No way Vikings can forget what Reed took from them last fall |

No way Vikings can forget what Reed took from them last fall

Oct. 30, 1999 is an emotionally crushing day in the memories and hearts of returning South Tahoe High football players.

Plagued by a season’s worth of special teams’ breakdowns, the Vikings fell behind 31-0 in their first home playoff game in eight years. South Tahoe nearly pulled off the greatest comeback in school history before losing 38-31.

Even though that opportunity is lost forever, South Tahoe can take out some of that frustration when the Raiders return Saturday for a nondivision game that doubles as the Vikings’ home opener.

“The way we look at it, it’s like stepping into a shark tank this week,” said Reed coach Doug Parry. “We’ve got to be ready to play. They’re not going to forget that we were a playoff third seed and we knocked them off on their field.”

South Tahoe 13-year coach Tim Jaureguito prefers to take a low-key approach to a game that has little bearing on the postseason picture.

“We’re not looking at it as a revenge type of thing. It’s just the second game of the 2000 season for us and we just want to execute and improve on the things that went wrong in week one,” Jaureguito said.

Based on opening week, Reed has more to work on than the Vikings. Wide receiver Immanuel Williams scored three touchdowns and running back Jake Hurwitz rushed for 199 yards and one score as the Vikings derailed the Sparks Railroaders 40-26. Meanwhile, the Raiders did little right in a 39-0 thrashing at the hands of Wooster.

“We’ve got our hands full, to say the least,” Parry said. “If we consistently move the ball, we have a chance, but the big thing is we can’t afford to give up the big play.”

If the Vikings are vulnerable in any area early in the season, it’s on defense. While succeptible to the pass against Sparks, the young defense was effective against the run. Sparks gained 108 yards on 38 carries.

“We’ve made some minor adjustments. Because they run an offense similar to ours, our defense has seen something similar since last May, so that’s a real big plus for us,” Jaureguito said.

Inexperience at quarterback may tip off that the Raiders will try to run the ball against South Tahoe. All-league quarterback Lamar Lee has graduated, and Mike Drew returns after an 800-yard rushing season filling in for Matt Joseph.

Strengthening the STHS defense is the return of junior defensive end Justin Nixon, who missed the opener with a sore hip.

“He’s the strongest guy we have on the team and one of the fastest on the team,” Jaureguito said. “If he’s picked up enough of things we’re doing and helps us the way we expect him to, he could be a real impact player on that defense.”

Although Jaureguito is downplaying the revenge factor, he does want to improve upon his special teams’ follies from last year’s playoff game. Twenty-one of Reed’s 31 first-half points came on STHS special teams’ blunders.

“That’s been a major focus for us. That’s one of the areas we want to excel this week because of what happened last year,” Jaureguito said.

The junior varsity game kicks off the doubleheader at 10:45 a.m. The varsity tilt is set for 1:30 p.m.

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