Warriors rout Sierra Lutheran 50-0, win 6th straight
The Whittell football team did its work early Thursday night, and remained undefeated in lopsided fashion. The Warriors scored four first-quarter touchdowns en route to a 50-0 win over Sierra Lutheran (Carson City, Nev.), extending their unbeaten streak to six games to start the season.
“It feels great in my senior year finally winning games after going three years of not being a very successful football program,” Warriors running back Jake Sharp said. “Now, it has turned around.”
On the opening kickoff, Whittell (6-0) set the tone for a decisive victory. Warriors running back Corey Huber returned the line-drive kick 87 yards for a touchdown, and his two-point conversion run made the score 8-0 eight seconds into the game.
Corey Huber’s score on the opening kickoff was the first of four touchdowns for Whittell in a seven-minute span. A 10-yard pass from quarterback Colin Buchholz to tight end Bryce Bronken and two-point conversion with 9:34 left in the opening frame put the Warriors ahead 16-0.
Just minutes later, Sharp scored twice on consecutive touches to put Whittell ahead by four scores before Sierra Lutheran (0-2) could record a first down. The first score came on a screen pass from Buchholz that went for a 40-yard touchdown and the second was a 66-yard run with 5:20 left in the first quarter.
“It just comes down to practice — if we run a lot and hit the holes hard, coach says good things will happen,” Sharp said. “I just wanted to run hard and do my job.”
Two plays after Sharp’s second touchdown, Whittell made wholesale substitutions and kept its reserves in for the remainder of the game. Warriors running back Max Primo added to the hosts’ lead with a 69-yard score in the second quarter — WHS went into the break ahead 38-0.
“We were better, we scored quick and it was a real opportunity to let all those other guys that work so hard during every practice to get carries and tackles,” Warriors head coach Phil Bryant said. “That’s what team ball is all about and I was really proud of them.”
In the third quarter, running back Connor Huber found the end zone twice — inside runs of 2 and 6 yards — to cap the scoring for Whittell. Helped by an interception from Armando Rodriguez and a fumble recovery from Friend Dickinson, backups preserved the Warriors’ first shutout of the season as they rolled to a 50-point win — the last 15 minutes of the game were played with a running clock.
In three first-quarter drives, Sharp had 120 total yards and two touchdowns, and Buchholz finished 3-of-6 passing for 57 yards and two scores. In the offense quarterbacked by freshman Peyton Galli, Primo ran for a game-high 99 yards and a touchdown, and Connor Huber totaled 30 yards while finding the end zone twice.
A number of Whittell players carried the ball in Thursday’s victory — running backs Matt Davis, Kai Mangiaracina and Payton Norton each ran for more than 20 yards, and back Caleb Moretti had a third-quarter carry for 4 yards. Linebacker Sean Noyes and lineman Walter Kixmiller also lined up in the backfield to take a handoff.
With Thursday’s victory, Whittell has now won more games in 2014 than the past two seasons combined. Six wins is the most for a Warriors’ team in the past decade, equaling the team’s total from 2008.
“In the beginning, the guys didn’t have a lot of confidence — they’ve started to get some confidence and they’re executing pretty well,” Bryant said.
Whittell returns to action Saturday, Oct. 11 when it resumes league play on the road against Smith Valley. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.