Vikes make big plays for coach’s first victory
Although the finals scores didn’t reflect it, the South Tahoe High Vikings knew they had made improvement in their consecutive 41-0 defeats.
On Saturday, the Vikings received confirmation of their improved play in a 52-0 nonleague football win over Foresthill on Saturday in Foresthill, Calif.
The Vikings rushed for 346 yards and returned two of their six interceptions for touchdowns in a 52-0 thumping of the Wildfires.
The win served as Nick Samaras’ first varsity head coaching victory and enabled the Vikings to improve to 1-2 going into their Sierra Division opener against Reno on Saturday.
“It’s great to get a varsity football victory. I just hope there is more to come,” Samaras said. “I was looking forward to a victory earlier, but a victory is a victory no matter how you look at it.
“We played better, that’s the main thing. From the Galena game to this game I’ve seen improvement in this team.”
STHS wasted little time showing the school of 195 students in the Sierra foothills what it’s like to play a team from Nevada’s largest classification.
On the third play from scrimmage Buck Pershing messed up some Foresthill trickery, picking off a flea-flicker pass and racing 25 yards for the first of eight Vikings’ touchdowns. Senior Elliot Pekar also returned an interception for a touchdown.
“It was good because we needed a win,” said junior quarterback/free safety Chris Diana. “Everyone was putting it that if we lost to this team, there was no point in playing, and the whole town was there, so it made it pretty cool.”
Senior running back Mark Dalmacio allowed the Vikings to sustain the football, rushing for 166 yards on 10 carries. Dalmacio and Martin Taylor each rushed for a score.
Before the half ended it was 34-0 STHS and when Jake Fonken returned the second-half kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown, Samaras could begin making wholesale susbstitutions.
With the Wildfires throwing about 85 percent of the time, there was plenty of opportunities to make plays and Diana and Taylor made the most, with the former collecting three interceptions and the latter registering three quarterback sacks.
“It took a while to get all our stuff together and their ofeense wasn’t that hard to read,” Diana said.
Diana rushed for a touchdown and passed to Pershing for another. The Vikings outgained the Wildfires 467 yards to 100.
STHS’s division opener against Reno also serves as the school’s homecoming. Reno was upset by Wooster 6-3 in both teams’ division opener, giving the Vikings a chance to move past at least two teams with a victory on Saturday.
“The boys got a taste of what it’s like to win and they are going to work harder,” Samaras said. “It’s a good building point, but we’re going to need a really good week of practice to play with Reno.”