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Vikings, you owe McQueen one

Steve Yingling

One of the simplest ways for a coach to motivate a team is through the revenge factor.

South Tahoe High football coach Tim Jaureguito shouldn’t need to point this out as he prepares his Vikings for a first-round playoff game with McQueen on Thursday night in Reno.

Vikings who wore Blue and Gold last year should be grateful and incensed about what awaits them. Grateful that their playoff opponent is the team no one wants to play – unbeaten and top-ranked McQueen. Incensed from what transpired last October when the Lancers showed disrespect by running up the score on the beaten Vikings.

Leading 40-0, McQueen threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes, including one with 4 minutes and 16 seconds left, to disgrace the Vikings 54-0.

Jaureguito is downplaying the incident a year later.

“I don’t remember things like that. I know at the time I was pretty upset, but it’s a whole new season and a whole new team,” Jaureguito said. “They’ve got to be motivated because they are in the playoffs. I don’t think they need anything from last year or anything from the past whatsoever.”

If I was one of the 44 Vikings, there wouldn’t be a team I’d rather play than McQueen. The Lancers probably have made reservations for the state championship in Las Vegas. Don’t listen to a tape by ACDC for motivation. Don’t do it because this could be your last football game for South Tahoe. Do it for you and the Vikings who graduated last year. McQueen extracted some of your pride then, and there’s only one way to restore that dignity.

“Everybody has been waiting for this day. We want these guys badly,” said Viking senior tailback Bryan Bough. “It’s been a long four years of not beating McQueen. It’s really time they get beaten.”

Remember, last year wasn’t the first time McQueen coach Ken Dalton rubbed Viking noses in defeat. In 1992, Dalton, leading 55-0, reinserted his first-team defense when the Vikings reached the McQueen 23-yard line. Later that year in the playoffs, Dalton declined to have his quarterback kneel down inside the Viking 10 with less than a minute remaining and McQueen well in front, 43-6.

The veteran McQueen coach doesn’t believe you’ll remember.

“I wouldn’t think that would be any factor whatsoever,” Dalton said during intermission of the Vikings’ 53-30 triumph over Fallon on Saturday. “This is a new year and a new team and that doesn’t have much to do with anything once these kids get on the field.”

Give Dalton another chance, and he’ll run up the score. No doubt about it. Is that how you want to remember your last game in a Viking uniform?

“I think we’re going to be motivated no matter what,” said Tahoe senior defensive back Scott Souers, who had two interceptions against Fallon. “We have so many seniors on this team who have been together so long. If we win, we go on together, and if we lose, it’s over. We are going to be plenty motivated. We have to.”

Don’t let your three loses doubt your ability. You are a great football team. Don’t allow McQueen’s 8-0 record and defensive genius intimidate you. The Lancers’ 21-quarter shutout string has come at the expense of Sparks, Lowry, Reed and Galena. If you had a coach obsessed with point differential, you could have topped the 80-point barrier several times this season.

They are beatable, just like Wooster was in 1991 when South Tahoe won the zone championship.

But when you win, show the Lancers what they have been lacking during their glorious run in the 1990s – class.


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