Vikings move into more manageable part of schedule
Many of South Tahoe High’s varsity football players have never won a football game during their high school careers.
Their patience and perseverance should be applauded. But for some, time is running out. With five games remaining, the Vikings (0-4) are moving into the more manageable part of their schedule, which translates into more oppportunities to nail down that elusive win.
“It would be great just to get a win under out belts,” said Viking junior running back Grant Swinney. “I don’t know what it feels like to win in high school yet.”
South Tahoe, embroiled in a 14-game losing streak, visits a Carson squad on Friday night at Foster Field that is also struggling. The Senators are 1-3, including 0-2 in the Sierra Division.
“Our schedule is getting easier now so we’re getting excited. Our first three or four games were pretty tough,” Swinney said.
Swinney, who rushed for 143 yards on 20 carries against Elko last week, didn’t intend to demean the Vikings’ remaining opponents. South Tahoe opened the season by playing Reed, McQueen, Reno and Elko, which have a combined record of 14-2. Their final five foes — Carson, North Valleys, Douglas, Wooster and Hug — are 9-11 collectively.
The Vikings have been able to run against the league’s heavyweights, so there is little reason to think they can’t move the ball on Friday night. Carson surrendered 252 rushing yards to Reno in a 45-21 defeat last Friday.
“It’s a never-ending scenario with us,” Carson coach Shane Quilling told the Nevada Appeal. “It’s a simple game. You block and tackle. We’re struggling with everything right now. But you can’t just hand it to them and that’s what we did.”
South Tahoe has also been succeptible to the run, giving up 493 to Elko last week. Elko’s Jeff Wines hadn’t carried the ball in the first three games, but broke loose for 201 yards against the Vikings.
That glaring statistic should excite Carson back Chris Kotter, who rushed for 108 yards and a TD against Reno.
The Senators are expected to welcome back quarterback Frank Bleuss, who missed last week’s game with a concussion. Replacement Mike Dittenber completed 5 of 18 passes for 54 yards.
In addition, both teams have struggled to sustain solid first-quarter performances. The Vikings trailed Elko 14-13 after one quarter, but then the Indians reeled off 41 unanswered points. Both teams stayed with Reno for a quarter. Reno led the Vikings 7-3 after one period and Carson 10-6.
“Looking back at these four games, we’ve proven we can play some football. We just have to play all four quarters,” said STHS co-coach Chris Morgan.
The JV game kicks off the doubleheader at 5 p.m. Friday. The varsity game follows at 7:30 p.m.
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