All it took was one stalled drive.
The White Pine High School football team knew they had to play a mistake free game if they were going to have a chance to take down a good Meadows team in Las Vegas on Sept. 19. On the Bobcats’ second drive of the game, things were looking up. White Pine was finding success getting the ball downfield.
Then came the mistakes.
“On our second possession of the game, we began driving the ball down the field,” Bobcats’ coach Quinn Ewell said. “Then we had a penalty that backed us up and we just began to mentally shut down after that, on both sides of the ball.”
The penalty seemed to kill any momentum the Bobcats had and the Mustangs took advantage. The Bobcats’ 48-0 loss on the road marked the team’s second blowout loss after winning their season opener against West Wendover. But even when compared to his team’s other lopsided loss against, Ewell still called the entire team’s performance against Meadows “disappointing.”
“We weren’t the same team that we were against Battle Mountain. We weren’t having fun. Kids were playing with their heads down,” the coach said.
The Bobcats knew they were never going to have an easy time against the Meadows. The Las Vegas high school beat Battle Mountain 21-14 one week after Battle Mountain beat White Pine 34-0. But with a bye week between games, Ewell said he expected to see more.
“We weren’t doing things mentally that we did against Wendover in our win,” Ewell said, adding he felt the team lacked intensity. Concerned that his players might be developing bad habits in practice, Ewell cranked up the speed of practice on Tuesday.
“If the kids are acting lackadaisical during practice, they are going to be the same way in a game, so we decided to go up-tempo and try to keep the intensity level high,” he said.
The Bobcats will have a better shot on Friday at home against a struggling Lincoln County team. With Lincoln also coming off a 35-8 blowout loss to Agassi Academy, Ewell said the winner of the matchup between both 1-2 teams is going to be determined by which team is more resilient to adversity.
“We told them after the Meadows game that they could be upset or disappointed now, but come practice on Monday, that game has to be out of their head. It is in the past and we have to start fresh with a new week,” Ewell said.
White Pine will face off against the Lincoln County High Friday at 7 p.m. at the White Pine football field.