Twenty-two points the Warriors’ most since 2002 season |

Twenty-two points the Warriors’ most since 2002 season

Paul Andrew

ZEPHYR COVE – The Whittell High football team put forth a valiant second half effort against the Yerington Lions, only to end up on the losing end of a 33-22 Northern 2A contest on Saturday afternoon at Whittell High School.

With many freshmen and first-year players on the field both offensively and defensively, the Warriors put together their best offensive performance in many years, and appear to be close to turning the program into a winner.

The first half was the “Daniel Bauer Show” for Yerington as the 185-pound junior scored four touchdowns. Lining up at running back in the first quarter, Bauer had touchdown runs of 7 yards and 1 yard to give Yerington a 14-0 first quarter lead.

The second quarter saw Bauer switch to quarterback and the move continued to produce results. Bauer scored on a 52-yard run, breaking numerous tackles along the way, to give the Lions a 21-0 lead midway through the quarter.

The Warrior defense stiffened, with freshman Cody Nelson intercepting a pass at the Warrior 45, but couldn’t get any farther as the Whittell offense never found its rhythm in the first half. Late in the first half, the Warriors (0-4 overall, 0-4 league) were forced to punt deep in their end, only to see the Lions return the punt down to the Warrior 4.

It was Bauer who took it in, scoring his fourth touchdown and giving Yerington the 27-0 halftime lead. The Warriors, though, came out on fire in the second half.

“We fired them up at halftime”, said WHS assistant coach David Atherton. “I broke a whiteboard with a chain, which must have gotten them inspired. They want me to break something again next week against North Tahoe.”

After recovering a fumble on the Yerington 19, the Warriors drove down to the Yerington 12 on a run by freshman Philip Gielow. Nelson then took it the final yards for the first touchdown of his high school career.

“I was really excited when I saw the goal line,” Nelson said. “Our team is feeling stronger every week.”

After quarterback Roberto Concha-Foley ran for the two-point conversion, the Warriors trailed 27-8. Whittell’s first offensive touchdown inspired the team’s defense, as gaining yards proved tougher for the Lions.

Linebackers Travis Swoger and Nick Spano, as well lineman Bryan Villaseca, consistently stopped Yerington runners in the second half. After stalled possessions by both sides, Gielow recovered a Yerington fumble, giving the Warrior offense a great scoring opportunity at the Lion 40.

After several tough runs, Concha-Foley hit senior wide-out Curtis Humbird in stride for a 31-yard touchdown for the Warrior’s second touchdown. Gielow ran in the conversion to narrow the Lions’ lead to 27-16.

The Yerington running attack took charge again with Bauer gaining several key first downs with some power running. Junior Sean Watson scored on an 11-yard touchdown run to give Yerington a 33-16 advantage midway through the fourth quarter.

The Warrior offense, though, wasn’t finished.

After a 5-yard run by Gielow, Concha-Foley swept left for a 30 yards to the Lion 35. A Concha-Foley sideline pass to another freshman, Jordan Morgan, gave Whittell a first down at the 32. Behind the blocking of John Sinclair and Bryce Rafferty, the Warriors drove down to the Yerington 3-yard line before Concha-Foley swept left for the Whittell’s third touchdown.

Trailing 33-22, the Warriors attempted an onside kick that was recovered by Yerington. A sack by Sinclair prevented the Lions from scoring on their final possession, but Yerington still recorded an 11-point victory.

Despite the loss, the Warriors feel good about their effort against the Lions, who are considered one of the top three teams in the Northern 2A. With a battle against winless North Tahoe next week, Whittell is hungry to get the program’s first win since 2002 and prove that the program is indeed back.

Reno dominates STHS

The South Tahoe football team fumbled four times in a difficult first half during a 54-0 loss to Reno in a Sierra League game on Thursday night in Reno.

The Vikings, who trailed 40-0 at halftime, were led by quarterback Tony Stagnaro’s 70 yards passing in the second half. Kevin Lucero caught four passes for 40 yards in the loss, while Chris Diana had nine unassisted tackles on defense. South Tahoe’s 6-foot-2, 290-pound nose tackle Clarence Grey had two carries on offense that went for 15 yards.

“The second half, we got a little better and started to throw the ball better,” STHS coach Mike Gorman said. “I think Reno knew they were in a football game, but I put Reno right up there with Galena. They are well coached, well disciplined and a very physically fit football team.”

The Vikings (0-4 overall, 0-2 league) host Wooster (0-5, 0-2) in their homecoming game on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Viking Bowl. The Colts lost to North Valleys 56-7 on Friday.

Tribune sportswriter Jeremy Evans contributed to this report.

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