Whittell loses to Battle Mountain 32-19 | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Whittell loses to Battle Mountain 32-19

Joe Proudman
Joe Proudman / Tahoe Daily Tribune

ZEPHYR COVE, Nev. – It came down to a game of numbers, and Whittell just didn’t have them. The Warriors were faced with a season-low number of players, ending the game with just 11 players able to play as Battle Mountain took a knee to end the game.

“I was impressed,” said Longhorn coach Tim Knight. “These guys got 14 kids dressed out and they fought the whole game. Whistle to whistle.”

About mid-way through the third, they were down to 12 players. Coach Jeff Jones said a combination of injuries, sickness and ineligibility gave Whittell only 14 players. Senior Jake Williams was injured in the game, along with Cody Gibson.

“Losing Jake Williams hurt,” said Jones. “I don’t know how long he’s going to be out. That’s a big blow.

“That kind of hurt our play.”

It certainly didn’t hurt the Longhorns play. They racked up 19 points in the first half, after Whittell struck first six minutes into the first quarter with a Ty Sprock 15-yard touchdown run. Knight said Battle Mountain came into the game wanting to work on the pass, which proved affective against the Warriors.

The Longhorns had two passing touchdowns in the first half. Daniel Itza connected with Kyle Bryant for a 77-yard touchdown pass and Joey Cook for a 49-yard touchdown pass. Hank Filippini had a rushing touchdown for the Longhorns. Filippini fumbled at the one yard line, but recovered in the endzone. Battle mountain had their first PAT blocked and failed to convert a two-point conversion.

“We did kind of the things we wanted to do,” said Knight. “Right at the beginning we started working on the pass.”

Whittell started the second half with the ball, but quarterback Shawn Mand fumbled on the exchange with Hughston Norton and the Longhorns got the ball on Whittells 44 yard line. Battle Mountain would have three penalties on their next drive, but Itza hit Bryant in the middle of the field for a 30-yard touchdown pass to go up 25-7. Itza and Bryant would connect one more time for a 45-yard touchdown pass on their next drive, to go up 32-7.

The Warriors would get another touchdown from Sprock on a swing pass that went for 15 yards to paydirt. The Warriors blocked a punt late in the game, that led to a Norton one-yard touchdown run to make it 32-19.

Jones said his team was plagued again with bad positioning and execution.

“It’s the same old thing, we cannot make mistakes,” said Jones. “They (the Warriors) played hard. I can’t complain there.”

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