Vikings journey to Elko seeking 4th straight win, playoff berth
When most people are drinking their morning coffee and getting ready for work Friday, Oct. 20, the South Tahoe football team will be on a bus headed for Elko, Nevada.
And those same people will likely be asleep when the Vikings return home at 3 or 4 a.m., hopefully for them, after their fourth straight victory.
Elko is a step up in competition from the last three weeks when the Vikings feasted on the three teams buried in the bottom of the 3A Northern League. Their last three opponents have two wins between them in league play.
“Elko is a good team, especially going to their house,” said Vikings quarterback Peyton Galli. “I’ve been there before for basketball and their fans are insane and get into it. It’s gonna be fun.”
The players will get breakfast as they step onto the bus and after might get some sleep on the eight-hour or so bus ride, but coaches will keep them awake for the majority of the trip. They want to make sure they’re awake when they get off the bus and ready to play at kickoff, at 7 p.m.
“We have a better opponent this week and we’re facing adversity with the trip, but we’ve done it before so there are no excuses,” said Vikings head coach Louis Franklin. “We just have to get off the bus ready to play.”
With a win, the Vikings would clinch at least fifth place in league and a playoff berth. But the Vikings don’t want to just reach postseason, they’d like to win their next two games and host a first round game.
But as Franklin says every week, the Vikings (4-3 3A Northern League) need to go 1-0 to have that opportunity next week against rival Truckee.
Elko (3-4 3A Northern) will provide a unique challenge for the Vikings offense. They don’t run a standard defensive set.
“They’re weird, instead of lining up with down linemen, they’ll set linemen five yards back and have them come at a full sprint at us,” said Galli who has thrown for 11 TDs and zero interceptions over the last few weeks and has 20 total touchdown passes. “They run some funky stuff, but we’re preparing for it this week and I think we’ll be fine.”
Franklin looks at the Elko offense and sees a pair of dynamic players who make plays behind a physical line.
“They’re physical and they do some unorthodox things,” said Franklin, who will be on the road before the bus leaves. “They have the tools to score we just need to play like we did last week and stay healthy. We’ve gotta stay healthy.”