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Vikings out for revenge

Steve Yingling

Tim Jaureguito shouldn’t have any trouble firing up his South Tahoe High Vikings for Friday’s football game at Lowry.

Lowry was one of five teams to beat the Vikings a year ago, and the Vikings don’t want to lose any momentum gained from a 51-7 rout of Reed in their Northern Nevada League opener.

“More so than (the revenge factor) is the fact that we’re coming off a big win and don’t want to get complacent. We want to go out and execute as well as we possibly can,” Jaureguito said. “I don’t know if this is the type of group that’s going to continue to improve and not get overconfident and feel like all they have to do is walk on the field to win a game. We’ll know more about the personality of this team when we walk on the field against Lowry.”

While the Vikings were blitzing the Raiders, Lowry was being ambushed 41-6 by Fallon in Winnemucca.

“Lowry is a much better team than that score indicated,” Jaureguito said. “It was a real close game, 14-6, up until the end of the third quarter, then the Lowry long snapper snapped two over the punter’s head and Fallon scored on the very next play twice.”

In Lowry’s win over STHS last September, the Buckaroos met the Vikings before their passing game started to click. Consequently, Lowry employed eight players on the line of scrimmage to slow tailback Bryan Bough. It worked for a half, but Bough wound up with 157 yards on 16 carries, including an 84-yard touchdown scamper in the second half.

“They may want to rethink their defensive philosophy and put a little more emphasis on the pass than they did last year. Last year at this time our passing game wasn’t very good,” Jaureguito said.

The Viking passing game was more than good against Reed. In reality, it almost was too good.

Senior quarterback Bret Uppendahl passed for 245 yards and three touchdowns in three quarters against Reed. Moreover, he completed 17-of-26 passes, including three touchdown strikes to varsity rookie Casey Dowling. Dowling, a senior wide receiver, last played football during his freshman year at Truckee High.

“He’s played the game before and has that football sense and he uses it. He uses everything he has as far as natural ability and size,” Jaureguito said.

Oddly, Dowling wasn’t expected to play much against Reed because of a strained back – an injury he temporarily reaggravated on a 28-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter.

South Tahoe’s sizable offensive line set up Uppendahl’s encouraging start by not allowing him to be sacked.

“That’s our goal. We can’t allow our quarterback to be touched. If we do that, then everything else opens up and he has time to make better reads,” said Viking senior offensive lineman Brad Cimino. “We’re happy, but there’s definitely room for improvement.”

As effective as the Viking passing attack was against Reed, it was accomplished without two key components: sophomore flanker Tim Sprinkles, pulled hamstring and senior wideout Adam Heggen, strained wrist.

“We feel real confident that we have a good receiving corps and when those guys get back, we’ll only improve,” said Jaureguito, who says both players are doubtful for Friday night.

South Tahoe yielded 400 yards on the ground to Lowry in the 28-21 defeat a year ago. But Reed only managed 42 yards rushing and 96 through the air.

Lowry has lost some of its firepower from that rushing-oriented squad. Quarterback T.W. Cunningham is now playing for the University of Nevada. However, 5-6 Eric Angelopoulos, who set a school record with 1,250 rushing yards in 1996, is back for his senior campaign.

The football tripleheader begins at 3 p.m. with the freshman game; the JV contest follows at 5:15 p.m.; and the varsity game is set for 7:45 p.m.


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