Vikings trounch Reed in football opener
If South Tahoe High brought any rust to its season opener at Reed on Friday, it was on the bottom of the school bus.
The Vikings performed like a team in the midst of a winning streak. They were a picture of precision and execution as they humiliated the Raiders 51-7 in the Northern Nevada League football game in Sparks.
Reed never found a way to stop STHS’s one-two punch of Bret Uppendahl and Bryan Bough. Given ample time to pass, senior quarterback Uppendahl shredded a callow Reed secondary for three touchdowns.
“It seemed that I had forever back there. I didn’t have to worry about anybody coming at me. I can’t remember getting hit the whole game,” said Uppendahl, crediting his offensive line of Brad Cimino, Ryan Souza, Henry Hoppe, Jonathan Shaver and Seth Martin.
Between Uppendahl darts, Bryan Bough left Reed defenders clutching dirt as he put on a second-quarter show that won’t soon be forgotten.
The relentless 5-foot 10-inch back scored 28 of the Vikings’ large 36 second-quarter points.
“I thought they were gonna give us a little bit more of a challenge, but we came out fired up,” Bough said. “We worked our butts off in practice and came down here and put it to work.”
Topping off the rout was a near-flawless performance by the defense.
“You can’t be perfect. I wish we could have had a shutout,” said senior linebacker Jason Nixon, who caused a second-quarter fumble that led to a touchdown, as Vikings blanked the Raiders for nearly three and a half quarters.
Despite missing two key receivers, Uppendahl came out sharper than a tack. He completed his first six passes, including a 15-yarder to Casey Dowling to cap an 11-play, 80-yard opening drive. Bough ran eight yards for two points following a penalty.
Dowling, an integral part of Tom Orlich’s basketball team, played like a potential all-leaguer in his first varsity football game. The senior receiver caught six passes, including three for touchdowns.
South Tahoe’s next time-consuming possession carried over into the second quarter before Bough concluded a 10-play, 74-yard drive with a 1-yard run around end for six.
Bough converted his second two-pointer, giving the Vikings a 16-0 edge with 11:22 left before halftime.
Nixon’s jarring blitz on the next series was the straw that broke Reed’s back as quarterback Tony Straw coughed up the ball to Pedro Flores on the Raider 28.
“One of our lineman chased him out to me, so that’s when I got him,” Nixon said. “When I got him I didn’t even know it was a fumble until everyone started running off the field.”
Added Viking coach Tim Jaureguito, “We knew that they were going to throw the ball so we threw some early blitzes at (Straw) and took him out of his rhythm. Eventually that took them out of their game plan.”
Uppendahl immediately capitalized by lofting a 28-yard touchdown strike to Dowling. Bough’s third two-pointer made it 24-0.
Reed finally picked up its initial first down on its next possession, but STHS quickly got the ball back. Bough rushed for 37 yards during an 80-yard drive, including the final five yards for a touchdown.
Leading 31-0, the Vikings made the most of the final minute of the half. A drive-saving personal foul precipitated Bough’s 59-yard touchdown jaunt down the sideline with :52 remaining.
As breathtaking as that run was, Bough wasn’t through. After three incomplete Reed passes, Bough scooped up a punt near his sideline and used the width of the field en route to a 75-yard touchdown. Left behind were at least four Raiders who should have put him on the ground.
“The first two tacklers I basically juked. I was on the sideline and didn’t have much room, and I gave them one move and I was in the clear. Two others were behind me and they got my ankles, and I ripped out of those and kept going,” said Bough, who rushed for 156 yards, four touchdowns and three two-point conversions in one half.
Jaureguito used Uppendahl for the opening drive of the second half and didn’t utilize Bough after intermission. Uppendahl wound up with 245 yards passing on 17 completions.
But all of the numbers may not have been possible if not for what transpired well before the opener.
“You have to attribute it to a lot of hard work in the off-season. We did a lot of things together that we needed to do in order to come out in the first game and execute like we did,” Jaureguito said.
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