Zephyr Cove, Nev. - The Warriors knew they were in for a tough night against Lovelock on Friday, but what else can be expected from the two-time defending state champions?
Lovelock lived up to its former titles and defeated Whittell 58-0, but despite the shutout the Warriors are not broken. The homecoming loss probably stings a little, but Lovelock was never a must win for the Warriors.
"We've got North Tahoe, Incline and ROP circled as our must win to make playoffs," Whittell coach David Housel said. "We're still sitting at fifth right now, behind Incline."
It's not that the Warriors played poorly on Friday. They did what they could with a team of 16 eligible players.
Lovelock was just that good, plain and simple good.
"We moved the ball. Our line just couldn't match up against theirs. They have some big boys," Housel said.
The Mustangs were definitely big and they could move. Randolph McLean and Jared Jensen each put up a touchdown for Lovelock, but the it was Jacob Flores who really put a dent in the Warriors defense. Flores was uncatchable and he ran four balls into the Warriors' end zone.
Whittell quarterback Austin Buyak was crowned homecoming king at half, along with homecoming queen Jordy Addeo. It seemed a little bittersweet for the quarterback, who was clearly thinking about the game, not the crown, during the halftime proceedings.
Incline is up next for Whittell and a win there would be big for the Warriors.
Incline won it's Friday game against Silver Stage 42-0 and advanced to 2-1 in league. Whittell now sits 1-2 in league, with two of the toughest teams, Battle Mountain and Lovelock, out of the way.
"We need to play hard but I really think it's going to come down to us and Incline for that fourth playoff spot," Housel said.
If all goes according to plan for Whittell, and the boys defeat Incline and North Tahoe, then a playoff berth will likely depend on the outcome of their last game against ROP.
"It will probably come down to our last game," Housel said. "It will be a league game and there will be a really good chance that if we take care of business at North Tahoe that game will decide playoffs."