South Tahoe returns for another round at Surprise Stadium
After a thrilling 32-27 win in the Sierra Bowl a week ago over South Tahoe, the Truckee football team closed out the regular season as the Class 3A Northern League’s No. 4 seed going into the postseason.
And to open up the first round of the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Class 3A Northern League playoffs, the Wolverines will again play host to their rivals from the south side of the lake, the Vikings.
The competition between the teams has made for dramatic football over the last year, with South Tahoe spoiling Truckee’s season a year ago in the Northern League semifinals.
This year’s contest against South Tahoe has lined up in a similar way to last season for the Wolverines, with the team playing back-to-back games against the Vikings. That game came with a week off between meetings for the Wolverines, who received a first-round bye as the No. 2 seed, and then were beaten 28-20 by the Vikings in the semifinal round.
The Wolverines don’t expect last year’s outcome to factor into Saturday’s game, said Head Coach Josh Ivens, but it’s been discussed by the team, and has been used as fuel during practice week.
Another topic during the week, according to Ivens, has been turnovers and penalties — two things that Truckee had to overcome in order to take a late fourth-quarter lead last week, before holding off the Vikings’ final drive to secure the win.
“The No. 1 thing we need to do is be more disciplined,” Ivens said. “And not have so many penalties.”
The Wolverines turned the ball over twice on interceptions in the game, and had 16 penalties.
The team saw a big game from senior Jamie Parisi, who helped key the victory for the Wolverines with a pair of receiving touchdowns and a rushing touchdown in the game; while on the other side, the Wolverines struggled to contain Vikings senior receiver Mccallan Castles, who posted 10 catches for 182 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s game.
“We’ve got to do a much better job on Castles,” said Ivens on the 6-foot, 5-inch receiver, who is headed to the University of California, Berkeley next year. “There was a lack of some technique and there were times that he was wide open and that was just blown assignments. But it’s very hard to mimic a guy like that in practice. He’s hard to prepare to for.”
The quarterback matchup between the teams was close a week ago, with each signal caller connecting on 13 passes. South Tahoe senior Peyton Galli finished with 241 yards and two touchdowns, and also ran for another; while Truckee junior Marcus Bellon threw for 154 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. Bellon also led Truckee with 83 yards rushing and a touchdown.
Injury-wise, the Wolverines will come in banged up with senior Joel Estabrook out of the game, according to Ivens, and senior running back Cole Eichele hobbled but expected to play.
The playing surface should also be sloppy, under what is forecast by the by the National Weather Service Office in Reno to be cold, wet conditions.
“It’s going to be a wet surface,” Ivens said. “Our field at this time of year gets pretty sloppy because of drainage.”
Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 4, at Surprise Stadium.
Statistics provided by MaxPreps.com.