SOUTH TAHOE, California – Spring Creek moved to 2-0 in the 3A in convincing fashion with a 38-12 win over South Tahoe.
Spring Creek’s offense got rolling on its first possession and finished the drive with a quarterback sneak from Thomas Ledford, who came up with the short yardage to put Spring Creek up 6-0 after an unsuccessful two-point conversion.
When the Vikings got the ball, Payton Galli immediately started looking for McCallan Castle. The Vikings could not answer as two of three incomplete passes were intended for Castle, who saw a little bit of double coverage.
Ledford had no trouble finding his number one pass catcher and looked off the defender before hitting Dakota Larson with a long bomb on a go route to go up 14-0 after a successful conversion attempt.
Spring Creek’s defense came up big again on the next series. Chancee Bayley blew up a screen pass for a short gain and Jake Oliphant pressured Galli out of the pocket to help force an incomplete pass late in the first quarter.
The Vikings defense came up with its first stop of the game with under a minute left in the first quarter as South Tahoe’s run defense came up big to Keep Jason Painter from finding any room on its inside runs to put the Spartans in a third and long situation that eventually led to a punt.
Castle was held without a catch until the first play of the second quarter where he got open for a 16-yard reception.
The Vikings marched down the field and got into the red zone but the Spartans stopped their momentum with the help of a sack from Michael Armstrong on third and goal. South Tahoe went for it on fourth and goal from the 12 yard line but another incomplete pass kept South Tahoe scoreless.
Ledford made a rare mistake with the ball on the next possession where he was picked off by Matt Cain on a pass intended for Larson.
South Tahoe started with the ball on their own five yard line and promptly punched it in to bring the score to 14-6.
Following the turnover, Spring Creek went to work on the ground with fullback Trey Edson getting a couple of big chunks of yardage on the ground. Painter was not finding the daylight he found last week against Lowry but still picked up a few big first downs on short yardage.
The Spartans got creative to finish the drive and went with a trick play to go up 22-6. Painter was under center in the wildcat but handed it off to Larson, who found Ledford on a fade route in the corner of the end zone for an unusual bit of role reversal on the touchdown pass.
Painter made his impact felt on defense on South Tahoe’s next possession and picked off a pass intended for Castle and returned it to the Vikings 39 yard line. He finished up the drive by sprinting into the end zone on a 20-yard rush with 43 seconds left in the half to put his team up 30-6.
Spring Creek took a comfortable lead with them into the third quarter but South Tahoe’s defense came up with only its second stop of the game and forced a Spring Creek punt.
Ledford’s punt only traveled 13 yards, setting up Galli and the Vikings with solid field position to start their drives.
South Tahoe took advantage with a pass from Galli to Cain that helped them inch a little closer and put the score at 30-12.
Spring Creek’s offense appeared to sputter a bit in the second half as another three and out forced the Spartans to punt.
Spring Creek’s defense stood tall again, however, and put South Tahoe’s offense in a tough spot with a fourth and five situation. Galli’s accuracy was an issue all night as he missed Cain on a slant route to force a turnover on downs.
Spring Creek shook off their brief struggles on offense and got a big touchdown out of Brock Gilligan on a reception to put the game out of reach at 38-12 at the end of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter was the only quarter that did not feature any scoring as both teams looked to run out the clock with its backups on the field.
Spring Creek will take on Dayton in its home opener on Sept. 15.