The White Pine High football team showed positive signs last Friday, taking a 14-12 lead into the half against Laughlin. But Laughlin shut out the Bobcats in the second half as the Bobcats fell 50-14, lowering its record to 0-4.
“All season, we’ve seen flashes in the pan,” coach James Williams said. “Last week, we managed to have continued flashes for most of the first half. We need to find a way to make those moments of brilliance last an entire game. When everything was clicking, we were dominating the game on both sides of the ball.”
After a first quarter that saw White Pine’s defense play some of its best football of the season, things began to turn when Laughlin converted on a fourth down, Williams said.
“During the first quarter in particular, the defense was dominant,” Williams said. “Then we gave up a fourth and long touchdown pass on a blown coverage and we somehow lost the ability to maintain our inside gaps afterward. They never consistently got outside of us, but our middle was weak.”
As the Bobcats reach the midpoint of the season, despite making strides during games, White Pine is still missing a key piece to helping it turn its season around.
“We’re still learning what it means to be a team,” Williams said. “Football is a game where all 11 players have to be on the same page. If one guy isn’t doing his job, it affects everyone. Part of what’s going on right now is that we’re over-compensating for anticipated mistakes and neglecting our individual responsibilities. We have to trust that the man next to us will be where he is supposed to be.”
The Bobcats next travel to play Calvary Chapel in Las Vegas. Calvary Chapel is also winless on the season and White Pine is in a must-win situation to keep its playoff hopes in sight.
“(I’m expecting to see) a team with the same level of desperation as ourselves,” Williams said. “Both teams need this win in order to start a playoff run.”
As White Pine looks to pick up its first win of the season, one thing needs to improve, Williams said.
“We need to be consistent,” Williams said. “After our first drive, it seemed like we were content and our effort and execution went down the drain. At halftime, we got a little too confident because we had the lead and we didn’t show up in the second half. We have to learn to play an entire four quarters each and every game.”