Pop Warner teams ready for Mountain Division Championship
Can you smell that crisp November air here in Tahoe?
That’s the smell of home field advantage for two of the four Pop Warner football teams who finished as the No. 1 seed in the Mountain Division.
The peewee and junior midget Vikings both wowed the home town crowd last Saturday with victories at South Tahoe Middle School to finish undefeated in regular season league play.
The peewees beat Lassen 15-7 to go 7-0 for the year. They will play the Winnemucca Bucs, the No. 4 seed, at 1 p.m. on Saturday at South Tahoe High School in the first round of the Mountain Division playoffs.
The junior midgets won their last game against Dayton by forfeit as the the team chose not to show . The junior midgets went 8-0 for the season.
They play Truckee, who they last beat 38-6, at STHS at 11 a.m. in the first round.
The junior peewees made a second-half rally against Lassen to win their final game 20-18 after trailing by two touchdowns.
The win gives the junior peewees the fourth and and final playoff spot in the Mountain Division. They play Dayton, the No. 1 seed in their division, on the road Saturday at 10 a.m.
The Midgets lost their final game to the Truckee Wolverines 18-0. The Wolverines clinched the fourth and final Mountain Division playoff spot. The midget Vikings finished the season 1-6.
The midget Vikings will play a final game Friday at 8 p.m. in Sparks against the Raiders.
At stake in the playoffs is a berth to the Sagebrush Division Championship, otherwise known as the Snow Bowl, which is scheduled for Nov. 8 at Don Mello Sports Complex in Sparks.
Under winning head coach Steve Klug Jr., the peewees will keep all systems virtually the same for the playoffs, but will be without star running back Chase Harpole, who recently moved to Arizona.
Chad Cooney will continue as quarterback. Thomas Eidam started as quarterback but broke his finger. Eidam will remain at defensive linebacker.
“We’re constantly progressing,” said Klug Jr. “Compared with our national championship team from last year this is a very young team, so we’re constantly progressing and getting better each week.”
The peewee Vikings give up 5.5 points per game on average but score approximately 31.5 on average.
Head coach Russ Woods says he expects Truckee to be significantly stronger during the first round of playoffs.
Although the Vikings beat the Wolverines solidly earlier this year, he says much has changed since then.
“They have a very serious Pop Warner Program and they always show up to play. So we’re looking forward to a good game,” he said.
The team is strong and healthy, although quarterback Ryan Woods has had a bruised knee for much of the second half of the season. He sat out a few games but is expected to play Saturday.
Coach Woods said he’s playing at about 80 percent of capacity.
“The kids are working hard and they realize that it’s a whole new season,” coach Woods said. “We’re back to 0-0 again. No matter what we did during the regular season it doesn’t matter now because you have to do good in the playoffs.”
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