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Nevada football faces UNLV, aims to keep Fremont Cannon

Joe Santoro
Nevada Appeal

WOLF PACK GAME DAY

Nevada (2-2) vs. UNLV (1-3)

Saturday, 4 p.m. at Mackay Stadium

Radio: 94.5 FM, 630 AM

The UNLV Rebels are willing to give the shirt off their back to bring the Fremont Cannon back to Las Vegas.

“At our first team meeting this week I told everyone, ‘Nobody wears blue this week. We don’t want to see it,’” said Rebels head coach Tony Sanchez, referring to the primary color of the Nevada Wolf Pack.

Passions will definitely run deep on Saturday, Oct. 3, at 4 p.m. when the Rebels and Wolf Pack meet at Mackay Stadium in the 41st edition of the Battle for the Fremont Cannon.

“When I first got the job (after last season) the first thing everybody kept telling me was, ‘Get the cannon back, coach. Get the cannon back,’” said Sanchez, who was 85-5 with six state championships in six seasons as Bishop Gorman High’s head coach from 2009-14. “We’re hell bent on bringing the cannon back.”

The Wolf Pack, which has won nine of its last 10 meetings with the Rebels, is just as intent on keeping the cannon in Northern Nevada.

“We’ll keep it blue,” sophomore offensive tackle Austin Corbett said. “We’re going to do everything we can to make sure it stays here with us.”

The home team has not won this rivalry game since the Wolf Pack won at Mackay Stadium, 37-0, in 2011. The Wolf Pack suffered a stunning 27-22 loss to the Rebels in 2013, the last time the game was played at Mackay Stadium.

Rebel quarterback Blake Decker (6-foot-2, 215-pound senior) has passed for 566 yards and five touchdowns. Running back Keith Whitely (5-9, 195-pound junior) has gained 265 yards and Xzaviar Campbell (5-11, 220 freshman) has picked up 214. Wide receivers Kendal Keys (13 catches, 104 yards) and Devonte Boyd (12 catches for 231 yards, three scores) have been Decker’s favorite targets so far.

The Wolf Pack-Rebels game has been known to provoke an emotional response from fans, especially when the game is at Mackay Stadium. Both school presidents (Nevada’s Marc Johnson and UNLV’s Len Jessup) have done public service announcements and sent out press releases this week, asking fans to keep the cheering under control and in good taste.

Sanchez, though, has already started the war of the words this week, calling his rival school to the north the “University of Reno, Nevada.” He also made sure to reinforce the notion that Wolf Pack fans can get a little out of control at times.


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