North Tahoe football: Freshmen step up after injury-filled start | SierraSun.com

North Tahoe football: Freshmen step up after injury-filled start

Staff report

North Tahoe players prepare for Saturday's road game at Loyalton.

The Lakers were hit hard by injury early in Saturday's football game at Loyalton, and the Grizzlies took full advantage in a 54-0 win.

Junior running back and linebacker Nathan Lutz left the game after injuring his knee on a sprinkler head. Junior lineman Martin Barrera left with a shoulder injury. Freshman tight end and linebacker Eli Snyder exited with a groin injury. And freshman quarterback Thomas Mercogliano left the game as a precautionary measure after a hard hit to the head.

All the injuries occurred in the first quarter. In addition, senior fullback Julio Carrillo missed his second straight game with a knee injury suffered in Week 1.

With all the missing players, North Tahoe's "Smurf squad" of freshmen, as Lakers coaches call them, stepped up to fill the gaps.

"The entire North Tahoe coaching staff was proud of our team, especially our freshmen who played hard and never showed any sign of quitting against a formable opponent," said North Tahoe assistant coach Torre Mercogliano.

Freshman Dalton Lamberth filled in at quarterback and was named the Lakers' Overall Player of the Game. Freshman teammate Xander Kriston played tailback and was the Offensive Player of the Game. Freshman Cameron Rock was Special Teams Player of the Game. And senior Jacob Buhler was Defensive Player of the Game.

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The Lakers (0-3) will look to earn their first win when they travel to Lone Pine (2-0) this Saturday for an 8-man game.

North Tahoe 0, Loyalton 54

N. Tahoe 0 0 0 0 — 0

Loyalton 20 12 16 6 — 54

Individual stats (North Tahoe only)

RUSHING — N, 31-103: Mercogliano 5-29; Kriston 10-27; Estrada 9-17; Lutz 3-16; Frankenberg 3-9; Buhler 1-5.

PASSING — N: Lamberth 0-3-0-1-0.