Vikings’ choice homecoming foe no pushover |

Vikings’ choice homecoming foe no pushover

North Valleys was a natural pick for South Tahoe High School’s homecoming foe this Saturday. The Panthers are competing at the varsity level for the first time after spending their inaugural year at the JV level.

Still, the Vikings better be careful not to take the Panthers (1-4) lightly since they have come awful close to pulling off several upsets. North Valleys defeated Fallon 20-19 in overtime in their opener and has put a scare into Reed (34-27) and Douglas (13-6).

“They are physical. We saw that at a strength competition at Hug this year,” said South Tahoe co-coach Rod Robison. “It’s going to be a slugfest and we have to get our kids to show up ready to scrap.”

Because of the emotional effort Robison is expecting from his players, being that it is homecoming and STHS has lost its previous 15 games, he is stressing that his Vikings remain under control.

“There’s something about excitement and also being grounded so you can remember what you have to do,” he said. “We’ve got excitement, they want to win and I think they’ll play like nobody’s business.”

North Valleys’ offense centers around 200-pound fullback Vince Knight, who rushed for four touchdowns in the high-scoring loss to Reed.

“He’s a load and he’s only gotten better since we saw him in camp,” said STHS co-coach Chris Morgan. “Definitely, we have to stop him. If he gets rolling, then it opens everything for them on offense.”

STHS’s offense has been inconsistent, but receiver junior Dan Gomez and junior running back Grant Swinney have had their moments. Swinney produced 100-yard rushing games against league powers McQueen and Elko. Gomez has been able to deliver his share of big plays, including a 54-yard touchdown reception for the Vikings’ only score in a 61-8 loss at Carson last Friday.

“We are going to have to be motivated because North Valleys is one of those teams that we match up against,” said STHS junior Justin McIntyre. “All the kids who haven’t won before are really pumped about this game.”

Notes: The Vikings will be without all-purpose star Ryan Kraw for the rest of the season. Kraw cut his spleen his spleen during the Carson game. “That hurts big-time, because he can boot the ball and he’s one of our leaders in the defensive backfield,” Morgan said. Junior Nik Mercado will assume the kicking duties. Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m.

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