Tarwater ties own state record for TDs; Vikings finish unbeaten

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Jake Tarwater capped off his prolific high school football career by tying his own 3A record for touchdown passes in a single game.

Jake Tarwater, shown against Wooster in March where he threw a record seven touchdown passes, on Friday tied his Nevada record with seven more scoring tosses against Hug of Reno. Bill Rozak / Tahoe Daily Tribune

Tarwater threw seven touchdown passes on Friday night to lead the South Tahoe Vikings past the visiting Hug Hawks 62-0.

The Vikings completely outclassed the Hawks and ran just 20 offensive plays that went for 342 yards, an average of 17 yards per play.

Tarwater threw touchdown passes on 35% of the Vikings plays.

The big right-handed senior tied his own Nevada record he set on March 13 against Wooster. The only other player to throw seven TDs in a 3A game was Morgan Dirickson for Churchill County in 2013.

“It was a great senior day for our last home game and Jake dominated again,” said Vikings head coach Louis Franklin. “It’s been a pretty special career.”

Tarwater completed 11 of 15 passes for 282 yards and his longest pass went for 59 yards for a touchdown to Joel Gomez, one of three TD receptions for the sophomore.

“Joel had his coming out party, you just gotta get him the ball and he makes things happen,” Franklin said.

Only the COVID-19 shortened season could stop Tarwater from becoming the most prolific passer in 3A history according to the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association record books.

He finished his career with 5,558 passing yards, good for second in 3A history, just 470 yards behind the career yardage leader. In a normal season with 10 games on the schedule, Tarwater would have five more games to play and, barring injury, would have obliterated that record by several hundred yards.

He also finished his three-year varsity run with 63 touchdown passes, just one shy of the all time mark for a 3A career.

Tarwater’s 2,596 yards his junior season was fifth most in a single season.

Former South Tahoe quarterback John Cefalu (2012) holds the single season mark at the school with 3,235 yards, which is second most ever in 3A. That season Cefalu also tossed the third most TDs in a single season with 33.

Tarwater’s top target, Mason Hage, also finished his career as one of the top 3A receivers in Nevada history. Hage, who earned All-State honors as a junior, caught two passes on Friday for 21 yards, both went for touchdowns, and finished his career with 1,730 yards, good for eighth on the all-time list.

Against the Hawks, Gomez hauled in five passes for 131 yards, Trenten Schouten caught two passes for 66 yards and two TDs and Giovani Hurtado-Morales made two receptions for 64 yards.

Gomez also led the way for the Vikings rushing attack with 53 yards on four carries. Tarwater also ran once for nine yards.

South Tahoe’s defense caused six turnovers, including three interceptions and three fumbles.

Senior Jeremy Smiley and sophomores AJ Webb and Aksel Ferrier accounted for the fumble recoveries, two of which were caused by Leif Ferrier and one by Aksel Ferrier. Smiley, Hage and Kade Koeppen had the interceptions. Tarwater got in on defense and added a sack.

The Vikings finished the season unbeaten at 5-0 and outscored its opponents 205-66.

The Vikings went all five games without committing a single turnover — no interceptions or fumbles.

According to Maxpreps, the Vikings finished with the top scoring offense in 3A, were second in total yards and were first in passing yards, passing TDs, turnovers caused, kickoff average, punt average, total tackles and PATs made.