South Tahoe football downs winless Dayton 41-0, wins third straight
DAYTON, Nev. — The South Tahoe football team rolled to a road victory Friday, Oct. 9, to continue its winning ways. The Vikings blanked Dayton 41-0, shutting out the Dust Devils en route to a third straight win.
“We’re headed in the right direction, but we have a long way to go,” Vikings coach Louis Franklin said. “In the first quarter we played well, and after that we got a little sloppy.”
South Tahoe (3-4, 3-3 I-A Northern) scored on its first three possessions Friday night and had a 21-0 lead after the opening quarter. Quarterback Tommy Cefalu threw a 32-yard touchdown to Zen Contestable and a 36-yard score to Zach Shearer on consecutive drives, then Darren Jackson found the end zone on a 24-yard run three plays after a Dust Devils fumble.
“It was a good quarter,” Franklin said. “We were playing catch.”
Midway through the second quarter, Cefalu connected with Noah Jackson for a 30-yard score that made it 28-0. The Vikings took that lead into the break after holding Dayton (0-7, 0-6) to 59 yards in the first half.
“We weren’t making the plays we needed to offensively to put it away a little faster,” Franklin said.
South Tahoe forced a turnover on downs on the opening drive of the second half, then extended its lead to 35-0 with a six-play, 59-yard march. Cefalu threw a 32-yard pass to Kade Wallace to cap the possession — his fourth touchdown pass of the game.
Late in the fourth quarter, the Vikings punctuated the victory with a 3-yard touchdown run from Robert Cage. The 41-point win is South Tahoe’s most decisive since the 2005 season.
South Tahoe racked up 501 yards of offense against the Dust Devils, including 349 in the air. Cefalu finished 18-of-30 passing for 335 yards and four touchdowns.
“Tommy played really well,” Franklin said. “He’s getting better every game and he’s definitely looking good.”
Shearer caught a game-high five passes for 88 yards, and was one of five Vikings receivers to catch at least three passes. On the ground, South Tahoe ran for 152 yards on 30 carries — Cage ran for 51, Luis Quintero had 44 and Quinn Ritter finished with 34.
The Vikings’ defense held Dayton to 125 yards — quarterback Blake Fletcher finished 5-for-18 passing for 49 yards and added 53 yards on the ground. South Tahoe’s second shutout in three weeks came against a Dust Devils team that hasn’t scored in seven games this season.
“Defensively we played solid and never were really threatened,” Franklin said. “We played really aggressively again.”
South Tahoe returns to action Friday, Oct. 16, at Elko (4-2, 4-2). Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
“For us to remain in the driver’s seat, we have to take care of our business,” Franklin said. “It’s the same thing for next week — we need to win and that’s our focus.”
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