Ugly 77-0 loss sticks with Warriors |

Ugly 77-0 loss sticks with Warriors

After a bye last week, the Whittell Warrior football team will face its first 2A Northern League opponent Saturday at noon when it hosts the Colts from Elko’s Independence High School.

Independence was 2-5 in the 2A Northern League in 2001, two places up from Whittell’s spot as the league’s caboose at 0-7.

The Colts defeated the Warriors last year 77-0, and that’s left a lasting impression with the players.

“They’re hungry to play this team after losing 77-0 last year,” said head Warrior coach Mike Evans. “They remember last year and they were embarrassed.”

Independence is 0-1 overall this year after the Lincoln County Lynx routed the Colts 46-0.

Lincoln County finished third in the 2A Southern League in 2001 behind The Meadows and White Pine.

But Evans was at the Lynx/Colts game and he was impressed with what he saw.

“Lincoln County is probably the best team from the South,” he said. And that means the Colts are going to come out Saturday as a team with vindication on its mind.

“I expect them to be stronger and more organized,” Evans said. “Whoever plays them at the end of the year will see a different team.”

Key in the Warriors’ playbook is shutting down the Colts’ tight end, who Evans said makes up most of Independence’s offense.

“If we can stop the tight end, we think we have a pretty good chance of stopping them offensively,” he said.

Senior safety Alex Swearingen will likely move from safety to the defensive line to shadow the tight end. Christian Anton and Nick Lowe will likely move to safety.

The Warriors are still without lineman Joe Ilk, and now Brian Barnard, who broke a small bone in his elbow and isn’t expected to return until October.

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