Vikings prepare for exposive Reno offense
How well the Vikings contain Reno High’s high-stepping star Josh Barrett should determine who wins the Sierra Division football opener for both schools Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in South Lake Tahoe.
Barrett’s game is more multidimensional than Antwaan Randle El of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The 6-foot-2 170-pounder will play tailback, halfback, wide receiver, kick/punt returner, outside linebacker and safety.
Last week against Sparks, Barrett returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown and a second scintillating return set up Reno on the Railroader 3.
“He’s solid,” Reno coach Dan Avansino told Nevprep.com earlier this month. “But you know what the thing about Josh is? His field speed, the ability to accelerate through the holes. I haven’t seen anybody in this area with that kind of field speed, except maybe (current Boise State defensive back) Chris Carr when he was at McQueen and Kyle Eklund (now playing for Nevada) last year at Elko.”
In the season opener against Spanish Springs, Barrett rushed for 118 yards on seven carries, including touchdown runs of 51, 35 and 19. He also caught a 13-yard touchdown pass.
“They have some weapons on offense,” said STHS co-coach Chris Morgan, who seems more concerned about containing quarterback Brady Dolan. “Their quarterback is versatile. He has a great arm and he can run the option. If he breaks the pocket or breaks one on the option, he’s tough to bring down.”
Reno’s variety of offensive sets should keep the Viking defense on its toes. The Huskies will use spread formations, two-back sets and a full-house backfield. In the latter two alignments, the Huskies will run an option attack and misdirection plays.
McQueen’s defense was physical last week, and Morgan expects the same from Reno on Saturday.
Several key Viking players were nicked up against the Lancers but are expected to play. Quarterback Robert Smith missed several series after injuring his knee while making a tackle and defensive back/tailback Greg Williams also is nursing a sore knee.
Reno scored three late touchdowns last year to pull away to a 34-0 victory, and is favored by many coaches to repeat as Sierra Division champs.
“They have two big wins, and I’m sure their confidence is high,” Morgan said. “Obviously with this being our division opener we have to come out with the intensity and be ready to go for the full 60 minutes.”
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