When it was all said and done, when the tears flowed from the Bobcats players eyes and the scoreboard read 14-13 in favor of the home team after their homecoming game, White Pine High School head football coach Quinn Ewell knew this season was shaping up to be something special.
This Bobcat team, mixed with their camaraderie throughout the back and forth game, looked like a different team than the one he started the season with. No one pointed the finger at each other when something didn’t work. No one got down on each other when a play didn’t go as planned and most importantly said the coach, no one stopped trying their hardest when the Meadows started to rally back after halftime.
Instead, what Ewell saw was a team who wanted the win more than their opponent.
“We knew it was going to be a close game from the start. Our players never stopped fighting through the entire game,” Ewell said. “It was a fun thing watching them come together to get a win like that.”
It didn’t hurt that the Bobcat’s first touchdown of the game came on a 70-yard passing play from quarterback Monty Moore to Dekoda Barela. The play was the longest touchdown the team has scored so far this season.
“It’s a play that we have been trying from time to time in games, just airing out the ball. Monty actually kind of underthrew it which worked out perfectly because DeKoda was able to break away from the defender on him and come back to the ball,” the coach said.
Once Barela caught the ball, he used his speed to put distance between him and the defender to run untouched into the end zone. After the score, the Bobcats found success on a two-point-conversion, giving them their first lead of the game, 8-7. According to the coach, the big play motivated the team and gave them confidence as they headed into the locker room at halftime holding a lead.
“It let them know that we could compete. And it reinforced the mentality that us coaches have been trying to instill this season that we are going to be aggressive and we are not going to hold back,” Ewell said.
The plan worked, with 40 out of 44 of the Bobcat’s plays leading to positive yards in the game. Something the coach also credited his team’s quickness to get back to the line of scrimmage and run another play.
But the aggression wasn’t just saved for the offense either. Several tackles made by Bobcats players on defense made an audible crackle of pads hitting pads that that erupted the home crowd into cheers and applause.
Ewell said he was “proud” of his entire team’s effort in helping earn the win.
“Even the guys who didn’t get to go in much or spent most of their time on the bench were helping the team out, encouraging their teammates when they would come back to the sideline,” he said. “As a coach that is what you want to see form your team and I was proud of them all for sticking together the way they did.”
The win is the fourth straight for the Bobcats (4-1), who will go on the road to Las Vegas to take on Agassi Academy on Friday.