Whittell football hopes to bounce back after rare loss | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Whittell football hopes to bounce back after rare loss

ZEPHYR COVE, Nev. — Whittell was beaten soundly last week on the gridiron. It was a long ride getting to Eureka and even longer ride home for the Warriors.

The 36-8 loss was especially satisfying for the Vandals after the beatings the Warriors have handed down over the past couple of seasons, including a 42-18 playoff drubbing last year.

"It was a long ride and hard game," said first year head coach Doug Patton. "They were more aggressive than us and I'd like to see us get more aggressive and more crisp, clean up our game play. But hats off to them, after what we've done to them in the past, they were ready and they gave us everything they had and we never quit."

Aside from bitter, these Warriors aren't used to losing football games, especially in the regular season. Over the past four seasons the Warriors have lost just three regular season games, all to Virginia City, and seven overall.

The key for Patton, starting with this week's long road trip to Tonopah is getting his players healthy and on the field.

The Warriors have been short some key players due to injury and also are battling an ineligibility issue that Patton hopes gets cleared up real soon. The depth-challenged Warriors have been trotting out on the field over the first two weeks with just 14 players, including three first-year freshmen.

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"Right now it's about getting healthy," Patton said. "We had a lot of injuries and it was hard to play our game. The playbook shrank."

Senior Isaiah Womack provided one of the few bright spots last week with a 92-yard touchdown run in the second half.

But the Warriors have moved on, Patton said, and added that they are getting back to basics and preparing for their next opponent, and another 10 or so hours on a bus.

Through the first three weeks of the season, the Warriors will have accumulated about 30 hours of bus time.

Whittell has practiced the entire week on its beautiful football field at the new Lisa Maloff Athletic Facility. The school will hold a field dedication at its first home game of the season at 6:15 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, before kickoff at 7 p.m.

"It's nice to be here, and we're all fired up for the home opener," Patton said. "Everybody wants to be here for that, we're all excited."