South Tahoe’s Tarwater, Ferrier earn top football awards

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Jake Tarwater twice tied passing records this year and left his name prominently etched in the Nevada record books.

The senior’s reward for a COVID-19 shortened 5-game season was being named Most Valuable Player for the 3A Northern League.

Tarwater and junior teammate Leif Ferrier, who was named Defensive Player of the Year, reaped top awards and led a group of 10 Vikings who were selected first-team All-League.

All those players were directed by the league’s Coach of the Year, Louis Franklin.

First team offensive members include junior James Adams as a running back, receivers senior Mason Hage and sophomore Joel Gomez and senior lineman John Whisnant.

First teamers on defense include senior lineman Bryan Aguilar, senior linebacker Tyler Griffis and senior defensive back Jeremy Smiley.

Senior Giovani Hurtado-Morales was named the league’s top kicker.

The Vikings went undefeated in their five games, rolling in three and playing two close.

Tarwater put up video game numbers throwing for 21 touchdown passes, an average of over four per game, and not one interception. He completed 75 of 177 passes (64%) for 1,179 yards, an average of 235.8 per contest.

Tarwater twice tied a Nevada record with one other player by throwing seven touchdowns in a single game.

His favorite target, Hage, hauled in 28 passes for 451 yards and nine scores. Gomez had a spectacular sophomore season with 23 grabs for 310 yards and six TDs.

Adams, who played in just four games, ran for 437 yards, 109.3 per game, and four touchdowns. He also earned second team honors as a linebacker.

Whisnant doesn’t get the flashy numbers as a lineman, but it’s safe to say if South Tahoe didn’t have good players on the line, the success of Tarwater and Adams and the rest of the offense would have been limited.

Ferrier was a defensive monster on South Tahoe’s line and helped the unit cause 17 turnovers. He played in the opponent’s backfield most of the time and recorded 28 tackles overall, 18 solo, and eight of them were behind the line of scrimmage, including three sacks.

He also caused two fumbles and blocked a punt.

Griffis led the Vikings in tackles with 43, including a sack, and also recovered two fumbles.

Smiley had 21 tackles, picked off a pass, caused three fumbles and recovered one.

Hurtado-Morales made just one field goal on the season from 30 yards, but set the tone with his kickoffs. His very first one kickoff of the year landed beyond the endzone for a touchback.

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