In his first game as White Pine High School football coach, Quinn Ewell was able to accomplish something the Bobcats failed to do all last season, win a game.
With a combination of good starting field position and a game-long defensive effort that only allowed for two first downs for West Wendover, the Bobcats were able to ride three touchdowns to a 20-0 victory in their season opener on the road on Aug. 29. According to Ewell, the win was due to a new system that the players have “bought into.”
“The good thing is the kids are now believing in the system, in being conditioned and working on the fundamentals,” Ewell said. “We were just a better conditioned, disciplined and more fundamentally sound team than Wendover.”
While most of White Pine’s offensive production came in the second half, the Bobcats started the game with a promising drive down to the Wolverines five-yard-line. The drive was ultimately nullified by a fumble, caused by what Ewell described as a “miscommunication” between the quarterback and the fullback.
But the Bobcats didn’t let the mistake keep them down for long.
“Our guys flew to the ball defensively, they weren’t giving up on plays,” Ewell said.
In the second quarter, Drue Ashby made a big play on special teams, returning a punt back again to the Wolverines five-yard-line.
This time, the offense took advantage.
Zachary Lawrence ran the ball into the end zone from the five on the very next play, giving the Bobcats their first touchdown of the season.
“The defense kept us in good field position all night and our special teams helped out a lot to get us close to the end zone and the offense finished it off from there,” Ewell said.
Bobcats quarterback Monty Moore scored the next two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. The Bobcats tried for a two-point conversion on all three of there scores, successfully converting their third attempt with a run by Ashby.
Lawrence and Moore led the team in tackles on defense, though Ewell said a lot of the credit should be shared with the defensive ends and linemen.
“Our line this year are more fired up and playing more aggressive, both on offense and defense, so that is really nice to see. They really stepped up and helped our linebackers make a lot of tackles,” he said.
The coach said he was impressed overall by his team’s defensive effort in the game. With some fine tuning, the offense will also be solid he said. The team will face a tough matchup against Battle Mountain on Friday, with junior varsity playing their nine-man team at 4 p.m. and varsity starting at 7 p.m. Both games will be played at WPHS.
“They are going to be just as well conditioned and disciplined as we are and they love to hit so we just have to take them head on,” Ewell said.