Lakers drop opener |

Lakers drop opener

Alex Close/Sierra SunAndrew Auerbach sprints toward the end zone after recovering a fumble during North Tahoe's 41-6 loss to visiting Lovelock on Saturday. The game marked the season opener for the Lakers and first contest as a member of the Northern 2A division.

After ending the 2006 season undefeated at home, the North Tahoe High football team got off to a rough start Saturday afternoon, dropping its first contest of the year, 41-6, to visiting Lovelock.

The Lakers ” competing for the first year in the Northern 2A division ” started off well, holding the Mustangs scoreless in the first quarter, despite being pinned on their own end most of the first 12 minutes.

Two minutes into the second quarter the Mustangs finally broke through the Lakers’ tough goal-line defense to put six points on the board.

On the kickoff, Lakers senior Brent Marple threw down a nice spin move followed by some solid running to bring the ball up to about the 30-yard line, but the Lakers couldn’t do much with the drive and ended up punting on the fourth snap.

Lovelock again drove the ball down field and pounded the ball in for a second touchdown.

Much of the game went that way, with Lovelock muscling through the Laker line for points and North Tahoe not capitalizing on its drives.

North Tahoe’s single touchdown of the game came off a Lovelock fumble that was recovered by Andrew Auerbach, who ran it in for the six points. Senior quarterback Ryan Blount’s pass for the two-point conversion was just inches too deep for the outstretched fingers of Eddy Longo.

In the end, the Lakers showed flashes of talent at times, but also looked confused against the traditionally strong 2A program.

With starting senior center Matt Fenley out due to an ankle injury, automatically there was a hole in the Laker line. Add to that other small squad issues, like starting freshman and tight ends at tackle, and the Lakers started off with higher hurdles.

Besides those issues, however, North Tahoe head coach Scott Everist said mental errors had a lot to do with the loss.

“Mistakes across the board hurt us,” Everist said. “Everybody made mistakes today.”

But that’s not to say there were no glimmers of hope or rays of sunshine on the beautiful Saturday afternoon.

Throw in some excellent running by Marple, who also threw down inspired defensive play and a general presence of leadership on the field, along with more hard-nosed running, defensive play and a dynamite third-quarter catch from senior Joe Erman ” as well as fierce tenacity that included James Laughlin playing through an ankle turn ” and North Tahoe has a recipe and the potential to field a dangerous football team.

As for bringing that potential out onto the gridiron every Saturday, Everist hopes playing Incline next week will help.

“Moving forward,” Everist said. “We’ve got a rival team next week.”

North Tahoe hosts Incline on Saturday at 1 p.m.

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