South Tahoe football downs Dayton 57-0 for homecoming victory
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — For the South Tahoe football team and its star quarterback, it was a happy homecoming on Friday night, Oct. 7. The Vikings found the end zone on their first eight offensive possessions en route to a 57-0 win over Dayton at Viking Stadium, delivering a fifth straight victory in lopsided fashion.
“We were looking forward to this game,” Vikings senior quarterback Tommy Cefalu said. “We all looked forward to winning in front of a big crowd — it was huge.”
South Tahoe (6-1 3A Northern) scored six touchdowns in the first half Friday and added two more after the break for its most decisive win of the season. Cefalu threw five touchdown passes in his first home start of 2016 and second game back from a hand injury that sidelined him for a month.
The Vikings got a stop on the opening drive of the game Friday, then needed just four plays to open the scoring. Senior Jacob Bernal ran for a 9-yard score with 8:31 left in the first quarter, and the ensuing two-point conversion put the hosts up 8-0.
From there, South Tahoe rolled while keeping Dayton (0-7) winless on the season. The shutout was the Vikings’ first of the 2016 campaign.
Cefalu threw two touchdowns apiece to senior Noah Jackson and junior McCallan Castles, and another to senior Zen Contestable. His 63-yard touchdown pass to Castles with 5:10 left in the first half gave the Vikings a 35-0 lead, and put a running clock into effect.
Trailing 42-0 at the start of the second half, Dayton successfully converted an onside kick — but turned the ball over on downs four plays later. South Tahoe drove 48 yards in seven plays, extending its lead to 49-0 midway through the third quarter on a 24-yard pass from Cefalu to Jackson on third-and-goal.
Early in the fourth quarter, senior Max Schweitzer punctuated the victory with a bruising 5-yard touchdown run — his fifth straight carry of the scoring drive. Dayton drove into South Tahoe territory in the closing minutes, but senior Tyler Ritter picked off a pass to end the threat and secure the shutout.
Cefalu finished 13-of-19 passing with 280 yards and five touchdowns — including four in the first half. Jackson had 139 yards receiving and two scores on four catches, Castles caught six passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns, and Bernal led South Tahoe’s rushing attack with 78 yards and two scores on six carries.
Dayton finished with 121 yards offensively while splitting quarterback duties between senior Blake Fletcher and sophomore Justin Schmidt. The Dust Devils didn’t cross midfield until the onside kick at the start of the third quarter, and were shut out for the fourth time this season.
South Tahoe returns to action at home Friday, Oct. 14, against Elko (6-1). The Indians beat Lowry 33-6 on the road Friday night.