The Ely Times

White Pine High football coach Nick Lopez is getting the Bobcats ready for the most important game this Friday night with Pershing County in Ely.

The Bobcats (2-1, 2-0) took their second win of the league season with a shut out of West Wendover last week, 35-0. The boys had beaten Coral Academy 53-0 Sept. 6.

And even though this week’s game is with Pershing County, the three-time defending state champion, Lopez has said he doesn’t think any one team is dominant in the 2A Northern League this year, not even in the 2A division statewide. 

Pershing County has a 34-2 record in the last three seasons. But the Mustangs graduated most of those players and are 1-1 on the season and were shut out last week, 56-0, at Bear River (Grass Valley, California), the state-runner-up in California last year.

White Pine has lost to Pershing County five straight times since 2011, and always by at least 30 points or more. The teams did not play between 2012-2015.

Lopez thinks this year will be different because of the good things the team has shown here at the start of the season. 

“We scored quickly in the game with West Wendover,” he said,  driving down the field and getting the opening points on the board.

“Our defense played very well. The Wolverines only had 63 total yards passing and rushing, and the rest were all yards we gave them via penalty. We really were doing a good job holding them. The offensive and defensive lines are playing well this year, opening the holes for backs Adam Theurer, Phoenix Ball, Tyler Lawrence and Luke Finicum to go through and holding the pass rushers out so we can pass the ball well.

“Wendover was just not moving the ball very well, and we ran an interception returned for a touchdown.”

The run game is something Lopez said the Bobcats are seeking to greatly improve this season. “Our passing is adequate, but our run has always been weak, so we are working on that. The kids are working hard and are willing to adapt, learn and be committed.”

Stats were not posted for White Pine.

Pershing County (1-1, 1-0) will still be a competitive team as the defending state champion should be.

“It’s the next month that is going to be our test, good competition for us,” Lopez said. 

A win over Pershing County would keep the Bobcats in first place in the league, but does set up a rough schedule to follow most of the month of October beginning this week at Lovelock, then have to face Battle Mountain, North Tahoe in Ely, but play at Yerington and Incline.

Battle Mountain and Yerington are always tough, and Incline looks like they are doing well this year also.