Warriors in search of first victory | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Warriors in search of first victory

Gary Kank

After being handed an old-fashioned licking in their game against Mammoth last weekend, the Whittell Warriors are focused on turning it around as they prepare for Saturday’s conference opener against West Wendover in Zephyr Cove.

“(After the first week), the boys were sporting a ‘good enough attitude.’ They felt like ‘we did good enough’ and with that attitude we got it handed to us on a plate,” Warrior coach Anthony Esquivel said from the practice field Thursday. “This week the boys realize that it takes hard work in practice to get results on game day.”

Facing the 0-2 West Wendover Wolverines, the Warriors are hungry for their first win. But the task will not be easy.

The Wolverines are led by senior quarterback Danny Zacharias, who last year passed for 788 yards, which was good enough for 12th-highest among all Northern Nevada schools. So far this season, Zacharias has been on form to have another solid campaign, passing for a combined 450 yards and three touchdowns in two games.

“He’s a solid player,” Wolverine coach Brian Poole said. “He’s really throwing the ball well.”

With Zacharias’ passing threat the Warriors coverage will surely be tested, something Esquivel said his team has been preparing for.

“Last week we had a lot of trouble with the pass coverage, but I can’t place the entire blame on the secondary,” Esquivel said. “It really starts up front and pressuring the quarterback to make quick decisions. If you don’t pressure the quarterback, you give his receivers the chance to make the second and third effort to burn our defensive backs.”

After going up against a Mammoth’s duel-threat ground attack last week, containing the run should come a bit easier this week as the Wolverines have lost their starting backfield to injury.

However, speedy sophomore tailback Pedro Marquecho has performed well in relief.

“Pedro has stepped in and done some really good things for us in the seniors’ absence,” coach Poole said.

Both coaches are looking forward to strapping it on this weekend and both had their own takes on what they needed to do to come away with a win.

“We’re already throwing the ball well,” Poole said. “So if we can get the running game going, I think we’re going to be real competitive out there.”

Coach Esquivel is relying on intensity to pull them through.

“If they perform at their best, the way I know they can, I think we can have some positive results,” he said. “But If they go out flat and they wait for the other team to deliver the first blow, then they’re going put us in the hole right off the bat. We need to go out there and hit them first and hit them hard.”

Whittell and West Wendover will kick it off Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in Zephyr Cove.

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