Warriors beat Smith Valley 70-14, improve to 7-0
SMITH, Nev. — The Whittell football team jumped on Smith Valley early Saturday to remain unbeaten by a lopsided margin. The Warriors beat the Bulldogs 70-14 on the road, notching their seventh straight win to start the 2014 season.
“Smith Valley is a much better team than the score indicates — they are big and strong and can create a lot of problems with their size,” Warriors head coach Phil Bryant said. “We were quicker and that seemed to be the difference. Our backs hit the holes hard and were able to get through the second and third defensive levels with their speed.”
Whittell (7-0, 3-0 IV Northern West) scored on three of its first four plays in Saturday’s win. Warriors senior Jake Sharp found the end zone five times against the Bulldogs — he had 143 rushing yards and three touchdowns, caught a touchdown pass, and scored on an interception tipped in his direction by defensive end Caleb Moretti.
The Warriors had a 32-0 lead over Smith Valley (2-5, 1-3) after the first quarter, and their starters were replaced early in the second. Backups played a majority of the game in the victory, including one-touchdown performances from running backs Max Primo and Connor Huber. Running back Corey Huber ran for 93 yards and two touchdowns on five carries.
Defensively for Whittell, Bryant said everyone stepped up and made plays. Linebacker Aubrey Felton was one of the standouts — he came over to football when the school decided not to field a boys soccer team, and has had an impact.
Defensive end Quinn Kixmiller also had a solid game against Smith Valley. Bryant said opponents have recently begun to double team Kixmiller, but it hasn’t limited his effectiveness.
With Saturday’s victory, Whittell has now won more games than any Warriors team in the past decade. The 56-point win was the team’s most decisive of the season.
“All these guys support each other and are having a great year,” Bryant said. “We are also very realistic, even with the success we have had. We know that Virginia City and Mineral County are the favorites to win the league and they are both very strong teams with experienced and talented players and coaches.”
Whittell is currently tied for first place in the league standings with Virginia City. The Warriors travel to play third-place Mineral County Friday night at 7 p.m.
“We are hoping to compete at a high level with these teams and hopefully have an impact on which team finally wins the league,” Bryant said. “We are young and in our first year, so we are learning a little bit more each week. We need more weight room time to get to their level, but we will keep working and take whatever happens.”