South Tahoe football falls to Desert Pines 56-7 in 3A State semifinals, ending postseason run |

South Tahoe football falls to Desert Pines 56-7 in 3A State semifinals, ending postseason run

Anthony Gentile
South Tahoe junior McCallan Castles tries to haul in a pass with Desert Pines’ Tony Wallace defending the 3A State semifinals Saturday, Nov. 12.
Anthony Gentile / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

LAS VEGAS — A historic season for the South Tahoe football team came to a crushing end Saturday, Nov. 12. In the 3A State semifinals, very little went the Vikings’ way as a stellar campaign concluded in bitter fashion.

Northern second seed South Tahoe fell to Southern top seed Desert Pines (Las Vegas) 56-7 in the state semifinals Saturday afternoon. The Jaguars scored five touchdowns in the second quarter to turn the Vikings’ first state appearance in 25 years into a one-sided runaway.

“It didn’t go our way, but this one game won’t define our season,” Vikings coach Louis Franklin said. “I’m really proud of this group of kids. They’ve done something that hasn’t been done in a long time and forever changed the legacy of the football program.”

Desert Pines (11-1) opened the scoring on the second drive of Saturday’s game, taking the lead on a 16-yard run from UNLV-bound Isaiah Morris with 5:56 left in the first quarter. South Tahoe (9-3) answered on the next possession — but that would be its last score of the game.

The Vikings marched 70 yards in 10 plays to tie the score late in the first quarter. Senior Andrew Herrera pounded the ball in from 3 yards out on third-and-goal to make it 7-7 with 2:14 left in the opening frame.

South Tahoe recovered an onside kick after scoring, but went three-and-out with three straight incomplete passes — and the score was tied after the first quarter. By halftime, South Tahoe trailed 42-7 after a disastrous second quarter.

The Jaguars took a 14-7 lead with 9:30 left in the quarter when Tyler Williamson — a sophomore making his varsity debut — rolled out and found Arizona-bound Tony Fields for a 15-yard score. On the next play from scrimmage, Desert Pines was in the end zone again — courtesy of a 35-yard interception return touchdown from Monquel Glasow.

Desert Pines scored three more times before the break, as part of a five-touchdown quarter. The last of the scores — a 31-yard interception return from Tony Wallace with 1:30 left in the half — made it 42-7 headed into halftime.

In a second half played with a running clock, the Jaguars added two more touchdowns in the third quarter before a scoreless fourth quarter. South Tahoe played hard after the break, and the final seconds of its season were met with frustration and sadness on the visitors’ sideline.

South Tahoe was held to 121 yards in the loss while playing without senior 1,000-yard rusher Jacob Bernal, ruled out earlier in the week due to injury. Senior quarterback Tommy Cefalu finished 7-of-22 passing with 52 yards and three interceptions, and Herrera ran for a team-high 43 yards on eight carries.

For Desert Pines, Williamson finished 9-of-11 with 193 yards and four total touchdowns. Morris ran for 142 yards and a score on eight carries.

Desert Pines advances to play Spring Creek in the 3A State championship Saturday, Nov. 19, in Las Vegas. The Northern top seed Spartans beat Southern second seed Chaparral (Las Vegas) 36-7 on Saturday afternoon.

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