Laker football nearly pulls off comeback
The North Tahoe High football team willed its way back from a 22-0 halftime deficit to nearly pull off an upset win against visiting Battle Mountain on Saturday.
After pulling to within a single score late in the second half, however, Laker turnovers thwarted the valiant comeback effort, and Battle Mountain went on to win by a final of 30-14.
The Lakers are now 1-3 competing for the first season in the Northern 2A division. Battle Mountain, a traditional 2A power, improved to 3-1.
“Turnovers just killed us,” said Scott Everist, head coach of the Lakers. “I can’t even count (how many turnovers North Tahoe had).”
While the Lakers came up short in the contest, Everist said he was proud of the way his team played.
“Physically, we’re starting to play a lot better,” the coach said. “They’re getting better each week. I think we’ll be OK from here on out.”
Coming out of the locker room trailing 22-0, North Tahoe’s defense stepped up with a goal-line stand that stopped Battle Mountain at the half-yard line, Everist said.
Taking over on downs, the Lakers then proceeded to drive the length of the field, collecting first down after first down before senior Brent Marple broke free for a 23-yard touchdown run to cap a 99-yard drive and put his team on the board. The kick failed, leaving the score at 22-6, Battle Mountain.
Momentum had shifted onto the Lakers’ side.
In the fourth quarter, North Tahoe quarterback Ryan Blount hooked up with Joe Erman for a 55-yard touchdown reception. After a successful two-point conversion, the Lakers were back in business, trailing just 22-14 with about 5 minutes remaining, Everist said.
As North Tahoe began another fourth-quarter drive, Battle Mountain recovered a fumble and scored on the ensuing possession to end the Lakers’ comeback hopes.
Marple finished with a team-high 93 yards rushing on 14 carries. Erman picked up 52 yards on seven carries while catching two passes for 77 yards. Leroy Valadez rushed for 23 yards on six touches and caught one pass for 20 yards.
Blount connected on three-of-seven passes for 97 yards and one interception.
The Lakers play at Whittell on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
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