White Pine High secured a spot in the NIAA 2A northern region playoffs last week with 20-13 come-from-behind win at Incline.
Bobcat coach Nick Lopez said the team will have the No. 4 spot when the playoffs begin Nov. 8.
However, they will be matched up with the No. 1 seed from the North, the Yerington Lions. Yerington shutout White Pine 47-0 at Yerington Oct. 11.
Still, for the Bobcats it will be a return to the playoffs since 2015 when they lost to Needles in the first round.
The last time White Pine advanced to the championship game was in 2011. They lost that game to Pershing County. The last state championship for the Bobcats was in 1968.
Against Incline last week, the Bobcats trailed 6-0 at halftime. Lopez said, “We made some changes to our defense at halftime to shut them down and they didn’t run with the ball too much after that. We began to do a better job on containing the ball carrier on the option play getting around the edge.”
Offensively, he said, “We were not able to run the ball very well in the first half, so we spread it out a little bit in the second half and were able to run the ball much better.”
White Pine took the lead with two scores in the third period. Luke Finicum carried the ball 12 times for 62 yards and one touchdown.
“Once we got the run going, then we could get the pass going,” Lopez said.
And that well-known strategy produced two third quarter touchdowns on passes from Devan Starkey to Phoenix Ball. Ball also had eight carries for 23 yards.
For the game, Starkey was 5-for-12 for 125 yards and did have an interception.
On defense, Adam Theurer had 11 solo tackles.
This week the Bobcats (4-4, 4-3) close out the league season with a home game against Silver Stage (1-5, 1-5) on Friday.
They have a non-league game to finish the regular season hosting Needles (3-4) on Nov. 1. The Mustangs have not played in Ely since 2015.