Incline football looks to break losing skid at home against West Wendover
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — After three straight gridiron losses, Incline’s hunger to get back into the win column has reached starvation.
“We’re hungry, we’re ready to eat,” said senior running back/outside linebacker Joe Wilderman.
“We’ve reached starvation at this point,” said head coach Brian Martinez. “With how we started and all that mojo we had, we lost it for a couple of weeks. But I really do feel like it’s back. Practices have been great this week. It’s, ‘Lets go out have fun and play with our brothers.’”
Incline (2-3, 1-3 2A Northern League) will look to feast Friday night when they host the West Wendover Wolverines (1-3, 1-2 Northern) for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
Incline is coming off a big loss to Pershing County, but Martinez was more pleased with the 58-0 defeat than he was losing closer games the previous two weeks.
“It was a tough matchup,” Martinez said. “The boys played well, they never gave up and their attitudes were outstanding. At halftime when were down a whole bunch of points, we decided to just go out and have some fun. They learned a lot, because in the second they played a lot better because they were loose. The other losses we just didn’t play and that’s harder to take. When we don’t give more than 3 percent effort, it’s hard to win.”
The players have held themselves accountable for lack of effort and would especially like to replay their 20-6 loss to Silver Stage two weeks ago, a game they thought should be a blow out victory.
“Our practices didn’t go well at all and we all slacked off and were lazy,” junior Gage Pierce said of the two losses before Pershing. “Silver Stage, I regret that game a lot. We didn’t completely expect to beat Pershing even though we put in all the effort, our practices were way better and we gave it our all.”
The Highlanders were a little short in numbers Wednesday at practice. It was as if a few players were taking some kind of tropical vacation in Central America. But the players on the practice field were focused and gearing up for the Wolverines.
And they gave 100 percent effort. If they play the same way Friday like they practiced all week, the Highlanders feel like they could break the losing streak and get back on track for trying to reach postseason.
The top four teams in the Northern League will reach postseason and the Highlanders right now have work to do. They are on the outside looking in at five teams — Battle Mountain (4-0), Pershing (3-0), Yerington (3-0), North Tahoe (2-2) and West Wendover (1-2).
Incline and West Wendover have just one common opponent so far this season, Pershing, and neither team scored while surrendering large amounts of points.
The battle with the Wolverines is crucial as far as playoffs go. With four games remaining, Incline would like to win all of them and that could earn it a No. 3 seed.
But any playoff push starts with the Wolverines.
“Friday night I think we’ve got a shot,” Wilderman said. “It’s a very beatable team as long as we show the effort and play physical like we have been, we got this.”