Vikings take aim at playoff-bound Hawks
It’s not an ideal time to meet the Hug Hawks, but for the South Tahoe Vikings it doesn’t matter that they’ll be squaring off with a playoff team Friday in Reno. The Vikings just want to put their 18-game losing streak to rest and prevent a second straight winless season.
“If we get rid of the mental mistakes, there’s no way Hug can beat us,” said STHS quarterback Robert Smith, one of seven Viking seniors suiting up for the final time. “They may have a better record us, but I’ll guarantee that we’re better than them because we came together as a team (Saturday) for the first time all season besides the first game of the year.”
Hug (5-3 overall, 3-2 in the Sierra Division) clinched a playoff berth last week by edging North Valleys 8-6 and can finish as high as second place with a victory against South Tahoe. However, a loss could drop the Hawks to a fourth seed and an undesirable first-round playoff matchup with unbeaten McQueen, which has only surrendered two touchdowns this season.
“I don’t think it will be one of those games where they’ll be looking past us to the playoffs,” said STHS co-coach Chris Morgan.
Five Vikings will miss their second straight game because of a disciplinary action, meaning STHS will send 19 players to Hug. As a result, half of the starters will play offense and defense.
“We are more than capable of winning with 19,” Morgan said. “It’s up to the guys to tighten up the reins and get the job done. They showed they were more than capable last week.
“There’s become a sense of urgency of guys looking around and realizing, ‘I’ve got to get the job done, because there’s no one else around.'”
Smith, junior tailback Grant Swinney and junior receiver Kevin Capellino carried the offense last week, combining to score all five Viking touchdowns in a 40-35 loss to Wooster. Capellino scored on 80- and 47-yard pass plays from Smith; Smith scored on a pair of 1-yard sneaks; and Swinney rushed for 149 yards, including a 6-yard touchdown scamper.
Besides Smith, seniors Kory Collins, Langdon Owen, Matt Fry, Randolph Rodrigues, David Vasquez and Luis Aquino will be playing in their final game for the blue and gold.
Game time is 4:30 for the JV game, with varsity to follow at 7:30 p.m.
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