North Tahoe football thumps Whittell | SierraSun.com

North Tahoe football thumps Whittell

Alex Close
Sierra Sun

Alex Close/Sierra SunNorth Tahoe's Brent Marple, No. 5, blocks for Ernesto Mendoza, who scored two of the Lakers' three touchdowns in their 21-0 homecoming win over Whittell on Saturday. The win marked the first of the season for the Lakers.

North Tahoe’s football team finally saw a return on all of its hard work and steady improvement Saturday with a convincing 21-0 win over Whittell at home.

The visiting Warriors were frustrated by inspired play from the Laker side. Perhaps it was the packed-full Dollar Hill stadium, or the palpable energy of homecoming, but the North Tahoe side was all over the place on both sides of the ball.

After previously sitting on an 0-5 record, the win was long overdue for the Lakers.

“We needed that,” North Tahoe head coach Scott Everist said after the game.

With starting quarterback Ryan Blount injured, it was the Brent Marple show on Dollar Hill Saturday afternoon.

Marple took most of the snaps against the Warriors, punched through for a goal-line touchdown and posted a two-point conversion.

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That was just on offense.

Marple also laid down countless tackles, broke up numerous pass attempts and intercepted a fourth-down touchdown pass attempt on the goal line to hold the shutout with two minutes remaining in the third quarter.

Of course no football victory can be put on an individual, and Ernesto Mendoza also posted substantial numbers for North Tahoe.

In addition to being the Lakers’ major ball carrier in a heavily running favored game, Mendoza put six points on the board for North Tahoe within the first few possessions with a nice run outside.

Mendoza then broke free on a 40-yard run four minutes into the second half for North Tahoe’s second touchdown.

The Lakers faked the extra point on the play but failed to convert, leaving the score at 13-0.

North Tahoe put up its final points with about nine minutes remaining in the game.

After a nice drive, Marple punched the ball through on a goal-line push and then on the conversion attempt the junior interim quarterback snuck around the right side for a standing two points to put the Lakers up 21-0.

Despite their efforts, the Warriors simply could not put anything substantial by North Tahoe’s solid defense.

According to Everist, stepped up play from the lines was key to victory for North Tahoe.

“Our offensive and defensive lines really stepped up and made all the difference,” Everist said.

North Tahoe’s head coach said he was worried coming into the homecoming game after Whittell’s performance last week against Yerington ” a 33-22 loss to the quality team ” but was very happy with his team’s performance.

“We’re glad to get out of here,” Everist said of the win.

North Tahoe, now 1-5 on the season, hits the road again this week, traveling to Yerington on Friday night.