South Tahoe football set for final home game of 2017 regular season
Peyton Galli hopes Friday night will not be the last time he plays football on the turf at South Tahoe High School.
The Vikings’ senior quarterback hopes his team comes together, wins its final four games and returns a month later for the playoffs. The Vikings finish the regular season with three straight road games.
“Hopefully we can finish in the top four and get another game here,” Galli said Tuesday after practice. “I like this place. Our fans are awesome. The scoreboard, we’ve got the nicest field in the league. The sunsets, I don’t see that everywhere else, they’re unbelievable.”
Mccallan Castles has been trying to put off thinking about Friday’s clash against the Wooster Colts being the final one at his “home.”
“Even after only two years being here, it feels like home,” said the star receiver and Colorado transplant. “It’s the best atmosphere to play in. Here, the fans are the most friendly to other teams. I feel a lot of places in the league, when you get way away from here, their fans are very aggressive.”
Vikings head coach Louis Franklin is treating Friday night just like another game. He and his staff prepare the same every week whether it’s the regular season or playoffs.
“Senior night is special to the kids and the families that have been here, but for me, my job, I prepared as hard this week as I did for last year’s state semifinal game,” Franklin said. “It’s another game and they’re all very important to me.”
His concentration this week, like every week, is going 1-0.
If the Vikings go 1-0 this week, it will be their second straight victory and they’ll even their record to 3-3 in the 3A Northern League.
South Tahoe’s schedule after Wooster (1-4 3A Northern) includes Dayton (0-5), Elko (2-3) and rival Truckee (4-1). If league trends continue, that final game against the Wolverines may be for a home playoff game.
But getting back to going 1-0 this week, the Vikings will face a physical team in Wooster. The Colts lone win of the season came against Lowry (9-6), who the Vikings jumped on but struggled to put away last Friday, Sept. 29, on homecoming. And Franklin has concerns after watching game film of the Vikings win over the Buckaroos.
“Level of focus on executing our assignments, it wasn’t there,” Franklin said. “Our effort was questionable in the second half, which is disappointing because that’s what we can control. I’m pretty concerned since we came out flat. Wooster beat the team we played last week. They’re a bigger, more physical team than Lowry.”
The Vikings’ offense has found its rhythm and burned its last two opponents.
Galli has thrown for 801 yards in the past two games and senior receiver Matt Cain has had back-to-back monster games with a total of 19 receptions for 404 yards and two touchdowns.
With Castles making his full time return last week after battling an injury, the Vikings’ offense should be difficult to stop moving forward. Castles is hoping his team can pick up the blitz Friday night so the receivers get a chance to burn one-on-one coverage.
“They like to blitz a certain linebacker, and if we pick him up, it’s man-to-man coverage and that’s what our offense is tailored for,” Castles said. “And I’m loving that. I’m looking forward to this game. They’ve got a lot of good athletes, I just think we’re more disciplined and know our schemes better.”
South Tahoe scored three touchdowns in the first seven minutes against Lowry and looked in perfect harmony jumping out to a 21-0 lead.
That’s what Franklin expects from his offense. He expects that unit to move the ball up and down the field against anybody. And he wants to dominate from the outset against the Colts. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
“We need to line up correctly and be the aggressor, be the bullies right away,” Franklin said. “Make sure we set the tone we want, just like the first half last week.”
Game notes: 3A Northern League standings/schedule: Spring Creek 5-0, Fernley 5-0, Churchill 4-1, Truckee 4-1, South Tahoe 2-3, Elko 2-3, Sparks 2-3, Wooster 1-4, Lowry 0-5, Dayton 0-5. Schedule: Elko at Churchill; Truckee at Sparks; Dayton at Lowry.