Vikings’ defense raises game in division opener
A predictable offense and a growing injury list overshadowed a strong effort by South Tahoe High’s defense in a 34-0 Nevada 4A Sierra Division football defeat at Reno on Friday night.
Without regular quarterback Brandon Tinlin (disciplinary decision) and three injured regulars, the Vikings still gave the Huskies all they wanted in the division opener for both schools.
“We played pretty solid defense and didn’t give up the big play,” said STHS coach Eric Beavers. “We played like I’d expect us to play at least for the first three quarters.”
The Huskies blew open a tight game with three late touchdowns, including David Edington’s interception return.
Quarterback Langdon Owen ran the Vikings in Tinlin’s absence, and Beavers was pleased the junior’s performance.
“For the amount of time he was given to practice and learn the plays, and for what we could ask him to do, he did everything and more than we could ask him,” Beavers said.
Complicating matters for Owen were the concussions suffered by receivers Travis VanArnum and Greg Treharne. Both won’t play against Elko on Saturday.
Needless to say, Reno wasn’t expecting STHS to pass that often.
“We knew we were going to be in for a tough road as far as moving the ball,” Beavers said. “They basically said, ‘You’re going to have to throw the ball because we’re not going to let you run.'”
With Reno repeatedly blitzing and keying on Viking running backs, senior Larry Reynolds was in a tough spot.
“He took some pretty good hits, but he continued to run the ball hard,” Beavers said.
Owen was picked off twice, including the only time the Vikings ventured inside the Reno 30-yard line.
Kevin Woodman helped the Viking defense’s cause with a superb punting effort.
“He punted really well, so we were able to at least play a decent field position game for the first three quarters,” said Beavers, who also applauded the defensive play of Garrett McIntyre, Justin Nixon, Ryan Davis, Matt Mora and the remainder of the Viking secondary.
STHS (0-3) will take a one-week respite from division play, but Saturday’s game will hardly be a breather. Elko, one of the state’s top 4A teams, visits, fresh off a 47-0 thumping of Reed.
“The pressure is going to remain on the defense,” Beavers said. “It will be our responsibility to make it a low-scoring game and the offense’s responsibility to get a couple of scores and see if we can win games that way.”
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