One fumble and three interceptions were major factors in White Pine losing to Yerington, 37-9, last Friday in the first round of the 2A football playoffs.
“We must have given them 27 points that way,” said Bobcat coach Nick Lopez.
The Lions jumped out to a 27-0 halftime lead and moved on to a 37-9 win to advance to the semifinals this Saturday against Needles.
Sean-Patrick Irvine had the first of his two touchdowns on a 20 yard run in the first quarter. Dante Reviglio had another on a 10 yard run with under a minute before the end of the quarter.
In the second period, Erik Garda hauled in an 89-yard TD pass from Donavan Coplin and Irvine got his second score on a 78-yard run.
The Bobcats finally scored with about five minutes left in the game on a field goal and an 80-yard touchdown pass from Isaias Gonzalez to Adam Theurer in the final two minutes. Gonzalez was 8-for-15 passing, 155 yards and one touchdown.
The Lions were ripping up the Bobcats on the ground though, rushing for 319 yards using six different runners. Irvine had the most yards, 160 on 14 carries.
“We just couldn’t contain him,” Lopez said.
For White Pine, they were only able to gain 93 yards rushing. Luke Finicum carried 11 times for 60 yards.
Defensively, Lopez said, “We held them a time or two, but turning the ball over either by interception or on downs, giving them the ball from 30 yards in too often really hurt us.”
Finicum recorded 11 tackles, including six solo tackles. Theurer had five solo tackles.
White Pine finished the season 6-5, their first winning season since 2015 and a spot in the playoffs after having missed out the last two seasons.
Lopez said, “We did better than I thought we would.”
The Bobcats turned around three straight 4-6 seasons.
Although he had said at the start of the season he didn’t think there was any one dominant team in the north as had been the previous three years with three-time state champion Pershing County.
“A lot of our younger kids stepped up. Next year looks good for us.” The Bobcats have eight likely returners for the 2020 team including Tyler Lawrence, Finicum, Brock Lopez, and Gonzalez.
In the other 2A playoff games, Pershing County topped Battle Mountain, 20-8; Lincoln County blanked Lake Mead, 34-0; and Needles shutout Calvary Chapel, 35-0.
The state semifinals this Saturday will match Needles (4-6) at Yerington (9-1) and Pershing County (7-3) at Lincoln County (8-2).
The championship game will be Nov. 23 at a site yet to be determined by the NIAA.