By Dave Maxwell
Special to The Ely Times
Powerful 2A contender Pershing County overwhelmed the White Pine High football team in the first half of their first round playoff game in Lovelock last Friday and took a 51-7 win.
Coach Quinn Ewell said, “This was a better game with them than the first time (a 48-6 loss to the Mustangs Sept. 23). We had a lot of mental errors the first time. This time the defense just kept fighting and fighting, but they (Pershing) just moved the ball downfield and scored every time.”
Pershing was led by Tad Milich that first half with 104 yards on nine carries and three touchdowns. The Mustangs held a 44-0 halftime lead.
White Pine did limit the Mustangs other main running back, Ty Arnett to 44 yards on eight carries.
Game stats were not available for the Bobcats who finished 4-6.
Ewell said the Bobcats just couldn’t move the ball against Pershing County with much consistency in the first half. “We might get a first down, then have a fumble or have to punt,” he said.
The Bobcats did score in the third quarter. Ewell said, “Coming out of the half, I told my quarterback, since he has been quarterbacking for me the last four years, to go out there and have fun, I’ll let you call it. Monty (Moore) called two plays and the second one he threw a touchdown pass to Dakota Barela for about 70 yards.”
But that would be the only score White Pine would get in the game.
Pershing County now hosts Needles, California, in the semifinals this Saturday at 1 p.m. The other semifinal has Lincoln County hosting Yerington Saturday at noon, a rematch of last year’s state championship game. Yerington is the three-time defending state champion.
Looking at the seniors who will be leaving the Bobcat team next season, Ewell said he will need to replace Moore at the quarterback spot. “He’s been the captain the last three years, his leadership will be greatly missed. We don’t have anyone right now seeking that position, so we will probably have to turn someone into a quarter. Dakota Barela was nice to have with all his speed, both as a runner and a receiver. Calvin Steiner and Toby Sturgeon have been solid on the offensive and defensive line for us. Tavrick Birmingham came on strong for us as a receiver.” Some of the returning players are expected to be Tyler Whipple to lead the linebacking position, replacing Moore, and Saxton Brewster, who has incredible speed and talent, has a great foot, just needs a little more work to be a great one.”
Ewell wished to give a big thanks for all the support of the community, the great turnout we have for homecoming, and all the businesses stepping up to support the team with their sponsorship.”