The Ely Times

White Pine High football coach Nick Lopez was hoping for a win over Pershing County in their game last week. He didn’t get it, losing to the Mustangs 28-14. 

“Mainly because we didn’t play well at the outset,” he said, and Pershing County had allowed quarterback Ricky Reitz to play again after having been suspended for a time.

“He is very athletic,” Lopez said. “We saw him at the preseason jamboree. And he had a great game against us this week. He is quick and knows how to run the option play very well, gaining a lot of yards. With him back in the lineup, I think Pershing will be the team to beat in this division. I had thought he had been suspended for the season.”

The Mustangs are the three-time defending league and state champions.

Against Pershing County, Lopez said, “We just came out flat and were not playing well. We took the opening kickoff and then fumbled the ball the first play of the game on the 20 yard line and Pershing took advantage and scored quickly. 

“We did stop them on the conversion try. When we got the ball back, Pershing held us and blocked a fourth down punt for a safety for an 8-0 first quarter lead. We had a lot of good defensive play, but it was overshadowed by Reitz who tore us up that first half.”

After making a few halftime adjustments, White Pine did move the ball better in the second half and were finally able to score twice in the fourth quarter “but too late to catch up,” Lopez said.

He added, “The score doesn’t show that we played well defensively, but we did. We had a lot of defensive stands including shutting them out three times on the one-yard line and didn’t let them score.”

Adam Theurer had a good game for the Bobcats with 97 yards on nine carries.  On defense, Theurer was credited with 12 solo tackles. Stats for Pershing County were not posted.

But the Mustang defense zeroed in on quarterback Devin Starkey and held him to minus 32 yards, 4-for-8 passing and one interception.

This week, the Bobcats (2-2, 2-1) are at home, but facing another very tough test against league-leader Battle Mountain (3-0, 3-0). The Longhorns are a strong defensive team, having only allowed 14 points so far this season.