Special to The Ely Times
“We played a team that was just bigger and better than us,” said White Pine High football coach Nick Lopez. The Bobcats opened the season on the road at Milford, Utah, and suffered a 63-0 loss. It was the first time the teams have played each other since 2013. It was also the second game of the season for the Tigers. They had blown out Gunnison Valley 49-14 the week before. Milford was a state semifinalist last year in Utah.
Lopez said, “They are a big team, (a 43-player roster) and many of their players don’t have to go both ways like we do. They have a full offense and a full defense, they were fresh every single play. Many of our guys go both ways and get tired. Talk among the Milford fans is that the team is going to do very well this year.”While not making any excuses, Lopez said the Bobcats just had too many mental errors and penalties.
The Tigers ambushed the Bobcats early, putting up 42 points in the first quarter.
“We came in with a lot of enthusiasm and motivation at the start,” Lopez said. “But quickly started making a lot of mental mistakes. We gave them lots of real good field position and we did not have it ourselves. We just couldn’t move the ball and when they got the ball, it was usually in our red zone. They had game film on us, but I had none of them. They knew what to look for.”Milford spread the ball around in the backfield. Seven players had running plays, but only accounted for 122 yards. Passing was also just a few, but effective. Quarterback Bryson Barnes was 4-for-7, 167 yards and three touchdowns. Stats were not available for White Pine.
Lopez said even though the game was a blowout, “the kids did not get down or give up. They stayed in there and worked hard.”He said he told the team afterwards, “I don’t care about the scoreboard, just go out there and do your job, use it as practice and let’s move on. We have a lot to work on, which we will. We’re a very young team with only four seniors.”Elsewhere in the 2A Northern last week, West Wendover beat The Meadows 32-6, Battle Mountain beat Lowry 34-14, Pershing County topped Sparks, 18-8 and Bishop Union of California beat Yerington 29-12.
This week the Bobcats will be on the road again in non-league action in Panaca to face Lincoln County. The Lynx lost to Dayton 44-38 last Friday.