Warriors win homecoming game in a rout
Going into Saturday’s homecoming game with Hawthorne, Whittell High head football coach John Summers liked his team’s chances if it could hold the Serpents to two touchdowns.
The defense held up its half of the bargain, but what Summers hadn’t counted on was 46 points from Whittell’s offense and special teams. The Warriors (2-5 overall, 2-3 in Northern Nevada 3A Division II) entered Saturday’s game with guarded optimism, but left the field with a 46-14 win in Whittell’s final home game as a 3A school.
“Our kids came out pretty fired up and capitalized on some mistakes early in the game,” Summers said.
The Warriors didn’t give their homecoming guests from Mineral County a chance. On the third play from scrimmage, Hawthorne running back Chris Ford fumbled, giving Whittell its first possession. Two plays later, Warriors quarterback Trent Gordon executed a tremendous ball fake, and took off 50 yards down the right sideline on a bootleg, putting Whittell up 6-0.
“That was the first time that happened all year,” said Gordon, a senior, who finished with 96 rushing yards, to go with 143 more through the air. “They bought the fake.”
After junior Luke Forvilly punched in the two-point conversion, Whittell kicked off and Hawthorne return man Rashad Martinez fumbled the ball. Freshman Joe Ilk recovered, and the Warriors made Hawthorne pay. Five plays later, Forvilly took off on a 16-yard run around the left side, dove for the pylon, and Whittell led by 16 after Chauncey Lane’s two-point conversion run.
“That was huge for us, because we’ve kind of been falling behind early all along, but this was kind of good to get two scores back-to-back,” Summers said.
Ford fumbled again on the next series, and Whittell capitalized with a 23-yard touchdown pass from Gordon to junior wideout Richard Fore. The rout was on, with Whittell leading 24-0 after the first quarter. When Forvilly increased the lead to 30 on a 15-yard touchdown run, and Gordon added two more with the conversion, the Warriors could sense the game was out of hand.
“We could kind of tell we were overpowering them a little,” Gordon said.
Whittell put the game away just before halftime. With Hawthorne facing a fourth-and-five on its five-yard line, the Serpents lined up to punt. Richard Fore and Joel Warnick closed in on Serpents punter Jared West to block the punt, and Fore recovered, giving Whittell a 38-0 lead with just 1:23 left in the half.
Whittell let up a little in the second half, keeping the cork on its passing attack, but not before scoring two more touchdowns. The Warriors mounted a 71-yard drive from their own 29, and appeared to cap it on a two-yard run from Lane, but a clip moved the ball back. Whittell would make good a few plays later, when freshman Alex Swearingen crashed through the Hawthorne line for a two-yard touchdown run with three minutes left in the quarter. Forvilly added a two-point conversion run, and Whittell led 46-0.
Hawthorne finally got on the board on the next series. Serpents return man Marcus Reed took the kickoff and sprinted to the Whittell 17, the first time the Serpents advanced into Whittell territory during the game. Two plays later, Martinez bulled in from the 17-yard line for the touchdown. Whittell nose tackle Matt Miller and Warnick combined to block the extra point, and Whittell led 46-6. The Serpents scored one more touchdown, on an 11-yard run by Ford late in the fourth quarter, and Martinez’s two-point conversion run provided the final margin. Whittell had a chance for one final score with less than a minute left in the game after senior Matt Wiggins set the Warriors up at the Hawthorne one-yard line, but Whittell elected to kill the clock.
Whittell won two out of its three home games for the season, snapping a 21-game losing streak in the first home game of the season, Sept. 18 against Incline. The lone home loss came on Oct. 16, 59-20 to state-bound Bishop Manogue. While the Warriors will finish too far behind the league’s leaders to advance to the playoffs, Whittell will finish better than league rivals Incline and Hawthorne. The Warriors wrap their season at Lovelock on Thursday.
“Lovelock’s a big game,” Gordon said. “They’re a good team, and a squad we think we can play with.”
Whittell 46, Hawthorne 14
WHS 24 14 8 0
MCHS 0 0 6 8
WHS – Gordon 50 run (Forvilly run)
WHS – Forvilly 16 run (Lane run)
WHS – Fore 23 pass from Gordon (Corners pass from Forvilly)
WHS – Fovrvilly 15 run (Gordon run)
WHS – Fore recovery blocked punt (run failed)
WHS – Swearingen 2 run (Forvilly run)
MCHS – Ford 17 run (kick failed)
MCHS – Ford 10 run (Martinez run)
PASSING (COMP-ATT-TD-INT) – Whittell, Gordon 6-15-143-1-0, Hawthorne, West 2-8-0-0; Martinez 0-2-0
RUSHING – Whittell, Gordon 7-96, Forvilly 10-66, Wiggins 6-66, Lane 11-45, Swearingen 10-26, Jones 1-(-2) Hawthorne, Ford 9-93, M. Reed 8-53, Martinez 9-42, Ford 4 (-4)
RECEIVING – Whittell, Forvilly 3-67, Fore 2-74, Corners 1-2, Hawthorne, T. Reed 1-8, Andrada 1-4
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Hello fellow anglers. Happy Memorial weekend.