By Dave Maxwell
A non-league game takes place in Ely tonight as the Bobcats host former 2A Southern League rival Lincoln County. The state runner-up last year, the Lynx are unbeaten on the season, 5-0, 3-0 in the 2A Southern League.
In the history between the teams, since 2004 at least, Lincoln holds the upper hand with a record of 10-4. But the Bobcats won the game last year 26-22 in Panaca, ending a three-game losing streak in the series.
This season, the Lynx are the leaders in the 2A Southern League being paced by senior quarterback Cody Thornock and junior running back Landon Smith.
White Pine coach Quinn Ewell said he thinks the Bobcats match up pretty well with Lincoln. “I think it’s going to be more of an offensive game than a defensive one, and Lincoln has been scoring a lot. We want to keep the game close. Once they get up on you, then it’s try to get you to put your heads down quickly.”
The Lynx are averaging 42.4 points per game, and the Bobcats are only at 19.5 points per game. Yet, it ought to be a catfight.
Ewell said both teams have been using a rather balanced offense of passing and rushing. “Lincoln likes to do a lot of misdirection, jet sweeps, and then hit you with the pass over the top. They have always had speed and that’s what helps them out. But our win at Lincoln last year was real big for us and helped propel us forward.”
Last week, at Silver Stage, White Pine scored on their first three possessions, including an 80-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Dakota Barella. On the ensuing kickoff, Monty Moore caused a Silver Stage fumble, giving the Bobcats good field position, and they drove down to the 1-yard line and scored from there. An interception the next series resulted in another scoring drive.
“So in the first five minutes,” Ewell said, “we’re up 20-0.” They went on to post a 46-0 win. The second team played much of the second half, Ewell said. “We got them in for a lot of experience.”
He added, “As a team, everyone contributed. Multiple people scored that game, Dakota, Saxton (Brewster), Monty, etc. It was a real good team win. Dakota is one of our faster guys and he’s a threat from anywhere on the field. That does a lot to get everyone else opened up. He always has a consistently good game with yardage.”
To make the playoffs again this year, Ewell said the Bobcats need to win at least one of their remaining conference games. First, with West Wendover Oct. 21 and then at Battle Mountain Oct. 27..