Warriors hang tough with Longhorns for a half | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Warriors hang tough with Longhorns for a half

Steve Yingling, Tribune sports editor

For the second straight football season, Battle Mountain eliminated Whittell High School from the Nevada 2A state playoffs.

Despite a spirited first-half by the Warriors, the Longhorns pounded out a 33-0 quarterfinal victory Friday in Battle Mountain.

Battle Mountain (8-2) advanced to a semifinal game against a Southern Nevada opponent on Nov. 13. Whittell finished with a 4-6 record.

Whittell kept the battle tight in the opening half, moving the ball more effectively than it did during a 33-6 defeat to the Longhorns on Oct. 23.

“I think we shocked Battle Mountain,” said Whittell coach David Atherton said. “Too bad we didn’t score. We were moving the ball.

“The game plan, that’s exactly what we wanted for the boys, and that’s what we needed. We just couldn’t punch in the score.”

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The Warriors missed a field goal attempt after driving inside the Longhorns 20.

Before the half ended with Batttle Mountain in front 12-0, the Warriors lost starting quarterback Austin Buyak to a shoulder injury.

“We think he has a separated shoulder or fractured collarbone,” Atherton said.

Senior Turner Yates replaced Buyak in the second half, enabling the Warriors to keep senior running backs Cody Nelson and Philip Gielow in their normal positions.

Atherton will leave the program with a solid core of seniors led by Nelson, Gielow and Nick Warner. They collectively restored respectability to the Whittell program and kept it from folding.

“It’s tough. I’ve been aropund these guys for four years,” Atherton said. “They are big part of the change in Whittell football and us becoming competitive. It’s hard for them to let go of the game, and as a coach I get emotionally impacted by that.”