North Tahoe football closes year with 20-0 win over Silver Stage
The North Tahoe football team closed out their 2017 campaign with a 20-0 win over Silver Stage, and in doing so avoided a winless Class 2A Northern record. The Lakers have been playing independently of Class 2A since 2013 because of a lack of upperclassmen participating in the program over the years, but this season marked a return to league play for North Tahoe.
The Lakers (4-5, 1-5 Northern League) also came into their home game against the Nighthawks (1-7, 0-6 Northern League) on Saturday, Oct. 23, in search of their first league win since 2011. In the end, it would be North Tahoe snapping this season’s five-game losing streak behind a shutout performance as the team ended their lengthy drought in league play.
Junior quarterback Thomas Mercogliano led the Lakers with 286 yards on 18 of 36 attempts and three touchdowns. Mercogliano was also the squad’s leading rusher with 64 yards on 10 carries.
Junior Tony Frankenberg also had a solid game with 12 carries for 61 yards.
Sophomore receiver Stephen Lopez concluded his season with a monster game, snagging 11 receptions for 205 yards. Lopez also competed a 35-yard pass to Mercogliano on a trick play.
Junior Dalton Lamberth was next out of the Lakers receivers with six catches for 69 yards. Lamberth also led the defense with 10 tackles (five solo).
Juniors Raul Estrada and Joe Pierce were next on the team with a combined 15 tackles.
Junior Wyatt Johannsson and Mercogliano each provided and interception for the team. The defense also cause three fumbles with Lopez coming up with a recovery.
Mercogliano finished the year with 1,220 yards, eight touchdowns, two interceptions, and completed 56 percent of his throws.
He also led the team in rushing with 1,048 yards and a 8.7 yards per carry average. Frankenberg was next on the team with 433 yards and a 4.5 yards per carry average, and along with junior Eli Snyder, recorded a team-high three interceptions. Lamberth led the team with 31 receptions for 444 yards, and also tied with Pierce for a team-high 48 tackles.
While the season marked a return to Class 2A action, this year’s Lakers were again short-handed with just two seniors on the roster. A solid core of juniors and sophomores led by Mercogliano, however, should have North Tahoe ready to compete with some of the more established teams in Class 2A next season.
Statistics provided by MaxPreps.com.