Sparks quarterback Mastor Sells hit wide receiver Jervontae Churchill on a 25-yard fade route for a touchdown on the final play of the first half. The score helped Sparks trim the South Tahoe lead to six, 13-7, at the break.
Sparks (0-7) could not keep momentum on its side. South Tahoe got the ball first in the second half and scored on its opening drive of the third quarter, extending its edge to 19-7. The 12-point gap remained intact until early in the fourth quarter when South Tahoe (1-6) scored again, effectively ending the game by taking a 26-7 advantage.
"I felt good at halftime," Sparks coach Rob Kittrell said. "South Tahoe came out with a lot of emotion on its Senior Night. It got two quick ones on us. But we held them even from there until the end of the half. We were hoping momentum had turned and we'd be OK. Then they got the opening kickoff of the second half and scored on that drive. It kind of took the wind out of our sails."
The California school added another touchdown later in the fourth quarter to account for the final 33-7 score.
The game looked like it might get ugly quick as the host Vikings posted a pair of first-quarter touchdowns to go on top 14-0 early. The Sparks defense stiffened and did not give up another score until early in the third quarter.
"Offensively, we were able to get out to midfield and hold field position, but every time we'd get something going, the same old thing would hurt us. We'd self implode.
"We played better tonight, but we've got to get a lot more physical on defense and offensively we have to stop imploding. We're not an offense that's built for second and long or third and long."
Sparks plays host to Dayton Thursday night at 7 p.m.