By Dave Maxwell
Special to The Ely Times
The White Pine High football team did not win the game last week at Battle Mountain, but they still have a spot in the league playoffs which begin tonight.
Last week at Battle Mountain, the Bobcats lost 51-21 and slipped into the fourth and final playoff spot.
The Longhorns jumped out early on the Cats, said coach Quinn Ewell. “We fumbled the opening kickoff and they got it with good field position at the five yard line and scored right after that.” The Longhorns added two more TD’s for a 23-0 first quarter lead.
“We played better defensively in the second quarter,” Ewell said, holding Battle Mountain at one point on a fourth down play. Then the Cats scored a touchdown on a 65-yard pass and run down the sidelines from Monty Moore to Saxton Brewster.
Battle Mountain (4-2, 6-3) still dominated in the second half, scoring twice in each quarter. But White Pine did add a second TD on a 50-yard pass from Moore to Dakota Barela.
No stats on the game were provided by White Pine (3-3, 4-5). Battle Mountain’s Bryan Chavira had 168 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns and Payton Ayers had 113 yards on 10 carries and one touchdown.
“This was a good test for the team,” Ewell said of the Bobcats. “To see if they are going to be able to improve and make it a battle in the playoffs. We did for a couple of quarters, but let it slip away after that and couldn’t keep it going.”
In the playoffs, White Pine plays at No. 1 seed Pershing County. The Bobcats lost 48-6 in the earlier game between the teams Sept. 23. “We scored the first touchdown that game,” Ewell said. But Pershing County scored 48 unanswered points thereafter.
Pershing County (9-0, 6-0) “is a run oriented team,” Ewell said. “Mostly behind their dual backfield of No. 44, Ty Arnett (6-2, 225, Sr.) and No.1 Tab Milich (6-0, 165, Sr.).” Unofficially, Arnett has 594 yards rushing, Milich has 531 yards. Both men have 11 touchdowns.
The Mustangs are scoring an average of 36.8 points per game and limiting opponents to 6.4. White Pine has been averaging 21.7 points per game.
NIAA playoff admission prices will apply.