Speedy Indians shake Vikings
With an outstanding ground attack led by seniors Kyle Eklund and Joel Williams, the Elko High Indians were able to run through the South Tahoe Vikings 42-13 Saturday in Nevada 4A football at Viking field.
“I’m sure happy they’re on our team,” Indians coach Bob Milligan said of his senior running backs. “If you give either one of them a bit of room, they’ll outrun you.”
And run they did.
Eklund carried the ball six times for 96 yards, including a 62-yard breakaway run down the sideline for a touchdown. He also showed off his good hands, hauling in two receptions for 15 yards and a touchdown.
Eklund’s counterpart, Williams, was equally productive, rushing for 99 yards on six carries.
“They are quality backs,” Viking coach Eric Beavers said. “If they find a small seam, they can do a lot of damage.”
After receiving the opening kickoff, the Indians looked to be in control, but on the third play from scrimmage, Indian quarterback Steve Ross fumbled the ball on an option play to the left. Viking cornerback Brandon Tinlin smothered the ball on the Elko 30-yard line and immediately switched from cornerback to quarterback.
Tinlin made some quality passes to receivers Robert Smith and Jeremy Witters to put them on the 6-yard line. And on a third-down play-action fake, Tinlin converted his fumble recovery into the first touchdown of the game on a nice strike over the middle to a streaking Langdon Owen.
“Certainly getting that turnover (and scoring) we got the feeling like we could start with the lead and play well,” Beavers said. “They just have a quality team and eventually the game’s long enough that it wears on you and they find the weaknesses.”
While the Vikings, led by linebacker Garrett McIntyre’s eight tackles, did play solid defense throughout the game, unfortunately they did not have the answers for containing the one-two punch of Eklund and Williams and a solid performance by Ross. Ross completed six passes for 96 yards and three touchdowns.
“We had a really good feel for what they’d do out of certain formations,” Beavers said. “But then you have to play football and when they have more speed, more size and more experience, eventually they’re going to pop one through.”
While the score may suggest the Vikings struggled on offense, Tinlin had a solid game at quarterback, completing 14 passes on 29 attempts for 128 yards and two touchdowns.
“Brandon played by far his best game of the season,” Beavers said. “He played the kind of football that we thought he had the potential to play. He had good footwork, threw good balls and played with a lot of confidence and composure. He’s gonna be a player.”
Other standouts for the Vikings were running back Larry Reynolds, who consistently pounded the ball into the Indian defense for 70 yards on 17 carries.
Wide receiver Matt Mora had a 16-yard touchdown grab and Robert Smith also caught four balls for 40 yards.
The Vikings effort definitely did not go unnoticed.
“I give Tahoe a lot of credit,” Milligan said. “They came out fired up and they took that first one right through us. I’m proud of the way our boys played and we’re certainly respectful to them.”
“We saw some good things and we also saw some problems, but those are things we can build on,” Beavers said. “As we go into our second-half stretch, we play some good teams, but not the kind of teams Elko and McQueen are. Overall, I feel like we’re coming to a level that we can really compete if we get some guys healthy.”
The Vikings will look to taste victory next Saturday when they entertain Carson High in their homecoming game at 1:30 p.m. at Viking field.
The Whittell Warriors football team’s early season woes continued Friday night as the Warriors fell victim to Carlin 47-0 in a Nevada 2A contest.
After playing a solid defensive first quarter the Railroaders finally got on the board and never let go.
“We couldn’t answer on offense,” Warrior linebacker Jake Summers said.
While the Warriors slipped to 0-4 with the defeat, Summers thinks they can definitely get things going.
“It’s the little mistakes that kill us,” he said. “But they’re simple things that we can change. We really have to focus on completing our assignments.”
Warrior coach Anthony Esquivel was unavailable for comment and additional details about the game.
The Warriors will hope to put a win on their record Saturday when they entertain rival Incline in their homecoming game. Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m. in Zephyr Cove.
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Athletes from across the globe will make their way into the National Stadium in Beijing, China, next month for the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics.