Incline football taken down by big plays at White Pine
The Incline football team arrived in Ely, Nev. Friday night hoping to rain on White Pine’s homecoming and senior night celebrations, but the Bobcats were ready and sent the Highlanders home with their fifth consecutive loss.
Incline played well for most of the game, but surrendering big plays was the Highlanders downfall in losing 35-14.
Incline’s seemed to be clicking early with quarterback Dylan Cleary running for a first down but the drive stalled.
White Pine scored on its first possession, converting a third-and-12 into a 53-yard touchdown pass for a 7-0 lead.
After the teams swapped punts, Incline turned the ball over on down at its own 25 and the bobcats capitalized on the first play of the second quarter for a 13-0 lead.
Cleary started the next drive with a 35-yard run and then followed with his first completion, a 15-yarder over the middle to Trent Green.
Brad Rye capped the drive with a 5-yard run. Marco Barraza’a extra point was good and the score was 13-7, but that’s as close as it would get.
White Pine executed a reverse on the ensuing kickoff and returned it 85 yards for a touchdown and a 21-7 lead.
The teams traded punts, and Green helped stop one White Pine drive with an interception, but the score remained the same until late in the half when the Bobcats scored on a 74-yard touchdown pass to take a 27-7 lead into the break.
The third quarter belonged to the Incline defense. Incline started the second half with an attempted onside kick that resulted in White Pine having the ball on its own 45. But after one completed pass, the Highlander defense came alive and forced the Bobcat offense backwards and, on fourth down, blocked the punt.
Incline was in business again on the Bobcat 30.
After a 10-yard pass to Green, the Highlanders were in the red zone. Barraza finished off the drive with a 3-yard touchdown plunge up the middle to make it 27-14 after he also booted the extra point.
Incline came right back with an onside kick and Keenan Collier made the recovery for the Highlanders.
But a quick three-and-out stalled the momentum and the score remained the same heading into the final quarter.
The bobcats pinned the Highlanders at their own 2 with a punt to start the fourth quarter. But Cleary dug Incline out of the hole with 30 rushing yards on two plays and then he fired a 30-yard pass to Collier.
The Highlanders reached the Bobcats 4, but were stuffed on three plays from the 1 and turned it over on downs.
On the very next play, the disheartened Highlanders surrendered a 92-yard run and White Pine scored on the next play to seal the result.
The Highlanders’ loss leaves them with a record of 2-5 overall and 1-5 in the 2A Northern League.
They host Coral Academy of Science (2-6) at 7 p.m. Friday at Highlander Field for homecoming and senior night in the final home game of the season.
The Homecoming Parade will commence at 2 p.m. Friday and the homecoming king and queen will be crowned at halftime of the game.