Defensive struggle highlights 2011 Sertoma Classic |

Defensive struggle highlights 2011 Sertoma Classic

Darrell Moody
The Nevada Appeal

RENO, Nev. – Trying to put in a real offense in three days of practice for an all-star game is virtually impossible, and Spanish Springs’ Scott Hare knows that.

Hare chose to keep things simple for his Silver squad at Friday’s 30th annual Sertoma Football Classic, and he believes that’s why his team was successful.

The Silver stars got short touchdown runs from Spanish Springs’ Austin Ruah (3 yards) and Damonte’s Kenny Nez (5 yards) en route to a 14-3 victory over the Blue all-stars at Mackay Stadium.

“We had four total plays,” he said. “For the amount of practice time we had, I thought we executed pretty well.”

The biggest plays for the Silver squad were by Carson’s Connor Beattie, who ripped off a 27-yard run and caught a 15-yard screen pass. Elko’s Ty Wilson had a 46-yard scamper at the outset of the fourth quarter and Nez had an 18-yarder.

The game was once again marred by trash talking in the final three minutes after the Blue squad scored twice on the same drive only to see both scores wiped out by penalties. The penalties eliminated any chance of a last-minute win for the Blue squad, and those players responded by doing a lot of talking.

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At one point, both sidelines emptied, and several players had to be restrained by teammates, including Carson quarterback Trey Jensen, who finished the game under center.

Blue head coach Scott Everist was disappointed that his offense was unable to get into the end zone.

“We made a couple of mistakes when we were in scoring position,” he said. “We committed some penalties in tough spots. Our defense played great, but so did theirs.

“The kids were talking at each other. We were able to make sure we didn’t have a full blowout out there. It was frustration (on my team’s part).”

The Silver squad took advantage of a fumble by Sparks running back Henry Banks to score its first touchdown. Banks fumbled the ball backward and Elko’s Thomas Tucker tried to scoop it up at the 20, but he lost control. A Silver teammate fell on the ball at the Blue 22.

After two incomplete passes by Manogue’s Zach McElroy, Nez ripped off an 18-yarder down to the 4-yard line. Two plays later, Rauh scored from the 3. Jensen missed his point-after attempt.

The Blue squad trimmed the deficit to 6-3 when Wooster’s Ricky Solorio booted a 42-yard field goal. The big play on the drive was a 41-yard pass play from North Valleys’ Tim Herman to Galena’s Eric Johnson.

The Silver had a chance to pad its lead after Reed’ Dennis Bartee stepped in front of a Herman pass at the 25 and returned it to the Blue 20 with 35 seconds left in the half. The Silver squad, because it didn’t have a kicker on the roster, failed to capitalize when Jensen missed a 35-yard attempt as time expired in the first half.

The winners added two more points early in the third quarter after South Tahoe’s Wade Norberg pinned the Blue squad back at its own 8. On the third play of the drive, Douglas’ Zach Falanga sacked Truckee’s Ben Bolton for a safety to give the Silver an 8-3 lead.

Hare’s squad took the ensuing free kick and drove 54 yards for the game-clinching score which Nez provided with the aforementioned 5-yard run to make it 14-3 with 2:17 remaining. The key plays in the drive were a 15-yard reception by Beattie and a 13-yard run by Reed QB Brent Showalter.

Truckee was represented by six players in the game. Aside from Bolton, who started at QB, participating Wolverines included James DePew, Morgan Nevin, Dillon Sheedy, Trevor Houghton and Shane Fisher. Justin Blend represented North Tahoe.