Special to The Ely Times

The White Pine High football team has heart. Maybe they don’t have any wins as yet, but they do have heart, said coach Nick Lopez. Like the song from the 1955 Broadway musical Damn Yankees. “You gotta have heart, miles and miles of heart. When the odds are saying you’ll never win, that’s when the grin should start.”

White Pine lost its opening league game at Yerington last week, 35-0. Lopez said, “I’m very pleased with the way they played. These kids don’t give up. That’s one big benefit we have. I’m happy with the score, it shows we can play with some of the other strong teams in our league.” Against the Lions (3-1,1-0), the Bobcats held last-year’s state runner-up to a scoreless first quarter. “It was real battle. We held them in a goal line stand on the two-yard line at the end of the first quarter.” Lopez said. “Our defense really stepped up, the offense was clicking, too, but it is the penalties that are killing our own chances to score. We go 10 yards forward, but 15 yards back.  Still, we played well, just little things that hurt us, things we just have to eliminate.”

Yerington burned the Bobcats (0-3, 0-1) on three pass plays in the second quarter, Lopez said. Yerington scored each time and took a 21-0 lead into the halftime locker room.“And the Lion’s got lucky on the point after tries, too,” Lopez said.  “We’d go in and block it and it would bounce off one of our helmets and go through the uprights.”

Yerington kept the ball on the ground mostly in the second half with sophomore quarterback

Donavan Coplin rushing for 159 yards on eight carries.Lopez said in the second half, because of injuries to several Bobcat players that he did not want to risk further, he put in quite a few of the younger players, “to give them more experience, and they played well. Phoenix Ball was out with an injury after the first quarter, I couldn’t risk playing him more.“

But the subs really stepped up, only allowing two touchdowns. Good to see the younger kids come in and know that I can use them. We’re going to start winning, once we start clicking and get rid of these penalties and the little mistakes that cost us big.”

This week though, it stays tough for the young Bobcats as they travel to play at defending state champion Pershing County (2-1). Lopez said, “They, along with Battle Mountain (4-0, 1-0), are going to be the toughest teams we’ll see the rest of the year. We’ll have our work cut out for us.” White Pine lost twice to the Mustangs last year, 48-6 in the regular season, then 51-7 in the first round of the state playoffs.