with the freshman game at 2:30 p.m. Friday. The JVs will play at 4:45 p.m. and varsity at 7:30 p.m.
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