Vikings turn over division opener to Reno
For a quarter, the South Tahoe High Vikings looked like a football team capable of upsetting defending Sierra Division champion Reno on Saturday in South Lake Tahoe.
But in the second quarter the pigskin was greasier than Pat Riley’s head of hair. The Vikings lost two fumbles within a 90-second span as the Huskies pulled away for a division-opening 42-3 victory.
South Tahoe (0-3) fumbled three times and was intercepted once during a first half where the Viking defense controlled Reno’s high-powered offense. The backbreaking turnovers occurred late in the second quarter with Reno leading 21-3. With the Vikings on their longest march of the day — 57 yards — a simple dive play turned into disaster when Greg Williams fumbled at the Reno 25.
But the defense held its ground — keyed by a sack by Justin McIntyre — and returned the ball to the offense a minute later. However, Trevor Puryear hit Viking quarterback Robert Smith from the side, jarring the ball loose and Reno pounced on the fumble recovery at the Viking 18. On the next play, Brady Dolan made the Vikings pay with an 18-yard TD pass to Puryear. Carlos Lopez’s extra point gave Reno a 28-3 halftime lead.
The Vikings also paid dearly for their other two first-half turnovers.
After making a defensive statement by holding the Huskies without a first down on their first two offensive series, the momentum didn’t carry over to the offense. Passing inside his own 30, Smith’s out pattern was intercepted by Josh Barrett at the STHS 35 and returned for a touchdown.
The 7-0 deficit, however, seemed to wake up the Viking offense, which drove from its 20 to the Reno 33. Junior running back Grant Swinney played a big role in the drive with rushes of 11, 9 and 6 yards.
When the drive stalled, kicker Ryan Kraw kept the crowd buzzing with upset talk, booting a 50-yard field goal that would have been good from 57.
“Ryan has a strong leg,” said STHS kicking coach Ken Hood. “I’m sure (coach) Chris (Morgan) would have used him from 55 yards.”
South Tahoe’s run-stacked defense continued to frustrate the Huskies, keeping the ball out of Barrett’s hands. Luis Aquino’s sack for an 11-yard loss and three penalties forced the Huskies to punt out of their end zone.
“South Tahoe has always been a very physical football team,” said Reno’s 27-year-old coach Dan Avansino, who played running back and safety on McQueen’s 1992 state championship team. “They were real scrappy, especially after their dismantling at McQueen. They have a lot of pride in what they do.”
A decent return away from great field position was ruined when the punt bounced by Dan Gomez. Gomez chased down the ball, but fumbled during his return at the Viking 36.
Reno immediately cashed in the turnover as Nate Dolan — Brady’s cousin — ran straight through the heart of the defense for a 36-yard score.
“We were all pretty pleased with the whole first quarter,” said Viking junior defensive back Clyde Cryer. “Then once they scored a couple of times, everybody got down. That’s what we can’t do … we have to stay motivated.”
On Reno’s next possession, Brady Dolan swerved through the Viking defense for a 63-yard scoring run. Earlier Dolan had a 65-yard touchdown run called back because of a holding penalty.
“He can break it at any time,” said Nate Dolan, who has been playing alongside his cousin since they were 6. “We came out a little slow, but everyone started the second quarter coming out hard.”
Reno scored on its first two possession in the third quarter to prevent the Vikings from making a comeback like they did in a 35-26 season-opening loss to Reed.
JV routs Reno
Sophomore quarterback Mikey Van Gorden passed for four touchdowns and ran for another as the Vikings’ junior varsity stomped Reno 45-20 Saturday.
The Vikings improved to 2-1.
Pershing leads frosh bid
STHS’s Buck Pershing totaled 86 yards, including a 45-yard TD reception, but the freshman squad lost to Reno 44-15 Thursday.
Ryan Gosh passed and ran for a total of 67 yards and Joey O’Malley rushed for 54 yards and a touchdown. DC Smith caught a 33-yard pass in the fourth quarter.
Defensively, the majority of tackles were made by Pershing, O’Malley, Ricky Tuttle, Garret Gibb and Max Meeker.
SATURDAY’S PREP FOOTBALL SUMS
RENO 42, SOUTH TAHOE 3
Reno 7 21 14 0 — 42
STHS 3 0 0 0 — 3
R-Barrett 35 interception return (Lopez kick), 6:09
ST-Kraw 50 field goal, 11:12
R-N. Dolan 36 run (Lopez kick), 3:10
R-B. Dolan 63 run (Lopez kick), 5:44
R-Puryear 18 pass from B. Dolan (Lopez kick), 11:32
R-N. Dolan 1 run run (Lopez kick), 2:04
R-Evans 94 pass from B. Dolan (Lopez kick), 6:02
ST-Williams 19 run (Kraw kick), 4:29
ST-McIntyre 34 pass from Smith (run failed), 7:18
ST-Gomez 29 pass from Smith (run failed), 7:58
First downs 13 10
Rushes-yards 37-295 38-97
Passing yards 112 46
Comp.-Attempts-Int. 2-7-1 5-12-1
Fumbles-lost 3-1 5-4
Penalties 8-56 4-28
Punts-average 3-38.6 6-38.8
Passing: Reno, B. Dolan 2-7-1–112. South Tahoe, Smith 5-12-1–46.
Rushing: Reno, B. Dolan 7-65, N. Dolan 4-56, McKinley 5-54, Blaqen 3-38, Quinlan
4-34, No. 33 4-30, Chapman 1-5, Barrett 4-5, Buffham 1-5, Kummer 1-4, Broussard
1-2, Capozzo 1-1, Hug 1-(-4). South Tahoe, Swinney 18-63, Williams 11-31, Smith
Receiving: Reno, Evans 1-98, Puryear 1-18. South Tahoe, Williams 2-(-1), Gomez
1-19, Capellino 1-13, Owen 1-8.
Missed Field Goals: None.
JV score: South Tahoe 45-20
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