North Tahoe football | Lakers edge Whittell for thrilling homecoming win |

North Tahoe football | Lakers edge Whittell for thrilling homecoming win

Sun staff report

Courtesy of Tony SpikerNorth Tahoe junior running back Brendon Arnold drags a Whittell defender during the Lakers' 13-8 win on Saturday.

TAHOE CITY, Calif. and#8212; After falling behind by a touchdown early, the Lakers scored 13 unanswered points en route to a 13-8 homecoming win against Whittell on Saturday.

and#8220;It was a good win for us,and#8221; said North Tahoe head coach Scott Everist. and#8220;The kids were pretty stoked. They needed that, for sure.and#8221;

The win marked the first of the season for the Lakers (1-6 overall), and the first since the 2008 season. Whittell, which was coming off a 48-0 triumph against Silver Stage the previous week, fell to 1-6 overall.

North Tahoe used a tough defensive effort that created six Warrior turnovers in the game and#8212; including five on interceptions and#8212; and produced a safety. Cody Lieberman also blocked a punt for the Lakers.

Things didn’t look promising from the start, however, as Whittell’s Ty Sprock made a 70-yard touchdown reception on the Warriors’ first possession, giving Whittell an 8-0 lead after a successful two-point conversion.

But North Tahoe chipped away at its deficit. The Lakers put three points on the board on a 42-yard field goal by Baird Bishop, then added two more when Justin Blend sacked quarterback Austin Buyak behind the Warriors’ goal line to cut the lead to 8-5 by the half.

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Following a scoreless third quarter, the Lakers used three straight personal-foul penalties on the Warriors to drive inside the 10-yard line, where Brendon Arnold banged his way into the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown. Arnold then scored the two-point conversion to give North Tahoe a five-point lead.

The Warriors had two more possessions to try and retake the lead, but the Lakers’ defense held their own to preserve the win.

and#8220;The defense played terrific,and#8221; Everist said. and#8220;I was very impressed with them.and#8221;

The coach said the Lakers limped to the finish, as injuries took their toll after starting the game with only 18 players available.

and#8220;It took pretty much everything they had left in the tank,and#8221; Everist said of earning the win. and#8220;We’ve got guys hurt all over the place. We’re trying to figure out if we have enough to go against ROP this weekend (Oct. 23).and#8221;

In a role reversal from the typical game, the Lakers’ opponent had even fewer able bodies on the sideline, with 16 players suited up. and#8220;So it was a pretty even match and#8212; for a change,and#8221; Everist said. and#8220;It was kind of nice.and#8221;